Wall of 2023: Our clients’ awards & accolades

The 2023 college season is now over!

From September to mid-December, there are countless college football games played in the US. During this time, the short and intense college season is in full swing. The many different universities compete to advance from their own conference (their region) to play in the playoffs; the one that gives them a ticket to the national championships and the greatest honor they can achieve in the college game.

More than 80,000 players are spread across the three federations – of course, not everyone makes it all the way. Fortunately, american culture has always celebrated individual achievement. They do this through a variety of different and very traditional awards.
This year we have a lot of players who have received these awards. More than ever before. We’re really proud of that.

Our best year yet!

Our first official recruitment year was in 2020. Back then, we sent around 20 clients to the US. Some of them are still in college today, while a host of new clients have come and gone across the Atlantic. Today, we have just over 120 active student-athletes in the US. Of the 120 active student-athletes, 24 of our clients have received awards this year.
Take a look at them here 😎.

Wall of 2023

NCAA Division 1 awards

Our clients in NCAA Division 1 have certainly excelled.
8 different players have received awards for their performances in the past college season.
Notice heavyweight titles like Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.

Nikolaj Røjel

Nikolaj Røjel

Wofford College
Player of the Year
Oliver Møller

Oliver Møller

Florida Atlantic University
Freshman of The Year
Victor Faaborg

Victor Faaborg

Presbytarian University
Freshman of the Year
Big South
Mikkel Gøling

Mikkel Gøling

UC Santa Barbara
All Conference 1st team
Big West
Jonas Lyshøj

Jonas Lyshøj

Bryant University
All Conference Tournament Team
America East
Alexander Stjernegård

Alexander Stjernegård

Marshall University
TDS Top 100
Sun Belt
Magnus Kjøller

Magnus Kjøller

Wofford College
All Conference 1st Team
Villads Landsperg

Villads Landsperg

Wofford College
Freshman Team of the Year

Awards in NCAA Division 2

Our clients in NCAA Division 2 have certainly excelled.
4 different players have received awards for their performance in the past college season.
For example. notice Søren Jensen who was the best goalkeeper in his region.

Søren Jensen

Søren Jensen

Post University
Goalkeeper of the Year
Marc Birkelund

Marc Birkelund

Flagler College
All Conference 2nd Team
Peach Belt
Mads Frederiksen

Mads Frederiksen

Call Poly Pomona
All Conference 2nd Team
Julie Andersen

Julie Andersen

All Conference 2nd Team

Awards in the NAIA

Our clients at NAIA have certainly performed as well.
5 different players have received awards for their performances in the past college season.
Notice Simon Blæsdahl’s title as Freshman of the Year.

Simon Blæsdahl

Simon Blæsdahl

Governors State University
Freshman of the Year
David Ambæk

David Ambæk

Indiana Tech University
All Conference 1st Team
Karl-Emil Andersen

Karl-Emil Andersen

UC Cumberlands
All Conference 1st Team
Mid South
Marc Boye

Marc Boye

Campbellsville University
NCCAA Player of the Year
Mid South
Christian Hauge

Christian Hauge

Campbellsville University
NCCAA Tournament 1st Team
Mid South

Awards in the NJCAA

Our Junior College clients have also performed at a high level.
We dare to promise that some of these players below will be at NCAA Division 1 schools in the near future.
7 different players have received awards for their achievements.
Notice the 2 All American titles that cover all the players in the country in the NJCAA.

Viktor Højbjerg

Viktor Højbjerg

Angelina Junior College
All Conference 1st Team
Region XIV
Ato Junior

Ato Junior

Tyler Junior College
All American 1st Team
Christopher Dommer

Christopher Dommer

Pearl River CC
All American 2nd Team
Amelie Wittenkamp

Amelie Wittenkamp

Campbellsville University
All Conference 2nd Team
Victor Mørck

Victor Mørck

Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
All Conference 2nd Team
Andreas WInther

Andreas WInther

Heartland CC
NJCAA D2 All Tournament Team
Khaya Gregory

Khaya Gregory

Salt Late CC
All American 1st Team

Next up: College Season 2024. Are you next?

We are currently recruiting talented young players for the new college year in 2024. It will be our biggest and best group of clients to date!
Do you want to be a Student Athlete in the USA or are you just curious about the whole college world?
We’d love to talk to you about your situation and your options in the US. Write to us

right here.

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Victor Mørck named Player of The Week in NJCAA

Victor Mørck is today named Player Of the Week in NJCAA!
After replacing BK Værløse’s Danish setting this summer with Mississippi Gulf Coast CCVictor Mørck has hardly looked back.
With 5 goals and 2 assists in 2 games, he has been an inevitable contender for the title and in a league with over 200 teams, that speaks for itself.

