Best Soccer Colleges: Top 10 Universities for Soccer Players in the US

Vince Massara

Looking to take your soccer skills to the next level? Discover the top 10 soccer colleges in the US, where dreams become reality.

From powerhouse programs to hidden gems, this article unveils the euphoric destinations for budding soccer stars.

Get ready to kick-start your future, as we reveal the institutions that will shape your game and catapult you towards success.

Lace up your boots and prepare for the journey of a lifetime.

Key Takeaways

  • Academic excellence is an important factor to consider when choosing a soccer college.
  • Look for colleges with state-of-the-art training facilities and experienced coaching staff.
  • Scholarships and financial aid options are crucial for pursuing athletic and academic goals.
  • Consider the vibrant student life and career opportunities offered by different soccer colleges.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Soccer College

When choosing a soccer college, there are several factors you should consider.

Firstly, you’ll want to think about the academic excellence of the university and the range of majors they offer.

Additionally, you’ll want to evaluate the athletic performance of the soccer program, including the level of competition and the team’s ranking and titles.

Academic Excellence

Considering the importance of academic excellence, you should prioritize finding a soccer college that offers a rigorous academic program alongside athletic opportunities. When it comes to top soccer colleges that meet these criteria, several universities stand out.

Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C., is known for its strong soccer program and prestigious academic reputation. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Virginia are also renowned for their balance between athletics and academics.

Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina, Indiana University, and Stanford University are other notable institutions that excel in both areas. Additionally, Clemson University and the University of Washington offer competitive soccer programs and a commitment to academic success.

When choosing a soccer college, it’s crucial to consider the balance between athletic opportunities and a rigorous academic program, ensuring a well-rounded and successful college experience.

Athletic Performance

To maximize your athletic performance, it’s essential to choose a soccer college that prioritizes training facilities and experienced coaching staff. When considering college soccer programs, keep in mind the following factors:

  • Training Facilities: Look for colleges with state-of-the-art facilities that provide ample opportunities for practice and conditioning. Access to quality equipment and fields can significantly enhance your development as a player.
  • Experienced Coaching Staff: A knowledgeable and skilled coach can make a world of difference in your soccer journey. Seek out colleges with coaches who’ve a proven track record of success and a commitment to developing their players.
  • Rankings and NCAA Success: Consider the rankings and NCAA success of the soccer colleges you’re interested in. Schools with strong soccer programs often attract top talent and provide a competitive environment for student-athletes.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

If you’re looking to minimize your college expenses, scholarships and financial aid are two crucial factors to consider when choosing a soccer college. Many soccer colleges offer scholarships and financial aid options to help students pursue their athletic and academic goals. These programs can significantly reduce the financial burden of attending college while playing soccer at a high level.

When researching soccer colleges, it’s important to look for those with strong soccer programs and a history of offering scholarships and financial aid. Some of the top programs in the nation, known for their excellence in both men’s and women’s soccer, also provide generous scholarships and financial aid packages. These colleges have a track record of success and have even won national championships, making them attractive options for student-athletes seeking the best college soccer experience while minimizing their expenses.

Student Life

When choosing a soccer college, don’t forget to consider the vibrant student life on campus, including clubs, organizations, and events that will enrich your college experience.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), you’ll find a lively and engaging student community that extends beyond the soccer field. UNC is known for its top-ranked soccer program, having won numerous NCAA championships and producing many successful alumni in collegiate and professional soccer.

But it’s not just about the game. UNC offers a rich student life with a wide range of clubs and organizations dedicated to soccer enthusiasts. Whether you want to join the UNC soccer club, cheer on the Tar Heels at the College Cup, or participate in the NCAA tournament, the soccer community at UNC is sure to enhance your college journey.

So, make sure to consider the vibrant student life at UNC when choosing your soccer college.

  • Join the UNC soccer club
  • Cheer on the Tar Heels at the College Cup
  • Participate in the NCAA tournament

Career Opportunities

While considering your options for a soccer college, it’s important to think about the career opportunities that each institution can offer.

Selecting a college based on career prospects is a strategic decision that can shape your future success. When choosing a college, it’s essential to consider factors such as the institution’s academic programs, internship opportunities, career services, alumni network, and the regional job market. Researching the college’s track record in placing graduates in relevant careers, its partnerships with industry leaders, and the availability of resources for career development can significantly impact one’s ability to achieve their professional goals.

