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Atlanta Fire United

Recruiting Advice by Dom


Coach Dom's Recruiting Blog

Dom is here for all current AFU members - parents and players, please feel free to reach out to Dom with any questions you might have regarding your player and his her options for scholarships:

Director of Recruiting 
Dom Martelli 
[email protected]
[email protected]

Post 3 - How to Make a Soccer Recruiting Video

How to Make a Soccer Recruiting Video 

The preferred way for coaches to evaluate recruits is to observe them in person at club tournaments, but that doesn’t mean they will have an opportunity to see every recruit who’s on their radar compete in person. That’s where a well-done recruiting video can play a big role. The video will serve two key purposes: Provide coaches with a way to make their initial evaluation of an athlete, and if the coach cannot see them compete in person, the video might be the only way that coaches will get to see a recruit play. Here’s how it typically works:

In initial communications with college coaches, student-athletes should always include their recruiting video. This video should really focus on in-game action. Coaches want to see how athletes move in the game and what their ability to make plays is.

If the coach liked what they saw in the initial video, they will likely reach out to schedule a time to evaluate the athlete in person.

In this article, we focus on what athletes need to include in the initial highlight video that they’ll be sending around to college coaches. There are specific skills to showcase and different techniques to use to ensure athletes are making the best first impression.

Where to get highlight video footage?

In general, college coaches want to know how athletes respond in a game, so they’d prefer to see game footage over practice footage. Most coaches want to observe how athletes see the pitch—they need to judge their decision-making and skills. Think about it: If a college coach isn’t going to have the opportunity to watch someone play in person, what’s the best way for an athlete to showcase their talent as a men’s soccer player? It’s showing their best game footage

How long should a soccer recruiting video be?

The recruiting video should be 3–6 minutes long and include 20–25 clips of game action for field players. Any longer, and it will run the risk of having the coach lose interest. Position players should create a men’s soccer highlight video with game footage. Goalies should create a men’s soccer skills video that’s supplemented with game footage and highlights.


  • Defending: 1v1, small groups, crosses and corners in the air, chasing down players, blocking shots
  • Intercepting, running forward and getting into the attack
  • Showing timing, defensive shape, technical abilities, a clean first touch
  • Keeping possession with your distribution
  • Wings: making runs forward


  •  Both sides of the ball: blocking passing lanes and getting into the attack
  •  Reading the game with off-the-ball movement
  • Working hard defensively


  • Beating opponents down the line and turning the corner
  • Crossing the ball, preferably with both feet
  • Playing 18 to 18 with a good engine
  • Making well-timed and creative runs
  • Showing change of pace

Defensive center-midfielders

  • Staying consistent and reliable
  • Winning all balls in the air and distributing them to teammates
  • Clogging up the middle and disrupting opponents’ attacks
  • Clean first touch

Attacking center-midfielders

  • Playmaking ability
  • Showing technical control in tight spaces
  •  Speed of play
  • Clean first touch


  • Goals and assists
  • Getting behind the back line
  • Dribbling, combining and timing runs
  • Finishing with multiple surfaces
  • Getting on the end of corner kicks and crosses and put them on frame
  • Reading the play to know when your teammate is about to win the ball and check back into space to be an outlet pass
  • Playing back to goal and playing others in


  • Skills footage and match footage; highlight skills that weren’t shown in match footage
  • Shot stopping
  • Extension and collapse diving to both sides, preferably in a variety of situations
  • Collecting, parrying and boxing
  • Breakaways, angle play and sliding saves
  •  Distribution: back passes, punts, drop kicks, throws, rolls
  • Punting: follow the ball when filming to see the distance
  • Goal kicks
  • Showing footwork throughout the video

Editing tips, how to pick the right plays

Once the footage is shot, the next step is to edit it down to the best 3­–6 minutes, which includes 20–25 game clips for field players. Start the video off strong with big highlight plays. Recruits have about 30 seconds to make an impression on the coach, so pick opening plays or skills that will leave an impression. From there, make sure to add in other key skills that college coaches want to see. The goal is to get coaches hooked in the first 30 seconds, so they continue watching the video to see the depth of the skillset. During the video, athletes can distinguish who they are in each play by using a simple arrow, a circle, a spotlight—something clean and simple to alert the coach who they should be watching.

Remember that every touch and play doesn’t have to be perfect. Coaches are also interested in how players adjust to imperfect situations. Recruits should also include their contact information (name, email and phone number) and their coach’s contact information (name, email and phone number) at the beginning and end of their recruiting video.


POST 2 - Academic Eligibility Requirements by Division

NCAA Division I

The following requirements are for all athletes who want to play NCAA DI sports and receive an athletic scholarship. 99% of athletes who meet the DI requirements will also be eligible at other division levels.It's important to remember that just because you meet the academicrequirementsof the NCAA, you are not guaranteed to gain admission into the school of your choice. Here are the current NCAA DI requirements for athlete graduating in the class of 2019 or later.