Top scorer title and 2 wins

In a week where the Bulldogs could claim 2 wins, Victor was pivotal in both games.
2 goals and 1 assist in an 8-0 win over Holmes and a hat-trick in the following game against East Mississippi have laid the foundation for the Player Of the Week title.

Victor is now tied for top scorer in the MACCC conference with 13 total goals.

From Denmark to the US: a wild first season so far

Mississippi Gulf Coast, also known as the Bulldogs, have played 12 games during the college season
Their record is now 9-1-2 and they have won their last 8 matches.

Victor is 19 years old and traveled to the US as a prospective student athlete in August.
He got his soccer education in FC. North Zealand and in his late youth went to Værløse BK to play senior football.
He graduated from Lyngby Handelsgymnasium in 2022, took a gap year and then moved to the US where he is now in the middle of his freshman year.
Since his arrival, he has been pivotal and his own statistics are decidedly impressive. 12 games, 13 goals and 5 assists. That’s it!

Victor also won the NSSA derby!

We have many talented clients in the US across the different college ranks. It turns into a lot of bidding wars between our clients and it’s always a lot of fun!
A few weeks before Victor’s Player Of the Week award, Pearl River CC and Mississippi Gulf Coast played each other.
At Pearl River Wildcats we have from left Noah Nymark, Noah Fazal, Mikkel Fredsgaard and Christoffer Dommer.
Victor is smiling in the middle and there should be no doubt who won the match and added a goal to it😉😉

All 5 boys above attend what is called Junior College. Here you can study for up to 2 years and then transfer to another university and complete the last 2 years of a full US undergraduate degree.
Some of our best stories are with clients who have gone on to Junior College.Here, they’ve excelled on the field and in the classroom, then transferred to big universities on great deals.

It’s a real pleasure to follow and document the stories that our customers in many ways write themselves. Congratulations friend!

Victor’s goals for
MGC Bulldogs
in their game against the Pearl River Wildcats.
Beware of the sound 🔊

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NSSA X FANT: Omar goes from Sierra Leone to the US on a Sport Scholarship

From Kroo Bay to Lakeland, Ohio.

Omar Inga is 21 years old, lives in Murray Town, Sierra Leone and is the captain of his soccer team.
Omar is very good, but he is first and foremost a captain because he is both well-liked and respected.
He’s not the type to throw his arms around. Yet he’s often the center of attention due to his calm and social nature.

In collaboration with FANT, every year we help 1 young soccer player from Sierra Leone get a scholarship to a college in the US.
Here they get the opportunity to participate in a sports program while receiving an internationally recognized education.

This year, Omar has been given this opportunity.
A few days ago, his plane took off from Lungi Airport in Sierra Leone and after stops in both Brussels and Washington, Omar arrived at Cleveland Airport where a car was able to take him the last leg of the journey to Lakeland Community College.

Omar shortly after his arrival at Cleveland Airport.

Student Athlete in the US.

Omar has been awarded a Sport Scholarship at Lakeland Community College in Ohio.
Here he will study and play football for a minimum of 2 years.
We hope and believe he can go on to a 4-year university after that, but it ultimately depends on Omar’s performance on the field and in the classroom.

Omar is an athletic defender with a great touch on the ball. He is ambitious in his duels, gives 110% and is a natural leader.
Omar has already seen the city, met his roommates, had his first training session with the team and we are obviously very excited to follow him.

The scholarship does not cover all costs, but the remaining costs are covered by generous donations and by FANT itself. We’ve handled the process for the scholarship itself and of course, we do this completely free of charge.

Omar's player photo for Murray and Troelsgaard Boys FC

Football as a bridge to the future.

The idea behind the collaboration is to highlight the potential of football as a pathway to better educational opportunities and prospects – and prove that this potential extends from residential streets in North Zealand to slums in Sierra Leone.

FANT works to create better living conditions for children and young people in developing countries, using sport as a starting point. They are founded on the idea of doing something for the community.
We thrive on highlighting individual performance.
The goal was – and still is – to inspire the community by highlighting and rewarding individual achievement.

Rings in the water...

When we last year sent Fatmata off to the US, FANT saw how many of their players began to prioritize their schooling.

They could suddenly see how soccer and school could go hand in hand and create opportunities. How football could provide access to education they would never have been able to afford otherwise.
Sending Fatmata to the US created a ripple effect in the local community.
Rings that changed the mentality of the many young local players in Kroo Bay and provided both motivation and inspiration.

