There’s little doubt that anyone who takes an interest in soccer dreamed of playing on the biggest stage as a professional soccer player.
Playing outside on the lawn or at the local field, we have all imagined what doing it at a professional level would be like – the thrill of scoring wonderful goals, making interesting tackles, or probably making some outstanding saves while the entire stadium fans erupt in praise and awe of our performance.
Surely, you must have imagined the adrenaline rush coursing through your veins as you walk out into the stadium to represent your country, adorning a representation of its flag, emblem, and colors.
The moments you get to have your name on the back of your favorite club’s jerseys with wild admiration from the excited crowd screaming your name. If only you could somehow go pro and get your hands on a professional soccer contract.
Professional soccer contracts determine which team has control of a professional soccer player. It includes items such as the player’s wages, bonuses, and clauses designed to protect both the player’s and the team’s overall interests.
Aside from just the joy of being domiciled under a soccer team, a contract with a club is essential for any soccer player because it facilitates financial stability for a set number of years.
This is because no soccer club can or will fire you as long as you have not violated the contractual agreements signed by both you and the club.
In general, a professional soccer contract indicates that a soccer player has gone pro. This is the dream of many amateur players, particularly those who have already demonstrated talent. However, obtaining a professional contract requires more than just talent, enthusiasm, or just sheer luck alone.
You will need connections, support, and knowledge to take advantage of any available opportunities.
While luck may have a little role to play sometimes, as many talented soccer players are yet to land a professional contract, you are more likely to get a contract if you are knowledgeable about the necessary information regarding soccer contracting and have an understanding of its application.
This article examines and explains in detail the various methods available for obtaining a professional soccer contract as a soccer player.
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- How to get a professional soccer contract?
- Participate in college soccer
- Enroll in a high-performance soccer academy
- Sign up to be a Generation Adidas player
- Get nominated for the MLS Superdraft
- Enroll in a youth team
How to get a professional soccer contract?
Unlike most other aspects of the game, there is no one-size-fits-all path to a professional soccer contract. If there was, every soccer player would have followed it, and it would not have been as special, unique, and diverse as it is today.
We may not have been fortunate enough to have some of the fantastic talents we have today in the sport because their individually unique circumstances would not have allowed them to enter professional soccer through a traditional route.
Soccer players typically have a lot of options for obtaining a contract with a soccer team. They seek routes that are convenient for them, with those already in the top leagues having fewer options.
Fortunately, with hard work and some perseverance, your chances of becoming a professional and reaching the top stage are increased.
In the United States, for example, playing for a high-performance soccer academy where you have coaches and personalities with the experience and connections needed to drive you towards your first professional deal is a good way to get a professional soccer contract.
To be considered for a contract with a professional soccer team after being admitted to a soccer academy, you must have played at an advanced level worthy of such an opportunity.
Playing for local soccer teams to be scouted by professional teams necessitates that you improve your game. Below, we examine the methods used by players to obtain a professional soccer contract.
Participate in college soccer
Playing college soccer and hoping to be noticed is another way to get a professional soccer contract. It is a lever that allows young soccer players to be discovered by talent scouts.
Normally, you would be picked up by lower division teams, but with consistently excellent performance, you can certainly advance your career from there.
The following are the steps to take
Step 1: Grow as a player and learn more about the game
While in college, focus on not only playing soccer but also on improving every aspect of your game. Make sure you train with a coach so that he understands your strengths and weaknesses.
Ensure that the comments on your abilities are honest so that you aren’t misled and thought to be good when in the true sense of things, you aren’t.
Step 2: Be scouted by a soccer team
You are more likely to be noticed by a scouting agent who can introduce you to a soccer team or academy if you consistently perform well. In either case, you will be required to sign a professional contract, which will mark the beginning of your soccer career.
Enroll in a high-performance soccer academy
High-performance soccer academies serve as a conduit for players to continue their education while participating in soccer training. Typically observed in the United States, academies increase a player’s chances of being signed to a professional soccer team because scouts are more regular visitors to academies than at other soccer venues.
