Being recruited to play college soccer is not an easy process. A player must convince a coach to come watch him play, play well in front of them, and then have the merits to get into the college. Most coaches don’t have the time or money to come see all the players that contact them. But recently this process is being made easier thanks to Greg Morales.
Morales has come up with the concept of hosting College Showcase Tournaments where a local soccer club will host a youth soccer tournament (typically only ages 15-18 are invited) at the same time that they host a college soccer tournament. This way college coaches can travel less and see more players at one time.
Over the weekends of April 12th and 13th and 19th and 20th the Hempfield Soccer Club of Lancaster County will host a men’s college showcase and a women’s college showcase respectively.
“I was there checking out some of the local players,” Elizabethtown College head coach Arthur Roderick said. “I just love the atmosphere of these tournaments.”
It also gives college coaches the ability to play for the first time with their new team for next season.
“It’s tremendous for us,” University of Pennsylvania head soccer coach Rudy Fuller said, “to be able to see all these young, talented players in one area, while being able to coach my team, really saves on travel and makes life much easier.”
There is another side to this equation that coach Fuller did not even think about.
“I wanted to create an opportunity where the kids can be seen by the colleges and the colleges can be seen by the kids,” Morales said. “We’re almost reversing the process. My pitch to the kids was this is your chance to go see the college coach.”
And thus far it was a major success with both players and coaches.
“This was the first college soccer game I have ever seen,” Jamie Godel, an under-17 LANCO (Lancaster County) soccer player said after watching Penn State University beat Columbia University 2-0. “It was cool to see where I dream of playing one day.”
Godel only helped his chances this weekend of one day playing college soccer as he scored a goal against York United. LANCO went on to defeat York 2-0.
“I’m just hoping one of the scouts out here saw it,” Godel said.
With Penn State University, University of Pennsylvania, Bucknell University, Temple University and Towson University just some of the local schools in attendance at this event Godel can only hope he left an impression on some of the schools.
As for Morales, his tournaments are opening up doors for both players and coaches that were never there before.
“It’s just amazing that this has never been done before,” Morales said. “I just happened to be the guy who decided to pursue it.”