What are the chances of going pro in soccer? Slim. I think you knew that! But, I’ll explain the data and logic behind the simple answer.
It’s no surprise that many young athletes dream of becoming professional soccer players and playing at the highest levels of the sport. However, the path to becoming a pro in soccer is not an easy one. It requires immense dedication, hard work, talent, and a bit of luck.
In this article, we will explore the chances of going pro in soccer and answer some frequently asked questions about pursuing a career in the sport.
Odds of Becoming a Professional Soccer Player
Becoming a professional soccer player is extremely difficult. According to a study by the NCAA, only 1.4% of college men’s soccer players go on to play professional soccer. The odds are even lower for women’s soccer players, with only 0.9% of college players going pro.
What might be even more discouraging is that the numbers above are based on players who played in college, so the chances are even lower for players who didn’t attend college. Only about 6% of high school-aged players go on to play college soccer.
That’s the honest reality. It is very difficult to go pro in any sport!
Factors That Determine the Chances of Going Pro in Soccer
There are many factors that determine the chances of going pro in soccer. One of the most important factors is talent. Players who have exceptional skill and ability are more likely to be scouted by professional teams and offered contracts.
However, talent alone is not enough. Players also need to have a strong work ethic, dedication, and a love for the game.
Another important factor is opportunity. Players who have access to high-quality coaching, facilities, and competition are more likely to develop their skills and attract the attention of scouts.
Players who live in areas with a strong soccer culture and infrastructure, such as Europe or South America, may have more opportunities to play at a high level and be scouted by professional teams.
Luck also plays a role in determining the chances of going pro in soccer. Injuries, timing, and other external factors can all impact a player’s career trajectory. For example, a player who suffers a serious injury at a critical point in their development may miss out on important opportunities and struggle to recover their form.
What Can U.S. Soccer Players Do to Go Pro
Please don’t let me crush your dreams of going pro in soccer. I’m just relaying the truth and data. The reality is, odds aren’t in your favor but if you have the talent, there’s a possibility of going pro.
Aspiring soccer players can take several steps to improve their chances of going pro.
First, they should focus on developing their skills and abilities through dedicated practice and training. Players should also seek out opportunities to play at a high level, such as joining an MLS Academy or a reputable youth club.
On the boy’s side, becoming a homegrown player with an MLS team is probably your fastest road to a professional contract.
On the girl’s side, playing for a really good soccer club that plays in the Girls Academy or ECNL will be your best chance.
It’s also important for players to maintain a positive attitude, stay motivated, and persevere through setbacks and challenges.
In order to go pro in anything, you need to eat, live, and breathe your sport. The more hours you can put in, the better your chances. Of course, it doesn’t always translate into success but you can help your cause.
Consider Plan B.
In my opinion, I think players should also focus on their education and personal development. While many professional soccer players start their careers at a young age, it’s important to have a backup plan in case a career in soccer doesn’t work out.
Pursuing a college degree or specialty training can provide valuable skills and opportunities for players, both on and off the field.
Finally, players should seek out guidance and support from coaches, mentors, and other professionals in the soccer industry. These individuals can provide valuable advice, networking opportunities, and resources for players who are serious about pursuing a career in soccer.
In conclusion, the chances of going pro in soccer are very low, but not impossible.
Players who have exceptional talent, a strong work ethic, and access to opportunities are more likely to succeed in the sport.
However, luck and external factors can also play a role in determining a player’s career trajectory.
If you aspire to go pro, do not let anyone talk you out of it. You need to hold onto that dream (I’m starting to sound like Will Smith in Pursuit of Happiness) and work day and night to achieve it.
Luckily, you are in the driver’s seat of life so push forward!