Counting Stars Worldwide becomes Players First partner, assisting student-athletes and families with college guidance

Counting Stars Worldwide becomes Players First partner, assisting student-athletes and families with college guidance

Overview of Counting Stars |

Counting Stars Worldwide, an organization providing guidance to prospective collegiate student-athletes and their families, is now the newest Players First partner benefiting the Player Development and Parent Engagement & Education pillars.

Players First is a branded, holistic club soccer experience for parents and players which emphasizes the development of each individual to his or her full potential, and helps parents make better choices about where their children should play. Players First is anchored by five pillars:

  • Club Development
  • Coaching Development
  • Player Development
  • Parent Engagement & Education
  • Player Health & Safety

Counting Stars Worldwide is an education and talent evaluation company, using technology that analyzes student-athletes on multiple levels: skill, strength, thinking and fit for collegiate programs. These evaluations are completed in-person at events throughout the country. To comply with NCAA regulations, Counting Stars Worldwide staff members are former college coaches, current club and high school coaches and former professional and college players.

These events are limited to high school-aged boys and girls, and athletes must pre-register to participate. At the conclusion of the combine-like event, participants are given comprehensive reports that will help steer them towards finding the best fit at the collegiate level.

US Club Soccer members receive a $75 discount to these events, and those interested should email [email protected] to receive the applicable promo code. These events are held on weekends with boys evaluations on Saturday and girls evaluations on Sunday.

Counting Stars Worldwide was founded by long-time coach and former US Club Soccer Board of Directors Chairman Phil Wright. “US Club Soccer represents about 500,000 soccer players and their families throughout the United States,” Wright said. “Many of these players and their families dream of playing soccer in college and getting a college education. Counting Stars Worldwide looks forward to working with those players and their families to help make those dreams come true.”

The process of matching a graduating high school student-athlete with the best college is challenging for not only the player, but also his or her family. Counting Stars Worldwide’s attention to helping both parents and players was one of the appeals to the Players First platform.

“Counting Stars Worldwide aims to discover the whole player by evaluating the players’ technical, tactical, physical and psychological strengths and areas that need improvement, and their academic abilities and goals,” said Kevin Payne, US Club Soccer CEO. “The end result is to help the student-athlete and his or her parents find a ‘right fit’ school both athletically and academically. This is consistent with our Players First initiative.”

Counting Stars Worldwide is hosting five events in June and July in California to evaluate soccer, basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, water polo and dance athletes. The first two events are in Southern California: June 9-10 in Orange County and June 16-17 in the Los Angeles area.


Counting Stars Worldwide is a new program powered by the non-profit The Key Worldwide Foundation, founded in 2014. Counting Stars Worldwide uses a holistic approach to help both male and female high school student-athletes who want to be recruited to play sports in college. This includes testing for technical proficiency, physical performance testing and an athletic mindset assessment, as well as a full day of playing and an academic evaluation. The mission of Counting Stars Worldwide is to give families a strong, unbiased understanding of a student’s true talent level and academic ability, so they can focus their college search on the schools where they can either start or make a significant contribution as a freshman in order to be recruited, and that are good fits academically.


A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership. | Players First | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube