Top 10 Colleges for World Cup-Quality Soccer Programs

Melissa Woelflein

It’s FIFA World Cup time! Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe are glued to their televisions to watch the first FIFA World Cup ever hosted in an Arab nation. The event, which happens every 4 years and lasts a month, is typically held in May/June/July, but since Qatar’s climate is so hot, they pushed it to November with hopes of it cooling down a bit. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the 2022 World Cup and Americans are already looking ahead to 2026, when North America will host. Are you looking to be the next big thing in soccer? Check out these top 10 colleges in the US with high-ranking soccer programs, according to NCSA College Recruiting!

  1. Stanford University
  2. Princeton University
  3. University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA
  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  5. Harvard University
  6. University of Michigan
  7. University of California, Berkeley
  8. Yale University
  9. University of Virginia
  10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT

All but MIT are NCAA Division 1 ranked (MIT is D3). According to their website, NCSA says the rankings are “based on proprietary analysis of NCSA Favorites data obtained from the college search activity of the over 3 million student-athletes on the NCSA recruiting network, U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges general academic rankings, and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard graduation rates and average cost after aid.”

Top-ranking Stanford University lauds its soccer program by saying the team, “... has a longstanding history of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community. To date, the program has produced five players on the U.S. Men’s National Team, fifty-nine professional players and thirty-four NSCAA/United Soccer Coaches All-Americans. The team’s trophy cabinet contains three NCAA National Championships out of five appearances in the final and seven PAC – 12 Conference Championships. This summer, we are opening the doors to The Farm for youth players to come experience what it means to be a part of our program’s history by participating in our youth camps. Open to all players regardless of playing background or experience.”

Getting into a D1-D3 school may seem like a long-shot, but there are many scholarships out there that can make those dreams come true, especially if they’re recruited.

Are you watching the 2022 World Cup? Let us know in the comments below!


Cover photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

Additional image credit: Rhett and Fauzan:

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