These jobs might be in soccer, or they might not. It really doesn’t matter. Ultimately, the right college can provide the education and support needed to launch a fulfilling and prosperous career path.

Top 10 Soccer Colleges in the US

Looking to pursue your soccer dreams while getting a quality education? Check out these top 10 soccer colleges in the US that will give you the opportunity to showcase your skills on the field while also preparing you for a successful future.

From the University of Notre Dame in Indiana to UCLA in California, Princeton University in New Jersey to Duke University in North Carolina, and the University of Virginia in Virginia, these schools have a strong reputation for their soccer programs and academic excellence.

10. University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)

You should consider attending the University of Notre Dame in Indiana if you want to be part of one of the top 10 soccer colleges in the US. The University of Notre Dame’s soccer program has a strong ranking and is known as one of the best colleges for soccer. Here are three reasons why you should consider Notre Dame:

  • Academic and Athletic Excellence: Notre Dame isn’t only known for its successful soccer program, but also for its prestigious academic reputation. You can expect to receive a top-notch education while playing at a high level of soccer.
  • Division I Men’s Soccer: Notre Dame competes in Division I men’s soccer, which means you’ll have the opportunity to face top-level competition and showcase your skills on a national stage.
  • Men’s Soccer Scholarships: The University of Notre Dame offers scholarships for men’s soccer players, providing financial support to help you pursue your athletic and academic goals.

9. University of California (UCLA, Los Angeles, California)

If you want to be part of one of the top 10 soccer colleges in the US, consider the University of California (UCLA, Los Angeles, California) which offers a highly competitive soccer program. UCLA is among the top five Division I schools and is known for having one of the best men’s soccer programs in the country. Their NCAA men’s soccer team consistently competes at a high level, thanks to their strength of schedule and talented players.

The University of California, Los Angeles, provides a supportive environment for student-athletes, with state-of-the-art facilities and experienced coaching staff. If you’re looking for a university that combines academic excellence with a strong soccer program, UCLA is an excellent choice.

Now, let’s move on to discuss another top soccer college, Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey).

8. Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)

Princeton University’s men’s soccer program is highly regarded among the top 10 soccer colleges in the US. With a rich history and a strong coaching staff, the program has consistently produced talented players. Their success can be attributed to several factors:

  • Strong competition: The program regularly competes against top-ranked teams such as the University of Maryland, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Louisville.
  • Impressive achievements: Princeton has had multiple College Cup victories, showcasing their ability to perform at the highest level.
  • Proven talent development: Many former players have gone on to play professionally, with some even joining renowned teams like the New York Red Bulls.

These rankings are based on the program’s track record, the caliber of competition they face, and the success of their players.

Princeton University’s men’s soccer program is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in Division I programs, challenging even powerhouses like the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Cavaliers from the University of Virginia.

7. Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)

Duke University in Durham, North Carolina is undeniably one of the top soccer colleges in the US, with a strong program and impressive achievements.

Located in the heart of North Carolina, Duke University’s soccer program has gained recognition for its excellence and success. The college park is home to the Duke Blue Devils, who’ve consistently showcased their talent and competitiveness on the field.

Their rivalry with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels is a highly anticipated matchup in the world of college soccer.

Duke University is known for its strong soccer programs, attracting talented athletes from across the country. With a focus on developing skills, teamwork, and a winning mentality, Duke University continues to establish itself as one of the leading men’s college soccer programs in the nation.

6. University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia)

You should check out the University of Virginia’s soccer program in Charlottesville, Virginia if you’re looking for a top 10 soccer college in the US. The University of Virginia has one of the best soccer programs in the country, with exceptional coaching and a history of producing strong soccer players.

They’ve won numerous national championships and have even had former US national team players come through their program. The campus is located in Charlottesville, a vibrant city with a rich soccer culture.

Choosing the right college for collegiate soccer is important, and the University of Virginia offers a fantastic opportunity for aspiring soccer players. Don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of their winning tradition.

5. Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana)

If you’re considering top soccer colleges in the US, Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana is definitely worth exploring. Known for its strong soccer program, Indiana University has a rich history and impressive achievements in the sport.

The team consistently ranks high in the NCSA Power Rankings, which is a testament to their success and competitiveness. With seven NCAA championships under their belt, including a second national championship, Indiana University is a powerhouse in collegiate soccer. They’ve made nine championship appearances and have multiple NCAA championships to their name.