High-performance academies are boarding schools that prioritize soccer instruction and support. Given the exposure provided by the academy, players are better off than if they had to play on regular school teams.
These high-performance soccer academies assess students’ abilities intending to honestly educate them on how to improve themselves.
Furthermore, because they are not affiliated with any soccer team and thus are not competing with other soccer teams, talented players are considered not only for their financial benefits but also for their individual and natural abilities that can be improved and projected.
A major disadvantage of professional soccer academies is that they can be quite expensive for a young soccer player with no strong financial backing.
However, it’s hard to deny that it has numerous opportunities for obtaining a professional contract. The steps to joining such an academy and obtaining a professional soccer contract from a scouting soccer team are as follows.
Step 1: Learn about the sport and soccer academies
It is always preferable to have prior knowledge of how the semi-professional and professional soccer scenes operate. If possible, obtain that information from the internet or books.
It is also critical that you research soccer academies to focus your studies on the ones that are advantageous to you.
Step 2: Advance your career by enrolling in a soccer academy
There are three ways to get into high-performance soccer academies: summer camps, winter camps, and daily trials.
Keep track of when these events are taking place and try to qualify for them on time. In addition to day trails, summer and winter camps, some academies offer full academy trial programs.
These trials, which could last a week or two, are held at the academies; the players get to train alongside the academy’s already enrolled students. Players also have the opportunity to learn more and develop their skills while at the academy, as coaches train them like academy players.
Step 3: Sharpen your skills to capture the attention of scouts
You will be inducted into the academy if you demonstrate sufficient skill to qualify for it. After being admitted, you should not give up on your development efforts to be signed by a professional soccer team.
Scouts are always on the lookout for budding talents. Continue to improve your overall soccer skills and abilities, and you will get noticed. It’s only a matter of time before a professional soccer contract will be right in front of you for signing.
Sign up to be a Generation Adidas player
Signing as a Generation Adidas player is one way to get signed as a professional soccer player in the United States. Generation Adidas is a collaboration between Major League Soccer, MLS, and US Soccer.
Contracts are given to students in their first or second year of college who have demonstrated talent and appear to be ready to make an obvious effect in the league. Very talented soccer players are greatly promoted to league soccer as a result of this, and they are also paid.
The goal of Generation Adidas is to ensure that players do not have to return to college later to finish their education with money earned while playing professionally.
To become a Generation Adidas player, most players go through the following steps.
Step 1: Learn about the game
Understanding the game is the first step toward playing professional soccer – this cannot be overemphasized! Following that, you work on improving your weaknesses.
It’s a good thing to have a coach to help you improve your abilities at that young age. If you are a striker, you should focus more on precision, while midfielders should work on stamina and completing tactful tackles.
Step 2: Enroll for a USSDA
You should join the United States Soccer Development Academy if you want to be a Generation Adidas player.
Although it is possible to be signed as a Generation Adidas player without attending a development academy, the chances of that happening is drastically reduced. Players who sign up for it either play in those academies or have previously played there.
These academies number over 200 and are located throughout the country. However, when selecting one, make sure that it meets your needs.
Some, for example, have a residential program that allows players to practice soccer full-time. The Grande Sports Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona, has that program, and they partnered with FC Barcelona to form the High-Performance Soccer Barca Academy.
Step 3: Obtain a contract
The final step is to be offered a contract with Generation Adidas. This is after you have demonstrated your abilities at the development academy where you were enrolled.
The contract is awarded to high-performing freshmen and sophomores, so make sure you’re extremely talented if you want to be considered.
Get nominated for the MLS Superdraft
Superdraft is an outsourcing system in the United States that allows teams to acquire new players.
Unlike scouting, which typically takes time, because players are monitored for a long period to determine their abilities, players drafted by the league are chosen after having played in front of scouts.
This system ensures that college players with proven abilities have a better chance of playing for a professional soccer team.
Typically, MLS teams can nominate a player to the Superdraft, but this does not guarantee that the player will be signed by that team.
Players selected in the Superdraft could be signed by any soccer team. Soccer teams nominate players for the draft who were unable to sign with Generation Adidas.
