U.S. World Cup Players Also Show Success in UniversityJune 26, 2014
With the U.S set to finish the round robin stage of the World Cup, there is an interesting fact that needs to be shared. Did you know that 11 of the 23 players on the U.S. World Cup team in Brazil have played university soccer at the NCAA Division I level while pursuing their university degree? That's almost half of the team! These talented soccer players have demonstrated their ability to achieve success in academics by attending one of the best U.S. universities while playing university soccer at the highest level.
Filipe Conceicao, a recent high school graduate from International Christian School of Hong Kong will be playing soccer in the same division (NCAA Division I) as these 11 World Cup athletes starting this September at Garnder Webb University.
Filipe was heavily recruited by U.S universities with 13 offers and even had the head coach of Virginia Tech University fly over to Hong Kong specifically to recruit him. Filipe ended up accepting a full scholarship to Gardner Webb University.
University sports in the U.S. have demonstrated their commitment in developing their athletes by offering state of the art facilities, immense academic and athletic support, and high quality training while earning a university degree.
Clint Dempsey, who was named as team captain of the U.S. World Cup Team by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann attended Furman University, which is a neighbour and rival school to Filipe's Garnder Webb University.
Dempsey was a 2002 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America choice as a Paladin. He led Furman to a pair of Southern Conference titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances before joining Major League Soccer's New England Revolution in 2003.
Below is a list of the World Cup roster that have attended university in the U.S.:
- Brad Guzan - University of South Carolina
- Nick Rimando - UCLA
- DeAndre Yedlin - University of Akron
- Omar Gonzalez - University of Maryland
- Matt Besler - University of Notre Dame
- Geoff Cameron - West Virginia University/University of Rhode Island
- Alejandro Bedoya - Boston College/Fairleigh Dickinson University
- Brad Davis - Saint Louis University
- Graham Zusi - University of Maryland
- Clint Dempsey - Furman University
- Chris Wondolowski - Chico State University
At this rate, Filipe will be competing against future World Cup athletes as he receives top level training all before graduation and during his NCAA college career. What made Filipe stand out to numerous head coaches with scholarship offers? Were these offers given based solely on his athletic ability, scholastic achievements, test scores, personality, admission essays, or extracurricular activities? Was it all of the above? You can decide by watching Filipe's interview with Affinity in the month of July.
We are thrilled to have supported Filipe in each step of the way since October 2013 as he walks into a challenging and hopeful future as a top university student-athlete.