The program’s dedication to excellence and their ability to win on the national stage make them one of the top soccer colleges in the US. If you have dreams of playing collegiate soccer and winning a national championship, Indiana University should be at the top of your list.

4. St. Louis University (St. Louis, Missouri)

To learn more about St. Louis University’s men’s soccer program, visit their website or contact the college directly. St. Louis University, located in St. Louis, Missouri, is known for its successful soccer program. Here are some key points about the program:

  • St. Louis University is one of the top soccer colleges in the US.
  • The team has a rich history of success, with multiple championships and national championship appearances.
  • The program has consistently been a top contender in the NCAA, reaching the semifinals and competing against some of the best teams in the country.

The coaching staff, led by Head Coach Kevin Kalish, is dedicated to developing talented players and competing at the highest level. With a strong focus on both academics and athletics, St. Louis University offers a great opportunity for student-athletes looking to excel in soccer.

Keep an eye on this program as they continue to make their mark in college soccer.

3. University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, California)

Check out the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, California, as it offers athletic scholarships for men’s soccer and has a coaching staff dedicated to developing talented players. The university is known for its successful soccer program and is considered one of the top 10 soccer colleges in the US.

With multiple NCAA national championships under their belt, the UCSD Tritons have a rich history of success in collegiate soccer. Led by head coach Jorge Salcedo, the team has consistently performed at a high level and has even reached the pinnacle of college soccer, winning a second national championship.

The university’s beautiful campus in La Jolla provides an ideal environment for student-athletes to excel both academically and athletically. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this prestigious program at the University of California, San Diego.

2. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

You should definitely consider applying to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts if you’re interested in attending one of the top 10 soccer colleges in the US. Here are some reasons why:

  • Harvard University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world by U.S. News & World Report.
  • The men’s soccer team at Harvard has a strong track record of success. They’ve won seven NCAA championships and have made nine championship appearances.
  • From 1983 to 1985, the team won three consecutive national championships, a truly impressive feat.
  • In recent years, the team has been a strong contender, consistently making it to the NCAA tournament.

1. University North Carolina (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Have you heard about the success of the University of North Carolina’s men’s soccer program, and do you know if they offer athletic scholarships?

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is known for its impressive men’s soccer program and offers athletic scholarships to talented student athletes. If you’re interested in pursuing soccer at the collegiate level, it’s worth considering UNC Chapel Hill as a potential option.

However, if you’re looking for other notable soccer colleges, there are several top-tier institutions to explore. Schools like Indiana University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Virginia, and University of Maryland all have highly respected men’s soccer programs and offer athletic scholarships as well.

These colleges provide opportunities for student athletes to excel both academically and athletically, creating a well-rounded college experience.

Other Notable Soccer Colleges

Looking for more top-notch soccer colleges? Well, you’re in luck!

Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C., is known for its strong soccer program.

Stanford University in California is another notable choice, with a history of producing talented players.

And don’t forget about the University of Maryland, University of Washington, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – all recognized for their soccer programs as well.

Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)

Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) offers a diverse and competitive soccer program that attracts talented athletes from all over the country. As a prospective student-athlete, you’ll have the opportunity to be a part of a program that values excellence and teamwork.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Georgetown University’s soccer program has a strong reputation for producing skilled players and achieving success on the field.
  • The university’s urban campus in Washington, D.C. provides a unique and vibrant backdrop for your college experience.
  • With a student-faculty ratio of 11:1, you can expect personalized attention and support from your professors.

Now, let’s shift our focus to Stanford University (Stanford, California), another top-notch institution known for its exceptional soccer program.

Stanford University (Stanford, California)

You can explore the exceptional soccer program at Stanford University (Stanford, California) and see why it’s considered one of the top-notch institutions for the sport.

Stanford University offers athletic scholarships for men’s soccer, so if you’re a talented player looking to further your soccer career, this could be a great opportunity for you.

The university has a diverse student population, with a balanced gender ratio and a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, you can expect personalized attention and support from your professors.

The campus is located on a spacious 8,180-acre site near Palo Alto, offering easy access to San Jose and San Francisco. Additionally, the university provides transportation services to local areas and is well-connected to major airports.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of Stanford’s renowned soccer program and receive a quality education at the same time.

University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)

If you’re considering playing soccer at the University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland), you’ll have the opportunity to join a highly esteemed program with a strong reputation.