In this way, we believe that the project is also beneficial to the community and not just the selected individuals who get the chance.
Omar is the next chosen one.
His upcoming journey is now a living example of how engagement on the field and in the classroom can be used to create opportunities for himself.

Kroo Bay area in Sierra Leone
Photo: Christian Als ( @christianals )

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Everything you need to know about professional soccer in the US

Soccer is one of the world’s biggest and most popular sports and has long been growing in popularity in the United States. This rise in popularity has had a major impact on the development of American soccer leagues, with the top leagues, including MLS (men’s) and NWLS (women’s), managing to attract some of the attention and focus that has graced the NBA, NFL and MLB for centuries in the US.

At present, the number of young people playing soccer in the US is higher than ever before and has even overtaken other popular sports such as basketball, ice hockey and baseball in many parts of the US.

The development of soccer in the US.

Soccer has been played in the United States for over a century, but it is only recently that it started to rise in popularity and reach the same level as other major professional sports in the country.

The first professional leagues are founded.

The first professional soccer league in the United States was the American Soccer League, founded in 1921. However, the league struggled to attract a large audience and went bankrupt in 1933. It was only with the creation of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1968 that professional soccer began to take hold in the United States. The NASL was the first professional soccer league to gain widespread attention in the United States, thanks to the success of the New York Cosmos, who signed global soccer star Pelé in 1975.

The league’s popularity peaked in the late 1970s, but went bankrupt in 1984 due to financial problems.

Major League Soccer (MLS) is founded.

In 1996, Major League Soccer (MLS) was founded as a professional soccer league in the United States. The league struggled in its early years, but it has since grown in popularity and now has 24 teams, with plans to expand to 30 teams in the near future.

MLS has also seen an increase in the quality of play, with top international-level players choosing to join the league. Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Andrea Pirlo, Didier Drogba and many more can be mentioned as some of the top players who have gone to MLS in the fall of their careers.

Good international performances by the US national team.

The US national team has also seen success in recent years, with strong performances in the World Cup. The team reached the quarter-finals back in 2002 and has continuously qualified for the tournament since then. During the 2022 World Cup in Qatar here in 2022, the US also managed to put on a good show.
In addition, the US has also won the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean, several times.

Increasing interest from the American youth.

The rise of professional soccer in the US has also been helped by the increasing popularity of the sport at youth and amateur level. Participation in youth soccer in the United States has grown significantly in recent decades, with millions of children and teenagers playing. There are many reasons for this, one of which is the accessibility of soccer. You only need a round ball to try it. You don’t need a goal, net or equipment, which is a contrast to the popular sports in the US.
Another reason is also that European football, e.g. The Premier League first started to be shown on national TV around 2010. They have been behind for a long time. This has, of course, raised awareness in the US and has led to more young Americans becoming aware of it in recent years.
This has helped cultivate a larger pool of talent for professional teams to draw on and has also helped increase the overall quality of play in the country. In general, the rise of professional soccer in the United States has been a slow but steady process.

Frank Lampard in action for New York City FC who play in MLS - the top men's league in the US.

The sporting structure in the US.

The professional league system in the US is considered to be one of the most complex in the world. With a structure that is far from the European model, the system can be difficult to understand, especially for those who have not had direct experience with it.

Many people in Scandinavia and Europe don’t realize that the major American sports leagues such as the NBA, MLS, NFL, MLB and NHL do not operate a promotion and relegation system. Teams in these major American sports leagues (and indeed, the same is true for college sports in the US) are neither promoted nor relegated based on their performance in that season. They do, however, have a permanent place in the league they are affiliated with. The teams’ placement in Division 1 or 2 is not primarily determined by seasonal performance, but rather by other factors, typically of a financial or commercial nature.

1. Open leagues (Europe)

The open leagues operate with promotion and relegation. The teams at the bottom of the league move to a lower-ranked league, while the top teams move to a higher-ranked league after each season. It’s the system you know in Europe – plain and simple.

This ‘open’ approach gives all teams, regardless of history and finances, a theoretical chance to win the best league and play against the best teams. The European system gives all clubs the opportunity to fly high if they are also prepared to fall low if their investment in promotion fails.

1. Closed leagues (USA)

Closed leagues have always been the sporting culture in the US. The closed leagues provide greater stability for clubs. It is much easier for them to estimate income and expenditure and clubs and investors can be confident that they have a place in the league. (provided they continuously comply with other criteria)

The obvious disadvantage is the limited places in the top leagues and that sporting achievements become secondary in the big picture.

David Beckham in action for the LA Galaxy, who play in the MLS - the top men's league in the US.

