Players: Here's how to target the right colleges for upcoming events (via ScoutingZone)

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by our partner, ScoutingZone, in an ongoing series of best practices for college recruiting.

[May 21, 2024] – With event season right around the corner, it is imperative that you get in front of the right colleges for you and let them know where you will be playing next. Targeting the right colleges for you comes directly from the work you’ve put into your top college list.

Remember, your top college list is the foundation of your recruiting journey and the road map to your communication with college coaches. No matter where you are in your recruiting journey, you should be letting everyone on that list know where you will be playing this summer and why you are interested in their school. Let’s get in front of this now. Then, as you get closer to those events, you can remind them and also send them your tournament schedule.

Think of your top college list as a large funnel that you will refine over the years and eventually focus your top choices. We say start with 30 colleges, but this number is totally up to you. This list will be ever-changing, but you have to start somewhere.

If you want to save time from researching different colleges, you can utilize the ScoutingZone “College Center” to view academic, financial and athletic detailed information, as well as head coach emails.

ScoutingZone “Top Favorites” is the best place to house your top choices. Keep in mind you can constantly update and change this list. It’s important to include your top 10 in your ScoutingZone Player Profile because college coaches are notified of the players interested in their program ahead of tournaments. This is a huge advantage for players, as this feature will get you in front of college scouts at events.

The three most important questions to ask yourself are: 

  1. Can I academically qualify and succeed at this college?
  2. Can I athletically play at this level? 
  3. If I didn’t play soccer, would I still want to attend this college?

Other important factors to also consider when creating your list:

  • Evaluate the quality of life, scholastic intensity and then soccer aspect
  • Academics and college experience should be put before soccer 
  • Be realistic when evaluating your grades and academics
  • Be realistic when evaluating your level of soccer
  • Search the internet, visit campuses watch games online and in person 
  • Be open to all divisions
    • Div I, Div II, Div III, NAIA, Junior College
  • Are you interested in a small, private or large college?
  • Do you want other athletic events available such as a football or basketball team?
  • Geographic location / weather
  • What major are you interested in and does the school offer it?

Write your top list down and put it on your vision board. This is your working list, unique to you. Remember that it will continue to evolve, grow, shrink…. that’s all part of this process.

Your top list is the foundation of your college recruiting game plan and who you should be communicating with ahead of each your summer events and tournaments.


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.

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