Here are a few reasons why the University of Maryland’s Men’s Soccer program stands out:

  • Coaches: The program is led by Head Coach Sasho Cirovski, along with Assistant Coaches Jake Pace and Miles Vaughn. These experienced coaches are dedicated to helping you reach your full potential on and off the field.
  • Conference: The University of Maryland competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which is known for its high level of competition and talented teams.
  • Campus Life: With a student faculty ratio of 18:1, you’ll have the chance to receive individual attention and support. Plus, the campus offers various transportation options, making it easy to get around and explore the surrounding areas.

Joining the University of Maryland’s Men’s Soccer program can provide you with a top-notch athletic experience and a vibrant campus life.

University of Washington (Seattle, Washington)

The University of Washington in Seattle, Washington is known for its strong soccer program and offers a vibrant college experience. If you’re interested in playing soccer at the college level, the University of Washington might be a great choice for you.

The university has a 703-acre suburban campus in Seattle, which provides a beautiful and dynamic environment for both academics and athletics. The campus is easily accessible through air, bus, and train transportation, making it convenient for athletes to travel to and from games and practices.

Additionally, the university has a diverse student population, with students of various ethnic backgrounds, including African American and Asian American students. This diversity adds to the richness of the college experience and provides opportunities for cultural exchange.

If you’re considering the University of Washington for your soccer career, be sure to reach out to the university’s Men’s Soccer program for more information on scholarships and recruitment opportunities.

Now, let’s take a look at another top-tier institution for soccer and academics: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT (Cambridge, Massachesetts)

MIT, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is renowned for its cutting-edge research and rigorous academic programs. As a student at MIT, you’ll have access to a world-class education and opportunities to explore your interests.

Here are three reasons why MIT stands out:

  • Innovation: MIT is at the forefront of technological advancements and scientific discoveries. You’ll be surrounded by brilliant minds and have the chance to collaborate on groundbreaking projects.
  • Diversity: With a diverse student body and faculty, MIT offers a multicultural environment that fosters creativity and collaboration. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from people with different perspectives and backgrounds.
  • Athletics: MIT offers a range of athletic programs, including soccer. Playing soccer at MIT allows you to balance your academic pursuits with your passion for sports and be part of a competitive team.

Now, let’s dive into the topic of playing division 2, 3, and NAIA soccer and explore the opportunities available to student-athletes.

Playing Division 2, 3 and NAIA Soccer

People often think it’s Div 1 or nothing. But there’s very very good players in Division 2 and 3. Playing Division 2, 3, and NAIA soccer offers a unique experience for athletes like you. These divisions provide opportunities to compete at a high level while still balancing academics and other commitments.

With a strong focus on teamwork and skill development, playing in these divisions can help you grow both on and off the field.

Division 2 College Soccer

You’ll definitely excel in Division 2 College Soccer with your skills and dedication. As a D2 athlete, you’ll have the opportunity to be part of the top soccer colleges in the US.

Here are some reasons why D2 college soccer is worth considering:

  • Balanced life: D2 offers a balance between academics and sports, allowing you to excel both on the field and in the classroom.
  • Starting opportunities: With a better chance of starting throughout all four years, you’ll have more playing time and the chance to showcase your skills.
  • Lifelong connections: Being a D2 athlete means forming strong bonds with your teammates and coaches, creating lifelong friendships and support networks.

D2 college soccer may come with its challenges, but the overall experience and opportunities make it a decision you won’t regret. So go ahead and chase your dreams on the soccer field while getting a quality education.

Division 3 College Soccer

If you’re considering Division 3 college soccer, you’ll have the opportunity to compete against highly skilled athletes from across the country. Don’t let the misconception that Division 3 athletes aren’t good enough deter you.

In reality, Division III teams are filled with athletes who were among the best in their high schools or even in their entire states. When you watch a Division III sporting event, you’re essentially watching All-District or All-State athletes from all over the nation.

Another benefit of playing Division III soccer is the chance to play early and build your stats. Unlike Division I or II, where competition for playing time can be fierce, talented Division III athletes often see the field and mature early in their careers.

NAIA College Soccer

When considering NAIA college soccer, you can expect to compete against talented athletes while enjoying the benefits of a close-knit community and quality education.

NAIA schools offer a more tailored education experience, with smaller class sizes and personalized attention from professors and coaches. In addition, these schools have strong athletic programs that can compete with larger divisions, providing opportunities for leadership and involvement in various activities.