Competitive balance

US sports leagues place restrictions on club spending and budgets to ensure competitive balance. This means that all teams in a given league must have a realistic and fair chance of winning it. The effect is that, for example, there are often different winners each year in the Super Bowl or in MLS – unlike in Europe where the same 1-3 clubs are often winners at the end of the season.
The two most important rules in this respect are:

Salary Cap

A rule that limits the amount of money clubs can spend on player salaries.

The Draft

The lowest ranked teams of the previous season will have the opportunity to pick first when new, young and eligible talents are ready for the top tier. This ensures that these teams have the best chance of getting the best future talent, thus providing a competitive balance.

Leagues in the US (men)

There are several different professional leagues in the US on the men’s side. We give a brief overview of each of them below.

(Div 1) Major League Soccer (MLS)

Major League Soccer (MLS): The biggest soccer league in the US. The league started out with 10 teams in 1996, but has since grown to 26 teams. Many of the greatest soccer stars of all time, such as Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard have signed contracts with MLS.

(Div 2) United Soccer League Championship (USLC)

One of the biggest soccer leagues in the US and formerly known as the United Soccer League (USL) & USL Pro. Officially, the league is characterized as a Division 2 league – i.e. one level below MLS, but generally has a large fan base and a high level of which e.g. Chelsea FC legend Didier Drogba most recently played for Phoenix Rising FC, a top team in the USL Championship.

(Div 3) United Soccer League One (USL1)

USL1 is a professional league that has existed under various names since 2005. It is officially categorized as a Division 3 league and counts 11 teams playing 30 matches in a season + playoffs.

Historically, the league has served as a place where MLS teams such as Inter Miami CF have placed their reserve teams to be matched continuously and at a high level, but with new initiatives from MLS, USL1 looks more like a bid for a league that is level-wise just below, but in close connection with USLC.

(Div 3) National Independent Soccer Association (NISA)

NISA is a professional soccer league in the United States. The league is a division 3 league, such as USL1 and began play in 2017. NY Cosmos is one of the 8 professional soccer teams in this league – Brazilian Pele played here in the old days!

(Div 3) Major League Soccer Next Pro (MLSNP)

MLS Next Pro is a new league in the US and Canada that is closely affiliated with MLS. The league will begin in 2022 and will start with 21 teams. 20 of these are reserve teams for MLS clubs and the league will be categorized as a division 3 league like NISA and USL1. As the name of the league suggests, the point is to create a more viable and obvious pathway to the highest level of professional American football (soccer) for the many national and international talents.

(Non) United Soccer League Two (USL2)

USL2 is an amateur league for college players that runs from May to August each year. Many professional MLS clubs have U23 teams playing in this league, and it’s a great opportunity for college players to develop, play with new teammates and travel to a different area of the US through soccer. Our founders Gustav Fink-Jensen and Marcus Nordgard spent a summer playing in this league for San Francisco City and San Francisco Glens respectively. Here they had the opportunity to play alongside some talented players from Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley etc. while traveling up and down the California coast to play matches.

Leagues in the US (women)

There are several different professional leagues in the US on the women’s side. We give a brief overview of each of them below.

(Div 1) National Women´s Soccer League (NWSL)

NWSL is a professional women’s soccer league under a management contract with the United States Soccer Federation. At the pinnacle of the American league system, the NWSL represents the highest level of the sport in the United States. They have players like, Lynn Williams, Kailen Sheridan, Tziarra King, Savannah Mccaskill and Rachel Daly.

(Div 2) United Women´s Soccer League One (UWS1)

UWS1 is a semi-professional series created in 2015. The best of these consists of 45 teams spread across 6 regions. It is categorized as a Division 2 league and is just below the NWSL. This is often where some of the young talents who have gone under the radar or have had a late development fight for a place in the NWSL and for full-time professional status.

(Div 2) United Women´s Soccer League Two (UWS2)

UWS announced the start of League Two in the summer of 2020. A new development league for players in the U20-U23 category and the official league for reserve teams in UWS1. The whole point of the league is to provide more development opportunities to a wider range of players through the reserve team option.

(Div 3) Women´s Soccer Premier League (WPSL)

WPSL is an amateur league – the best of its kind in the US, and has been in existence since 1998. With 135 active teams across 13 divisions, it is one of the largest leagues in the world.

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NSSA X FANT: Fatmata goes from Sierra Leone to the USA on a Sport Scholarship

At a time when politics is taking center stage during the World Cup in Qatar, we would like to highlight a story in NSSA that is a great example of how soccer can be used to improve future opportunities and happiness. Here’s a little story about our adventure to Sierra Leone last year.

