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What College Soccer Coaches Look for When Scouting

There comes that time in high school when you are nervous about the future, which schools will be recruiting you, and (of course) which schools will offer you an athletic scholarship.


    I had the opportunity to sit down with good friend, mentor, and college coach Mario Rincon to ask him about his advise when looking to be scouted by a college team. To give a quick bio of Mario, he is definitely one of the most experienced, well-known and respected coaches in the collegiate soccer map. He has both scouted and coached in the MLS with the Metrostars (now New York Red Bulls), and then was part of the coaching staffs of Duke University, University of Miami, Baylor University, Wright State, Florida Gulf Coast University, West Point, University of Arkansas, in addition to being an Olympic Development Program (ODP) Coach for many years. Mario is now the head women's soccer coach at St. Leo University in Tampa, Florida. 


At tournaments and showcases, what do you look for in a player?

"I look for unique qualities of players in their respected position. For instance, if forwards can score goals from different angles, if midfielders can cover box to box, if the defender can shut down the attack. Then, of course, if they have any added attributes like athleticism, speed, or technique."

Which of the three do you favor most- athleticism, speed, or technique?

"A combination of both. If a player can catch my attention quickly by one of their special attributes then that is a great thing. I like when a player has a quality that stands out amongst the rest. And, of course, great technique and being good in the air stands out to me as well."

What are some other important qualities that you look for when scouting?
"I try to get a glimpse of their true character. For instance, I look at how they interact with their parents during the tournament... see if they are respectful and a good kid by first impression. I also like to attend the last day of showcases or tournaments, which I call "Character Day". Usually by the last day the players are both physically and mentally tired. It is this day that I look at the players who are still strong, fighting hard and giving 100% effort, showing their true character."