Volume 1 | Issue 7
OGFC College Recruiting Newsletter
Parents and Players,
In our program at Wright State, we follow the recruiting philosophy and methodology that we avoid actively recruiting players in their sophomore year of high school or younger. We may identify players, but this is in order to give us direction as players get older.

Some college programs approach the recruiting process differently and have, for example, completed their 2021 recruiting process. In order to slow the recruiting process, the NCAA recently passed legislation that prohibits D1 coaches from engaging in recruiting activities with freshmen and sophomores in high school. Beginning May 1, 2019, college coaches are now prohibited from offering roster spots and making verbal scholarship offers to these players.

NCAA regulations cannot totally prevent coaches from trying to skirt the recruiting rules. In many ways these regulations only serve to force coaches with less integrity to find more creative ways to secure a commitment from a player. For example, there were certainly incidents where coaches at the Division 1 level required a sophomore player to a make a verbal commitment on April 29, 2019 due to this impending legislation with a threat to withdraw the offer if not accepted prior to the May 1st date. Each individual college coach has to determine his or her level of integrity in managing the recruiting process for their program.
The whole area of recruiting is challenging to say the least. It is often what drives college coaches out of the game. Each year we are inundated with recruiting “opportunities” from Germany to Australia and from California to New Jersey. There are National League competitions, Developmental Academy events, ECNL matches, Great Lakes Conference matches and hundreds of tournaments and showcases. 

 While soccer associated with area high schools can play a part in the recruiting process, a significant aspect of recruiting by college coaches takes place in the framework of club soccer.
To provide perspective, my staff and I recently attended the Crossroads Showcase at Grand Park. Prior to attending, we received over 300 emails from players in the graduating classes of 2020 - 2022 interested in our Wright State soccer program. It can be an impossible task to try and watch and evaluate over 300 players at a weekend event. This process is repeated many times over during the club season with league and showcase events.

My concern in this process lies primarily with the young players and their parents. Since we at Wright State have decided long ago to move along in the process slowly, I have encountered many players at or near the end of the collegiate search process. Almost without fail, I find players who “just want to get it over with” and “just want to go back to playing soccer and going to school without worrying about it”. It is true, the recruiting process is often times a confusing and frustrating process. There is no magic formula whereby you’re guaranteed a positive outcome.
Club Tryouts and Club Selection
Club tryouts are fast approaching. The tryout season can have its share of back room deals, parents patrolling the sidelines engaging in furtive conversations, club coaches “not recruiting” other club players and a myriad of activities that are part of soccer in America.

But how does this relate to the recruiting process? Which club a player decides and is given the opportunity to play for will expedite or impede the recruiting process. In the mixed up, convoluted world of recruiting - which club a player engages with may provide clarity. We at the Galaxies want good players and good people to play for our club. However, our primary concern is that each player find the best fit for them. If this happens to be the Galaxies - fantastic! If not, we may be disappointed, but will be happy the player has found a club that will help them reach their goals. To this end, I have included a link with our description of what our intent is for each player - “Ohio Galaxies Experience” . Listed below are a few common mistakes I find that can be made every year in deciding which club/coach to play for the upcoming season.
I Didn’t Make The Top Team  
I wasn’t offered a spot on the Ohio Galaxies top team - so I’m going to play for another club because I want to be on a “top team” - problem is, their top team stinks - that’s why you made it. Just because it’s a top team doesn’t always mean it will help you meet your goals. College coaches know which teams are good and which aren’t. If you play like your legs have been put on backwards, just because you’re on a top team doesn’t mean you’re going to fool a college coach.
I Want To Play With My Friends
I completely understand. However, are you paying to play with your friends, or are you trying to get recruited? True, you don’t want to be surrounded by nitwits and people you don’t like, but what is your goal? You must be part of a club with a proven developmental methodology and history. And sometimes, when you think that “other players” are the problem - it may actually be you.
The Shiny Red Ball Syndrome
I had a few kids leave a team a number of years back because they were recruited by an ECNL team. I have no issues with players leaving for what they consider a better opportunity. Funny enough, as it turns out, one of those players committed to a school coached by a friend I’ve known for 15 years, another to a friend I competed against as a player in college and known for 25 years and the third player to a school in close proximity. In other words, they all ended up at schools they would have ended up at anyway had they stayed with their original club. Don’t chase the shiny red ball.
The Soccer Messiah
Look at coaches track record. Are they well respected, spoken highly of by past players and have a “big picture” mentality? Or do they scream constantly, try to be players friends on social media and move from club to club. There are coaches in the area who leave a trail of wreckage wherever they go. Around tryout time they tend to stand on the proverbial hill giving the sermon on the mount professing to know the keys to soccer success. It’s always easy to be the critic - but what have they actually done?
Let’s Go Clubbing
There is absolutely nothing wrong with switching clubs. There are many variables that impact this decision. However, there are players that move each year looking for the perfect club that will get them recruited to a level they can’t play. If 95% of the interest you are receiving is from D3 programs - then you’re probably a D3 level player. Don’t expect a club to get you recruited to a D1 program. Don’t expect a club coach to call Notre Dame on your behalf when you are more suited to play for Sisters of the Seeping Wound.
Recommended Reading
The Sports Gene by David Epstein
Answer of the Mont h: In the last newsletter I mentioned “red shirting”. Players have 5 years to complete 4 years of eligibility. If during that time they incur an injury that prevents them from playing one season, they can “red shirt”. Thus, they can use their 4th year of playing eligibility in their 5th year. There is a limitation as to how many games a player can participate in the season in which they incur the injury to receive a medical red shirt. Regardless simply because a player is eligible for a 5th year, does not mean the coach has to honor a 5th year. The coach may say “yes you have one more year, but we aren’t going to carry you on the roster for the 5th year nor scholarship you”. The player would then have the option of finishing their playing career at another institution. This is simply one example of many as it relates to red shirting.
  " Live as if you will die tomorrow, learn as if you will live forever” Gandhi
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.