  1. You must graduate from high school
  2.  You must complete 16 core courses and receive a minimum GPA of 2.3 in those courses. The core course requirements are as follows 4 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 1 additional year of English, Math or Natural/Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science and 4 additional years of English, Math or Natural/Physical Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, Comparative Religion or Philosophy
  3. You must complete 10 core course, including 7 in English, Math or Natural/Physical Science, before your seventh semester. Once you begin your seventh semester, you may not repeat or replace any of those 10 courses to improve your core-course GPA
  4. Earn anSAT combined score or ACT sum scorematching your core-course GPA on the Division I sliding scale, which balances your test score and core-course GPA. If you have a low test score, you need a higher core-course GPA to be eligible. If you have a low core-course GPA, you need a higher test score to be eligible

NCAA Division II

The requirements to play NCAA DII sports and receive a scholarship are lower than the DI level. All eligible DI athletes are eligible at the DII level. If you don’t meet the DI requirements but meet the requirements below, you can compete at the NCAA DII level.

  1. You must graduate from high school
  2. You must complete 16 core courses and receive a minimum GPA of 2.2
  3. The core course requirements are as follows 3 years of English, 2 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 3 additional years of English, Math or Natural or Physical Science and 4 additional years of English, Math, Natural or Physical Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, Comparative Religion or Philosophy
  4. You must take the SAT or ACT
  5.  Earn an SAT Combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on the Division II sliding scale, which balances your test score and core-course GPA. If you have a low test score, you need a higher core-course GPA to be eligible. If you have a low core-course GPA, you need a higher test score to be eligible

NCAA Division III

If you are going to compete at the NCAA DIII level you do not need to register with the NCAA. The NCAA has no academic requirements for DIII athletes. Each university sets their own academic standards for student athletes and financial aid. It is best to contact the coaches at the DIII universities you are interested and get the standards from them.

Post 1 - What is a scholarship

What is a Scholarship?

Receiving an athletic scholarship is not as common as families think. Offers are often confused with an actual scholarship, and they are two different things. Before you have accepted an athletic scholarship, it is important to know how often it will be renewed because not all athletic scholarships are renewed annually. Here is why an athletic scholarship may or may not be guaranteed for four years.

It’s no secret that the college recruiting process can get complicated, especially when it comes to athletic scholarships. There are a lot of things to consider when pursuing an athletic scholarship, including important deadlines, new recruiting rules, as well as knowing which divisions offer athletic scholarships in the first place. But are athletic scholarships even guaranteed for four years? Read on to find the answer to this and other important scholarship questions.


It’s important to note that when a coach extends a verbal scholarship offer, it’s non-binding. This means that the scholarship will be granted if certain requirements are met, and one of them is signing the National Letter of Intent. However, keep in mind that even though they are not binding, verbal offers and commitments should still be taken very seriously for the majority of athletics programs. 


An athletic scholarship is the amount of financial aid given to a student-athlete from a collegiate athletic department to help offset the cost of tuition. It is awarded based on the student’s athletic abilities, athletic department budget, type of sport and division level. The team’s coach is tasked with deciding who to award scholarships to, as well as how much money each student-athlete receives. 


The NCAA has allowed colleges to provide multiyear scholarships since 2012. Additionally, in 2015, NCAA D1 colleges from the Power Five conferences (colleges in the Football Bowl Subdivision, plus Notre Dame) agreed to implement a rule that prevented multi-year D1 scholarships from being canceled or not renewed for any athletic reason.

So, yes, there are athletic scholarships that are guaranteed for four years, but they are not the norm outside of powerhouse football programs. While the practice of extending multi-year, athletic scholarships has been growing, it is largely dependent on whether specific programs and coaches are open to offering them.

Most athletic scholarships are only guaranteed for one year, but they are generally renewed annually. There some exceptions to this such as having academic or conduct issues. So, be sure to discuss scholarship offers in detail with each coach in order to get a good idea of what your situation will be.


It’s possible for student-athletes to lose their athletic scholarships, which can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common scenario is when a student-athlete thinks they have a scholarship, but all they have is an offer. This is one of the pitfalls of not understanding the difference between a verbal offer and an actual scholarship.

While college coaches are usually the ones who extend verbal offers, the National Letter of Intent is actually the binding agreement between the college and the student-athlete. That means if you sign an NLI and the coach who offered you the scholarships leaves the program — which can and does happen — your contract with the school remains. 

However, next year that same offer may not be on the table if there is a new coach and you were awarded a one-year scholarship. So, in the case of a coaching change, know that you may not get a scholarship in the second year.

Getting injured or redshirted are common reasons why your athletic scholarship may not be renewed. In addition, if you have disciplinary issues with the school, if you end up on academic probation or if you’re not performing as well as expected, the coach could take away your scholarship and extend it to another athlete. 

The offer is not finalized until the NLI is signed so it’s important to know where you stand with a coach at all times.


Atlanta Fire United Soccer Association
P.O. Box 296 
Duluth, Georgia 30096

Phone: 678-664-4238
Email: [email protected]

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