Volume 1 | Issue 3
OGFC College Recruiting Newsletter
Right fit, right experience, things to look for and questions to ask.
Parents and Players,
The most important variable in searching for a collegiate soccer program is to make sure it most closely aligns with the experience you are hoping for. Remember one of the questions a player should ask themselves in order to narrow their pool of potential programs is “what do I want my role within the athletic program to be”?

One of the more simple ways to assess what your role could potentially be is to look into the roster size of the program you are considering. This will help in determining whether a player has a realistic chance of traveling, playing and whether she or he will be a role player, impact player or a roster number.

Certainly numbers don’t tell the whole story, but it is a start. There are some key variables you should look for and key questions you should ask. I’ve provided a few examples of programs with their 2018 roster size (at least at the beginning of the 2018 year). 
Roster Size
Wilmington (DIII) - 30
Wittenberg (DIII) - 25
Ohio Dominican (DII) - 29
Urbana (DII) - 21
Miami (D1) - 26
Xavier (D1) - 33
Cincinnati (D1) - 31 

Things to look for and questions to ask:
How many players will exhaust their eligibility/graduate (primarily seniors) after the 2018 year?
How many players did they sign for the upcoming 2019 season?
What role did the graduating players fulfill (role, impact, roster)?
How many players are listed as playing the primary position you play?
What role does the coach see you fulfilling your FRESHMAN year? 
College Example
Xavier has 33 listed on their 2018 roster. They are graduating 4 players. However, they have signed 10 players for the 2019 season - and will be adding a couple of transfers. This means their roster is going to be close to 40 players.

Of course they may have a couple of players that decide to transfer as well. However, this is a very large roster. If you have the feeling that you may not be in the top 28-30 players your freshman year - what do you think the chances are you will play a significant role in the program during your four years?

However, if you can determine that you will be getting some minutes your first year - chances are you will be able to have the experience most players are looking for. This is not to detract from Xavier or their program - it is simply an example that emphasizes the importance of roster size and your role within the program. 
Recommended Reading
DRIVE : The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Thought for the Week: Keep communicating with the coaches of those programs within your pool of schools. Send them a “post holiday email” and remind them of your playing schedule for the next 3-4 months. 

Did you know?
Per NCAA rules a player has 5 years to fulfill their 4 years of eligibility with the exception of medical hardships. 

“The truly free individual is free only to the extent of their own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them” Socrates
Pat Ferguson is our editor for this series of college recruiting newsletters. Pat is currently our girls director of player development and the women's soccer coach at Wright State University.