Excellent Advice From Empire United U18 Players Regarding Club, College and Recruiting
Several Empire United-Syracuse Players share their thoughts and advice for club members who wish to play soccer in college.
Adam Lauko- 2012 Grad
U18 Empire Academy Team:
Committed to University of Wisconsin at Madison- Division 1 in the Big Ten Conference, one of the top conferences in men’s soccer. (Wisconsin tied for 1st in the league 2011 season).
"I knew I wanted to play Division 1 soccer in the middle of my Junior year. It had always been a dream to play D1 and I always worked my hardest to reach that goal. However, it wasn’t until my Junior year when I started to get the emails from the D1 coaches that I realized this was the kind of commitment and level of play I wanted to experience for the next 4 years.
I started the process of recruiting in the spring of my sophomore year. I sat down and emailed about 15 different schools I thought I might be interested in. I sent a quick profile of my accomplishments and some upcoming tournaments that I’d be attending. I think I got 2 emails back. It’s tough not to get discouraged at that point but you have to keep trying and don’t be offended if you don’t get an email back, just keep sending stuff (don’t go overboard though). The next biggest step I took was the summer camps. I would suggest starting your freshman year to attend as many camps as possible, this is the best way to be noticed by a coach, basically a tryout.
Possibly the most important events that I participated in were the 2010 Winter Showcase in Phoenix, Arizona and the 2011 Summer Showcase in Dallas, Texas. The exposure at these events was incredible. Playing games where the whole field is surrounded by college coaches is an incredible experience. I probably got more emails after these showcases than any other event. However, every time you step on the field someone is watching so I think it’s important to always play as well as you can.
Hard work can take you as far as you want to go. Whatever you’re doing now, ask yourself if you can do more?... the answer is always yes. As far as getting recruited, I suggest doing all you can to get your name out to coaches through emails or letters. Finally if you really want to take the next step, I suggest joining the Empire Academy. Joining the Academy was the best decision I made as far a college recruiting goes. Club soccer has not only allowed me to play at a level of soccer that prepares you for the college game but it also teaches life skills like time management. This combination truly prepares you for the next level."
Kim Murphy- 2012 Grad
U18 Empire Academy Team:
Committed to Mercer University- Division 1 Program in the Atlantic Sun Conference-Macon, Georgia
"I’ve wanted to play D1 soccer for a while, probably a few years, but it became a serious goal once I started looking at colleges. I worked hard to be able to play at that high level and my coaches have pushed me to be able to perform at this level.
The US Youth Soccer National League (http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/National_League/ )was a big part of me getting recruited. If our club team had not played last year in the CASL tournament with the NL, the coaches at Mercer University would not have seen me play. This league showcased me as a player to many coaches and it really started the recruiting process for me.
I started looking at colleges and sending emails to coaches in 10th grade, but once my junior year started, I became more serious about getting myself recruited. The recruiting process from Mercer started for me after they saw me play at our National League games in North Carolina last fall. I was recruited from December of my junior year until I verbally committed in late July prior to my senior year.
The advice I would give to younger players in the club is to keep working hard. It takes a lot of determination to play at a level where you can be a strong player that will "show" on the field to coaches. The thing that helps me the most is wanting to go to practice every day and giving it my all. When you don’t practice, you have to put the work in on your own.
Empire club soccer has helped me to prepare for college soccer by pushing me to be a better player, and by playing with the best players in the area, and being coached by great coaches. I know that it has made me a better player, and I will be a stronger player when I get to college."
Jimmy Fazio- 2012 Grad
U18 Empire Syracuse Team:
Committed to Binghamton University- Division 1 Program in the America East Conference
"My coaches at EUSA were helpful in recommending what level (soccer division) I should shoot for and would be able to be successful at.
I was contacted by the most college coaches after the showcase tournaments we attended during my U17 season.
Binghamton saw me play for the first time at U17 State Cup. Then I got invited and attended a prospect camp that Coach Marco was running.
I got a lot of calls & emails after this season’s (U18) Walkill tournament, but I was already committed. The advice I would give to younger players in the club who want to play soccer in college is; it’s important to attend as many practices as possible because that’s where you improve the most. It’s important to contact colleges of interest early in high school and stay in touch with them throughout. It’s important to attend as many of the showcase tournaments as possible in the earlier high school years. Contact the coaches of the school that interest you before and after the event. Finally, the player should do the communicating, not his/her parents."
Kindrah Kohne- 2011 Grad
U18 Empire Academy Team:
Plays at: Penn State University-D1 Soccer in the Big 10 Conference
"Thus far, playing at Penn State has been such an amazing experience. The environment is nothing like I’ve been in, but I know that the preparation I was given by playing with Empire United Soccer Academy made it easier to adapt. Playing with Empire USA (Syracuse) Gave me the opportunity to play in high level games all year round. My team played in the National League and I played at a higher level the year leading into college soccer. Since I played at a such a high level going into my freshman year, it made it so adapting didn’t take as long as one would have thought. Also, coming from Empire USA (Syracuse) I was taught early the way that you deal with communicating with your coach. Playing for this club taught me to mature; if I had a problem or needed to talk with my coach I would speak with him, not my parents. In college, you speak for yourself. This is a critical component to being a part of a college team. Communication with your coaches is key. And so, by being used to communicating with my club coach, it has made it much easier to be comfortable when talking with my coaches. Also, with practicing about three times a week and working on technical, tactical, physical and mental components of the game, I believe that I was well prepared to play at a Divison 1 school."
Penn. State University (2016)