Varsity Sports Question

Does anyone have information on how the service academies view playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program versus high school varsity soccer. I played varsity soccer my freshman year and was named All-Metro and Offensive MVP but then I transferred to a boarding school for soccer on a Development Academy team and to train and play year-round. I am hoping to play at West Point but I am not being recruited at this time. So, I will only have the varsity letter from freshman year. If I don't end up being recruited, will that be viewed negatively? Would it have been better to stay at my high school and been a 4-year starter and team captain? Thanks for any input.
 

MidwestDad

Member
http://www.goarmywestpoint.com/documents/2017/1/13/Men_s_Soccer.pdf

Not sure if you are going to be a Jr or Sr but if not too late next year's summer camp would be a great idea.

IMHO travel teams and club sports are far more common nowadays [especially soccer] and are not going to be a huge disadvantage for SA candidates.
BUT - they will still look for leadership roles vs participation and individual accomplishment alone.

And yes - reach out to the coach. DS was not recruited but contacted football coaching staff proactively; it never hurts to show your interest level to the SAs. As long as you are committed to the SA regardless - don't make this decision based on wanting to play a sport alone.
 

jl123

Member
Does anyone have information on how the service academies view playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program versus high school varsity soccer. I played varsity soccer my freshman year and was named All-Metro and Offensive MVP but then I transferred to a boarding school for soccer on a Development Academy team and to train and play year-round. I am hoping to play at West Point but I am not being recruited at this time. So, I will only have the varsity letter from freshman year. If I don't end up being recruited, will that be viewed negatively? Would it have been better to stay at my high school and been a 4-year starter and team captain? Thanks for any input.
Have dealt with this before with a different sport. From the information you provided, you are playing at a more competitive level than normally found in high school and that should be taken into consideration in your evaluation. A Catch 22 some in this situation encounter is that although they are playing at a higher level, they are not good enough to be Team Captain or recruited to play college. Had they stayed with their high school team they would have been Team Captain, earned multiple varsity letters, and perhaps additional awards.

Sports outside of high school do not fit neatly into the evaluation system. There is no clearly defined box to check that automatically corresponds to specific WCS points. However, your RC does have some discretion. It is important to contact your RC and explain your situation and also explain it wherever possible in the application.

If you end up being recruited by USMA, playing at a more competitive level will be to your advantage. If you are not recruited, while it would have been better to have the neatly checked boxes, you can make up much of the ground through clear and persuasive communication with your RC.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
Actually, soccer is very different. College soccer coaches don't care about high school soccer, they do care about club soccer. Even the club you play for can have a huge impact on getting recruited. Some of the higher level clubs are actually telling players they can't play in high school.
Again to the OP, I can not emphasize it enough. Contact the coaches at USMA. Even if you do not end up being recruited you want to be an "invited walk on". Also, I don't know the entire system, but there are different levels of athletes in the eyes of admissions. Yes, recruited athletes are at the top but coaches only get a certain number of them. Then there are walk-ons who may be given some points for that.
 

billyb

5-Year Member
If you play USDA, then you aren't allowed to play high school soccer. It is a year round program and the level of soccer is 100x what the level is in HS. Most of the kids that play DA in our club go to high end D1 schools (Duke, UVA, UNC, Stanford etc....) It should substitute nicely, but just make sure they understand it.
 
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UHBlackhawk

Member
If you play USDA, then you aren't allowed to play high school soccer. It is a year round program and the level of soccer is 100x what the level is in HS. Most of the kids that play DA in our club go to high end D1 schools (Duke, UVA, UNC, Stanford etc....) It should substitute nicely, but just make sure they understand it.
Unfortunately admissions often views things differently than coaches. Admissions is looking for leadership (thus the emphasis on bing a team captain), and often does not understand what's involved in the high level of club soccer. I saw what my DD went through to play high level soccer and tried continuously to talk her out of it. You see similar issues with Boys State which is given more weight than being an Eagle Scout.:rolleyes:
So again, my emphasis to the OP to contact the USMA coaching staff about being an invited walk on.
 
These responses are really helpful. My concern is more about making sure my WCS is as competitive as it can be as I want to attend SA more than I want to play soccer in college. UHBlackhawk and billyb are right because in USDA, I can't play high school because my commitment is year-round. If I had stayed at my 7A school, I would have likely had 4 varsity letters, team captain and probably some other awards but I would not have been challenged as much athletically. I'm a rising junior. Most of the guys on my team will go D1 and a few D2 or D3. DA is definitely more competitive than high school and club and college coaches know that but SA admissions doesn't. When I met with an admissions officer during a visit to WP this summer, he was not familiar with USDA and wondered why I wouldn't play high school. I did attend the ID camp at West Point this summer and even made the All Star game one evening. I hope to attend again next year. I'm just concerned whether the Admissions Office will understand USDA. I will contact the RC and the coaches which is great advice. Thanks!
 

billyb

5-Year Member
Hopeful- If you already went to the camp and the Army coach didn't contact your DA coach, then you probably won't be recruited for soccer. You still might be able to walk on. I have 2 kids that played soccer at large public universities and both were recruited, so I know the process pretty well. Mine are daughters and played ECNL, but same level as DA (as you know). True story about a kid we know very well. He didn't make the DA team, but played high school. He was the captain twice and an all-american. The crazy thing is that if the DA kids could play HS, he would probably have been 4th best on his HS team, never captain and probably wouldn't have even made all-conference. If you don't want to play soccer in college, then you could forgo DA this year and play HS and hopefully be captain, all-state etc.... If you do want to consider playing soccer in college then it is a tougher road convincing USMA that DA is better than HS. You have a tough decision to make.

Best of luck to you!
 
Thanks billyb. I went to camp in July and just got back to the DA program this week and we have a new DA coach. I plan to convince the USMA admissions that DA is more competitive but I also hope to have a good junior year and get recruited to WP. As you probably know, girls also get recruited earlier than boys with most girls committing sophomore year and most guys committing junior and some senior year. If I am not recruited, I am willing to walk on and earn a spot at WP. I would rather play at the highest level of my sport than just pad my resume. Thanks.
 

UHBlackhawk

Member
If you wish to walk on please contact the coaching staff. If you don't hear from them, contact them again. Have your DA coach reach out to them if possible. There is "walking on" and there is "walking on". You want them to know who you are before you arrive even if you are not a recruited athlete.
As you pointed out you are "late" in the female soccer recruiting process. If possible see if they can watch you play this winter or next spring.
 
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