What role does Division 1 men’s college soccer play in advancing the American game? That simple question lingers for U.S. Soccer as three-term president Sunil Gulati (Cheshire, Conn.) bids adieu and a new leader emerges at the Annual General Meeting on Feb. 10 in Orlando, Fla. But whoever takes over the United States Soccer Federation will encounter a fluid modus operandi for Div. 1 men’s college soccer.
As Major League Soccer has grown and has started to peel off Homegrown Players early in their college careers (or even before they begin), the NCAA’s talent level has decreased. Young Americans also are heading overseas in greater numbers, and the days of the MLS Super-Draft supplying impactful players en masse are long gone.
That’s at least how Ed Kelly, the 30-year head coach at Boston College, sees the game evolving, especially as fingerpointing and blame showers down after the men’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.