Although the Superdraft increases the likelihood of being signed by a soccer team, strict rules are governing the selection of players by teams, as well as rules governing the players selected for the draft.
The steps to obtaining a professional soccer contract through the Superdraft are as follows.
Step 1: Learn the rules
To have a chance of landing a professional soccer contract through the Superdraft, you must understand how it works in addition to learning the rules of the game. Make certain that you have all of the necessary qualifications and regulations in place.
Step 2: Participate in college soccer
If you want to be drafted by a professional soccer team, you must first play college soccer. It is the most common path taken by the majority of soccer players in the United States.
The country’s new skilled players are spread across several colleges, and the likelihood of being scouted to play in the Superdraft is high. The goal of the Superdraft is to find new talents from these colleges and sign them to a professional soccer contract.
Step 3: Improve your skills
If you don’t demonstrate good enough soccer skills, you might not be drafted in the Superdraft – the worst-case scenario is that you will not be selected.
Without natural abilities, you will have a difficult time making it to the draft. You’ll also need to be that fast, athletic, and most importantly, extremely talented soccer player in college that teams are looking to add to their roster.
Step 4: Get drafted
If you have proven to be the talent required by professional teams, you will most likely be drafted by a team in the Superdraft.
Make every effort to be at your best during the draft to showcase your abilities. However, try to be as natural as possible to avoid being perceived as a show-off.
Step 5: Sign with a professional soccer team
A soccer team will select you for a professional soccer contract if you perform exceptionally well. The key to increasing your chances is to be at your best while showcasing your abilities to the highest possible standard.
Given the number of people vying for the same opportunity, you may also need a streak of good luck.
Enroll in a youth team
Young players can achieve their dream of signing a professional soccer contract by training with an official youth team of soccer clubs, as is common practice in Europe.
This option differs from having to be a member of a soccer academy, in that these official youth teams, are maintained by professional soccer clubs. They provide a higher chance of signing a professional soccer contract because distinguished players can easily be drafted to the club’s senior team.
Official youth teams are structured in such a way that young players do not miss out on their education while playing soccer. Agreements are made with reputable schools to provide classes for these players, who may be living in the team’s facilities or separate housing.
These players, who could be as young as 9, begin learning soccer at a young age and are mentored by dedicated coaches until they are ready to sign a professional contract at the age of 16.
The benefit of youth teams is that they provide students with the competition they need to hone their skills in preparation for careers as professionals. It also gives them a good chance of being signed to the senior team if they are exceptionally talented.
However, only a few of these players are signed when they reach the required age of 16, and 5 out of every 6 young players from youth teams are released before they reach the age of 21.
If you are certain that you are skilled in soccer and want to pursue this route to obtaining a professional soccer contract, you should take the following steps.
Step 1: Demonstrate your desire to play professional soccer
Your parents or guardians must be aware of your desire to play professional soccer because they will be the ones to make it happen. Essentially, they are the ones who will keep your wildest dreams in check and make decisions that will benefit you in the long run.
As a result, if you truly want to influence those decisions, you must demonstrate your enthusiasm for soccer at such a young age.
Step 2: Improve your soccer skills to be scouted
Scouts look for a variety of characteristics in a soccer player. They will not want to waste time with those who lack interesting natural qualities as young players.
Step 3: Transfer to a youth team
If your guardians are aware of your situation, you will be able to find lodging near the youth team facility if they do not provide lodging for youth players. Typically, some parents relocate with their children to an area near a youth team.
Step 4: Improve on your skills as you age
You would naturally want to be promoted to the senior level while playing for an official youth team. As a result, you must improve your soccer skills to demonstrate your worth when given the opportunity.
If you are good, you will be chosen to play for a senior category under the same team structure, such as the U16’s. You will be required to sign a contract when you reach the age of 16.
Signing a contract as a professional soccer player is the pinnacle of the sport. Whether you want to play professional soccer in the United States or Europe, you should look into all of your options.
Attending an advanced professional academy while continuing your education, for example, can be a good option. However, joining a youth soccer team at a young age can be the best way to get signed for a professional soccer contract.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!