Kroo Bay; Poverty and a love for soccer

Here, where the African dirt road bends into a bay, towards the busy center of Freetown, a drain runs. Where pigs swim around in knee-high pools of sewage, while women wash clothes a few meters away. In the area around the drain, 17,000 people are crammed into small houses built on top of piles of rubbish.
The slum area is called Kroo Bay; notorious for being burdened by extreme poverty and high crime rates.

In the middle of the jumble, you’ll find a large gravel field where all the neighborhood boys and girls gather around soccer. Here you see Fatmata, or Didisatu Turay as she is also known, in her usual surroundings with a ball tightly glued to her foot and a big smile on her face.

Soccer as a ticket to getting an education.

In September 2021, NSSA and FANT – For a new tomorrow came together in Sierra Leone for a meaningful purpose. A mission to help a young person from Sierra Leone to a brighter future by providing an education in the US with soccer as a driving force.

For 10 days, we traveled around Sierra Leone and got to know a lot of young players. We held training sessions in 8 different ‘clubs’, held workshops for both local coaches and players, and were eventually able to select some of the young people who, both academically and athletically, would qualify as potential Student Athletes at a University in the US.

The whole idea was that we could show the young people of Freetown how sport can be a catalyst for valuable education and a brighter future. To understand the importance of education and become aware that access can be achieved through hard work on the field.
If we could help just one young person go, it would move mountains for the other local people’s belief in this opportunity and this path.

A new life in the USA.

And mission accomplished!
With pride, we are proud to announce that Fatmata has achieved a four-year long education in the US without having to pay a penny. Food, housing, books and education costs are paid for through the scholarship she has received.

She will be found running around the fine turf fields of Charleston, South Carolina, dressed in bright blue from head to toe. Here she represents The Citadel University in the top women’s college ranks.

Didi has an exciting year ahead and is in good hands at The Citadel. She has been welcomed by the university, her coach and fellow students. Didi has already experienced Washington DC, been to the beach in Florida and many other exciting experiences on away trips.
We are so thrilled that we succeeded and that this opportunity was created.
Thanks to

FANT – Football For A New Tomorrow

for a great collaboration – we look forward to repeating the success in the future.

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Preseason in College

Preseason is a great way to start your college career in the US. At least as long as you are prepared for what lies ahead, both physically and mentally. After the summer vacation, the preseason starts in full power at the beginning of August andthere’s no need to sugarcoat it; Preseason is HARD and it’s physically demanding on many levels. On the other hand, it is also super cool and stimulating. We take you through it all below.

Briefly about the preseason

Preseason usually begins in early August and continues for 3-4 weeks – depending on when school starts at your college.
You often arrive for preseason 2-3 days before the actual training starts. This gives you the opportunity to settle into the school, get to know your new classmates and generally experience the area where the school is located. The first few days of preseason are filled with practical meetings with the coaching staff, hearing about the coaches’ expectations for the season and how the team will achieve the goals that have been set. In addition, you can expect some social events where you can bond as a team and get to know your new teammates better. The great thing about the team culture at College is that the older members of the team see it as a big part of their role to make sure that the new players on the team settle in as quickly as possible and generally feel welcome. They have been in the same situation as the younger ones.

Hype video from the start of the football team’s preseason at Fairfield University in Connecticut.

The first days of the preseason

Once the first few days of familiarization are over, the training begins for real!
You are given all your equipment and this is where you really feel like a college athlete for the first time.
The first days of training often start with tests where you are measured on different physical parameters; it could be your acceleration, your agility or your strength level.
The coaches use the results to assess your current condition and adjust the amount of training during Preseason accordingly

Jog & Stretch
6:50 - 7:10

Each morning starts with a short jog of about one kilometer, followed by a joint stretching session to get the worst of the lactic acid out of your legs. Most of the time you will be wearing full training gear with the school logo all day

Shared breakfast
7:20 - 7:50

The whole team has breakfast together, which is required. During the pre-season, it is incredibly important that you get enough nutrition – there is a big focus on this. During this period, you train so much that you can hardly eat too much. As it is often significantly warmer in the US than what you are used to in Scandinavia – while at the same time exercising a lot, hydration is of course also crucial.

Changing and preparing for training sessions
8:00 - 8:55

After breakfast, you often have an hour to get ready for your workout. Sometimes you need to be weighed first, to make sure there is not a big fluctuation in your weight. Afterwards, you have a quick conversation with the team’s physiotherapist about how your body has adapted to the intense amount of training and if there is anything you need to look at together. After that, it’s very normal to spend some time stretching, doing stability exercises, or maybe getting a massage.