The close-knit community fosters strong relationships and creates a welcoming and inclusive environment for students from diverse backgrounds. With access to quality athletic programs and facilities, NAIA colleges also offer great scholarship opportunities, making them affordable and competitive.

Overall, attending a small NAIA school allows you to excel both academically and athletically while being part of a supportive and vibrant campus culture.

Junior College Soccer Options

Looking to continue your soccer career while also pursuing your education? Junior college soccer options can provide you with the perfect opportunity.

Not only do they offer a pathway to NCAA soccer, but they also come with benefits such as immediate playing opportunities and a nurturing environment for growth.

Additionally, international students often choose to play junior college soccer as a way to adapt to the American college system before transferring to a four-year university.

Benefits of Playing Junior College Soccer

Playing junior college soccer offers you the opportunity to develop your skills on the field and potentially attract the attention of four-year colleges. Here are some benefits of playing junior college soccer:

  • Immediate Athletic Opportunities: Unlike NCAA and NAIA schools, there are no eligibility standards at JUCOs, allowing you to compete right away and improve your skills.
  • Academic Improvement: JUCOs provide smaller class sizes and one-on-one instruction, helping you transition from high school to college-level academics.
  • Exposure to Four-Year Schools: Two years at a JUCO can significantly enhance your skills and make you more appealing to four-year colleges. JUCO coaches often have networks with four-year coaches, increasing your chances of getting recruited.

Why International Students Play Junior College Soccer

If you’re an international student, playing junior college soccer can provide you with valuable opportunities to showcase your skills and potentially gain exposure to four-year colleges. The benefits of playing junior college soccer are manifold, especially for international students. Firstly, it allows you to adapt to the American style of play and gain experience in a competitive environment. Secondly, it provides an opportunity to improve your skills and develop a strong soccer foundation before transferring to a four-year college. Additionally, playing junior college soccer allows you to build connections with coaches and scouts from four-year colleges who may be interested in recruiting you. This exposure can open doors to scholarships and further opportunities in your soccer career.

A Pathway to NCAA Soccer?

Have you considered exploring the possibility of transferring to a four-year college after gaining experience and exposure through junior college soccer? Making the transition from junior college to a four-year college can open up exciting opportunities for you to further develop your soccer skills and compete at a higher level.

Here are a few reasons why transferring to a four-year college for soccer could be a great choice for you:

  • Enhanced competition: Playing at a four-year college will expose you to stronger opponents, pushing you to improve your game and reach new heights.
  • Increased visibility: Four-year colleges often have larger audiences and more scouts, giving you a better chance to get noticed by professional teams or earn a scholarship.
  • Academic opportunities: Transferring to a four-year college allows you to pursue a degree in your chosen field while continuing to play the sport you love.

Consider exploring this pathway and take your soccer journey to the next level!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Soccer College in the Us?

Attending a soccer college in the US can be pricey. The cost varies depending on the school and other factors like scholarships. It’s important to research and compare costs before making a decision.

Are There Scholarship Opportunities Available for Soccer Players at These Colleges?

Yes, there are scholarship opportunities available for soccer players at these colleges. You can apply for scholarships to help cover the cost of attending a soccer college in the US. This will obviously require conversations with the college, the coach, and more.

What Are the Admission Requirements for Soccer Colleges in the Us?

To get into soccer colleges in the US, you’ll need to meet certain requirements. These can include a strong academic record, athletic ability, recommendation letters, and sometimes even a tryout.

Can International Students Participate in Soccer Programs at These Colleges?

Yes, international students can participate in soccer programs at these colleges. They may need to meet additional requirements like English language proficiency and obtaining a student visa.

What Kind of Academic Support Is Offered to Student-Athletes at These Soccer Colleges?

You’ll receive excellent academic support at these soccer colleges, with resources like tutoring and study halls. They understand the demands of being a student-athlete and provide the necessary assistance to help you succeed.


Choose your soccer college wisely to score success on the field. These top 10 soccer colleges in the US offer outstanding opportunities for aspiring athletes. Don’t underestimate the impact of factors like coaching staff, facilities, and competition level.

Remember, playing at the Division 2, 3, or NAIA level can still lead to great achievements. And don’t overlook the junior college soccer options, as they can provide a solid foundation for your soccer career.

Kick off your future today!