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SportsRecruits Interest Score™ Rankings: Top 5 Most Popular Collegiate Men’s Soccer Programs
Through analyzing our proprietary information, we were able to identify which college men’s soccer programs garnered the greatest interest from athletes on the SportsRecruits platform, as well as which programs showed the largest increase in interest from 2015 to 2016.
Observations on Top Interest Scores
- UVA sits at the top of the Interest Scores Index. One of the most historic NCAA programs in history, Virginia has won a total of seven NCAA titles, including two in the last eight years. Currently led by Head Coach George Gelnovatch, the Cavaliers were previously coached by current US Men’s National Team Head Coach Bruce Arena.
- Four of the top five Interest Scorers are comprised from the ACC. With six of the last ten NCAA titles in Men’s Soccer taken home by an ACC school, it comes as no surprise that UNC, Duke and Notre Dame round out three of the last four.
- Powerhouses UVA, UNC and Notre Dame have each won an NCAA title within the last six years.
- Villanova Men’s Soccer jumps into the Top 5 after a historic 2016 season where the Wildcats qualified for their first ever birth into the NCAA Tournament, before falling to the 2010 NCAA Champion, Akron.
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SportsRecruits Interest Score™ Rankings: Greatest Interest Growth
We also found large shifts in student-athletes’ interest in men’s college soccer programs from 2015 to 2016. Temple University experienced the greatest surge in popularity with a 38.8 point increase in their SportsRecruits Interest Score™. They were followed by the University of Connecticut, which saw their scores increase by 36.2 points.
Observations on Interest Score Growth
- Six of Temple University’s men’s soccer athletes recently received Philadelphia Soccer Six honors, two of whom made the All-Star Team.
- This spring, the University of Connecticut’s Associate Head Coach Mike Miller was named one of the top twelve Division I assistants in the country. This is the second year that his leadership makes an impact at UConn.
- All eight Ivy League schools made the list, despite not being very strong on the field nationally. This may have some root in the evolution of talent development in the United States. Soccer is unlike any other sport in the U.S. because the domestic professional league is not the promise land, like in football, basketball, hockey and baseball. Whereas other sports traditionally use college programs as their talent feeder system, soccer in the U.S. has transitioned to the European academy model. Now, young American athletes that are serious about soccer will attend academies where they will assume the role of athlete-students rather than student-athletes. As the European mindset of talent development becomes more widespread, a greater number of men’s soccer athletes will target schools with a greater emphasis on academic caliber.
To see how other schools fared, click here to download our comprehensive list.
SportsRecruits Interest Scores™ for men’s soccer are calculated from the activity of over 25,000 high school men’s soccer athletes on the SportsRecruits platform. Schools are scored on a 0 to 100 scale based on two, equally weighted metrics: the number of messages sent to the school and the number of active prospects with the school on their target list. A benchmark is determined by the highest ranked school for each metric, and a normalized score is calculated based on each school’s distance from the benchmark.