First training session
9:00 - 11:00

The first training session is of course different from school to school in relation to which focus areas the trainers want to hit. One thing you can certainly expect is that the training is well organized. There is a focused intensity which naturally increases the competition. Something you always get in environments where there is a professional set-up. As freshmen, you’ll use these sessions to showcase yourself as a player. There’s no need to be nervous if you don’t feel like you’re playing at your best right from the start. The coaches are well aware that it often takes some time to settle in and get used to the new culture and style of play.

11:05 - 11:50

After training, it is often mandatory for the whole team to unwind, stretch, and at least take an ice bath. When you’re done with this, there’s often a protein bar and some sort of Gatorade waiting for you, so you can get something in your stomach straight after your workout. If you have a muscle injury or something else that bothers you, you do the exercises given to you by the team’s physiotherapist.

12:00 - 12:45

Right after you’ve showered and changed into a new set of workout clothes, lunch is ready. You’ve probably built up a good appetite from training and since you burn so many calories in preseason, you can hardly eat too much.

13:00 - 14:20

This free space is used to relax, many people use the time to either take a nap or watch some Netflix series. Often there are also people in the team who sit around drinking coffee and playing cards. This time is your own time and should be used for whatever you want to do to get ready for the next training session.

Former pro club player and NSSA client, Alexander Hjælmhof in action for San Diego State University!
Changing and preparing for training sessions
14:30 - 15:25

After a nap or whatever you came up with, you have to get ready for the second training session. Just like before the first training session, you will go through the same procedure with your physiotherapist, where you will be checked for any injuries or strains.

Second training session
15:30 - 17:00

Training sessions. As mentioned, the type of training you have to go through at each school is very different. However, you can expect the second session to be followed by thorough stretching and ice baths. There is a real focus in the preseason to take care of the body between training sessions. Since your body is being pushed to the limit, this means going through countless stretches, ice baths, and hours of lying with your legs against the wall to increase blood circulation.

17:00 - 17:30

Just like after the first training session, it’s very normal for all players to have some exercises to go through. Even if you don’t feel injured, there are exercises you can always do to prevent any strains or overuse injuries that the team is very aware of.

17:35 - 18:30

Dinner. Eat, eat, eat. You burn so many calories due to the amount of exercise, but also due to the high humidity and heat that you can hardly eat or drink enough. Something that the coaches definitely remind you of at every meal. You can probably be prepared for the fact that as a first-year student you will have to go through a little ritual at dinner. It can be either a dance or a quick song.

Evening hygge (bedtime calls)
19:00 - 23:00

Fun with the team Here, the older members of the team will make sure you all have a good time. There are probably some who play PlayStation, some who just want to relax with a Netflix series, some who enjoy card games. Often, everyone in the team is so tired after a day of training that there’s not much else to do than a bit of fun and the best sleep you could imagine.

Preseason at Quinnipiac University where both Ramesh Delsouz and Alexander Stjernegaard play and study.

The goal of the preseason in the US.

This daily schedule is repeated most days. Of course, the coaches keep an eye on the group and if there is a need for a recovery session in between, it will be scheduled.
In addition, the older members of the team make sure that you do things together in the evening such as going out to eat, BBQ, bowling, going to the movies and many other social things that do not require too much effort.

The regular students only move in once the preseason for all athletes is over. Therefore, you also have time to settle in before the school is full of people.
Of course, the goal of the preseason is not to completely destroy you, but rather for you to get to know each other as people and players while getting in shape. Preseason is a great way to start your college experience because by the time you’re done with preseason, you’re already part of the team community.
You know where everything is in the school and you quickly get used to the American culture.
After this, the academic semester starts, which is where the full college experience begins. The perfect combination of sports and studies.

You can read about the everyday life in College for a Student Athlete right here.Or maybe a little about how college soccer works?
Feel free to contact us if you are thinking about a stay in College – or if you just have questions or want to have a chat about scholarships, sports and the US.

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How does college football work in the US?

Football, or soccer as it’s known in the US, is a worldwide sport that connects people from all corners of the globe. But when we talk about soccer in the US, we open the door to a unique world of sport and education that is very different from European soccer.
While the sport in Europe often revolves around clubs and national leagues with promotion and relegation, the US has its own way of playing this beloved sport: through college football.

A fixed divisional structure

The most notable difference between European football and American college football is the divisional structure. While European clubs can rise or fall in leagues based on their performance, college soccer teams in the US stay in the same division no matter how the season goes.

NCAA Division 1: The highest level

NCAA Division 1 is the highest level of college football and includes some of the largest, most well-known and competitive universities in the country.
Think of teams like Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson. Known for attracting the best high school players and the most promising international players, this level is known for its intense competition.

There is a lot of attention from the professional leagues in the US and many of the best Division 1 players go on to professional soccer careers after college. Either in American leagues like MLS or NWSL or in Europe.

Nathan Opuku who in January 2023 switched Syracuse University in NCAA Division 1 with championship club Leicester City.

NCAA Division 2: Great competition and high level

NCAA Division 2 also offers a high level of football and is home to several renowned universities such as Bentley University, Florida Southern College and
Cal Poly Pomona
. The best teams in Division 2 can often compete on par with or even surpass the average team in Division 1.

The key sporting difference between Division 1 and 2 is usually the athlete’s physical performance. In Division 1 – and in the US in general – there is a strong emphasis on physicality and athletic skills. Often it is these athletic attributes that determine whether an athlete ends up in Division 1 or Division 2.

NCAA Division 3: The well-rounded experience

NCAA Division 3 presents a more balanced experience, with the academic component carrying more weight than the athletic. Student athletes need to be able to manage their time effectively, as the sports component is not as prioritized as in Division 1 and 2.

In Division 3, colleges don’t usually offer athletic scholarships, meaning students often have to cover the costs themselves. This can make training more expensive for the individual.

We have not placed players in Division 3 so far.

NAIA: Private universities at a high level

The NAIA also offers a high level of football and is home to several renowned universities such as Keiser University, University of Northwestern Ohio and Lindsey Wilson College.
However, in the NAIA, the sporting disparity between top and bottom is more variable than in both NCAA Division 1 and 2.

However, the main difference between NAIA and NCAA universities lies in the size of the institutions and whether they are public or private. The NAIA is primarily home to private universities and also has more lenient academic requirements than the NCAA.
That said, in the NAIA you can play at a high level, get a quality education and receive scholarships just like you can in the NCAA.

NJCAA: The alternative route to the best universities

NJCAA organizes and facilitates sports at
junior colleges
in the United States. A Junior College program lasts 2 years and if a student shows outstanding performance both athletically and academically, they can transfer to a 4-year university in the NCAA or NAIA to complete their bachelor’s degree. This route is ideal for those who did not initially meet the admission requirements of a 4-year college or university.
Junior colleges are affordable and offer generous academic and athletic scholarships, while colleges and universities keep a close eye on the talented student athletes in the NJCAA.
Many of our clients have started with NJCAA scholarships and their performance has led to offers from NCAA Division 1 colleges.

Oliver Hald who started in the NJCAA at Muskegon College and now plays in NCAA Division 1 for Southern Methodist University .

Game structure

The college football season includes both conference and championship games.
The most competitive teams compete in national championship games, while others focus on winning their conference.

What is a conference?

In college football, a “conference” refers to a group of colleges and universities that compete in football and other sports against each other. These conferences are typically regional and consist of member institutions located in the same geographic area of the US.

Some of the major college football conferences in the US include the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Big Ten Conference, Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Big 12 Conference. Each conference has its own unique history, traditions and rivalries.

The recruitment system

In the US, the college football recruiting system is a complex and highly regulated system that connects talented young players with university programs. Here are some key aspects of this system:

Performance in high school

The recruitment process often begins for players in their high school/secondary school years.
Scouts and college coaches monitor high school games, club games and tournaments to identify promising talent and potential student athletes, across national borders.

Scholarships and offers

Coaches can offer scholarships to promising players. These scholarships can include partial or full coverage of tuition and other costs. Scholarships are primarily based on the player’s performance on the field and in the classroom. 

In the US, this is a huge deal, as in many cases a scholarship will be the main reason why an individual student can afford to go to university. 

The battle for talent

Since there is a limited amount of scholarships available, college teams compete for the best talent. Competition between universities is intense and each year is a race against time to fill your team with talented players. 
This competition exists not only nationally, but certainly internationally as well. 

Through recruitment agencies like us at NSSA, universities can also strengthen their teams with international players from around the world. 
More and more international players are being recruited to college football in the US and this has led to increased competition. Both in recruitment as well as in the game on the field, which is constantly evolving. 

Previously FC. North Zealand U19 player, Jonas Lyshøj in action for Monmouth College.

Rules and regulations

One of the myths often discussed in relation to American football (soccer) versus European football is the difference in rules. There is a common perception that the rules are significantly different. However, this is no longer the case, although historically there have been some differences.

The best example is the former rule of the so-called “American penalty kick,” where the player had a limited amount of time to take the penalty kick on the run.
These rules have been changed and college soccer in the US follows the regular FIFA rules for the game of soccer.

Football culture and fans

In the US, sport is more than just sport; it’s part of the culture. Athletes and players represent their universities, and locals feel a strong connection to their school.

Fellow students across the many sports support the university teams fiercely and loyally. Whether it’s a basketball game or a football match, these are often school-wide events.
Football (soccer) has not yet reached the popularity level of American football games, where 100,000 spectators are not uncommon.
However, UCSB holds the the attendance record of 15,896 spectators for the rivalry game between UCSB and Cal Poly Pomona.

Lynn Stadium - University of Louisville's football stadium.

What is the best option for me?

Although most start out with the idea that NCAA Division I is the ultimate goal, it ultimately comes down to what experience suits the individual and a clear answer to the question can rarely be given.

The most important thing is to find a college that suits you. If you do well, it is always possible to request a transfer to a higher level. This will always be an option if you have proven yourself during your stay and often larger scholarships are given to international students who have proven themselves at college in the US, as opposed to if they had played at club level in Europe.

The good news is that with 3 NCAA divisions, NAIA and NJCAA are options for any potential Student Athlete.

How does college football work in the US? Read More »

5 tips to maximize your Scholarship opportunities

A Scholarship is an exciting opportunity for many young athletes. Combining higher education with elite sport is not an option in many places; in college in the USA it is part of the culture. However, the biggest obstacle is often not knowing where and how to start if you want to go. It can be difficult to know who – if anyone – to work with to get the help you need. What is required of you and how soon should you be out exploring your options?

Here are 5 simple tips on how to maximize your chances of getting the best Scholarship offer in the USA

1. Those who start early often have the most opportunities

Start the preparatory work, your research and ideally the whole process as early as it makes sense for you. First and foremost, it’s important to think it through, but then it’s just as important to go for it – don’t put it off for too long.
We recommend starting the

the process

– possibly take the first meeting with an agency like us. anything between 10 and 24 months before you would actually travel to the USA. So if you graduate from high school (or similar) in summer 2022, it would be ideal to start everything from summer 2020 to the end of 2021.
This does not mean that you are too late if you start the process afterwards – not at all. But getting off to a good early start is a big advantage, as college coaches will usually have a larger Scholarship budget available. As a result, you will inevitably be considered by more coaches and colleges than late starters.

Besides, starting early can give you more time to work through the smaller things that need to be taken care of when going to college in the US. It may be
various small tests
, translations of important documents,
and a lot of other things.

2. Seek help and guidance from experts

The whole college recruitment process is quite convoluted and we can’t recommend this part enough. There are often several unexpected and confusing bumps in the road and having the right advice and guidance is crucial.
This should first and foremost help you segment and select colleges that fit your needs and situation – academically and athletically.

Furthermore, it should help you make the right decision and then continue by helping you navigate the various administrative issues involved in being an international student athlete in college in the United States.

Ideally, it is also important to be able to stay in contact with them once you have landed in the US, as there may also be a need for assistance and sparring – both for yourself, but perhaps also your parents.

Our client, Mikkel Gøling getting on top of a header in a match for Young Harris.

3. Find the right agency - for you!

Getting help from experts is essential. Even more essential is to get help from the right experts and an agency that suits you. It is a personal choice, nothing is right or wrong.
Most importantly… Whatever Scholarship Agency you choose, it is focused on creating a personalized and tailor-made process for you.
There are many good agencies, but also some less good ones. Big agencies that have been in the game for many years will often have a larger staff, a bigger network and a wider following, but you can quickly become ‘just another number in the line’ if you’re not careful.

4. Be proactive

The search for a good Scholarship is a competitive game – being proactive can give you a big advantage! Having video of yourself, maybe even finding your own highlights or records, obtaining official school documents or registering yourself for any tests required are things you can basically do very early on. The faster and better these things are done, the faster you can be promoted to colleges, universities and their staff.

For example – as soon as you start having contact with college coaches, it’s never a bad idea to be proactive and seem invested in the contact. Agencies like us will of course also help you navigate this. But there will always be many options for college coaches and if the process for an individual athlete or player becomes too long, they can quickly start looking elsewhere.

5. Trust the process

Keeping the faith that you will eventually receive the right Scholarship offer is very important!
The good agencies will talk you through what you can expect in terms of process and realistic options. It is important that expectations are fully aligned, as trust in the process is critical for a good offer and solution.

REMEMBER:It is YOUR talent and YOUR academic level that will ultimately get you the good offers. The various Scholarship agencies – like us – are ‘just’ organizations that highlight the talent and level, facilitate the contact and maximize your opportunities.
You can read more abouthow a Scholarship worksand what it requireshere on our blog.
If you are now, or have ever thought about going to college, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

5 tips to maximize your Scholarship opportunities Read More »