A Note to Women’s Soccer Players: Why You Should Take Your Talents Overseas
by Jordan Scott
Ladies, if you want to play professional soccer, go to Europe.
Every female soccer player dreams of playing professionally, and when the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) was established in 2013 dreams were starting to come true. However, only 36 dreams became a reality.
Now, when you think about it, 36 players to be spread among nine clubs is a pretty respectable number, seeing as the NWSL is still a work in progress. But is it really worth it?
Let’s look at it this way: there are 204 Division I female soccer programs in the country, and each roster averages at least 25 players. So there are about 5,100 collegiate female soccer players in the country that are fighting for their name to be among the 36 in the draft…
Basically, if you’re not in the top tier of players, you’re not going to end up playing in the states.
But for all those other talented athletes who still want to play professionally, all they have to do is pack their cleats and fly overseas.
If I were still playing, I’d want to play in Europe because I probably would have a longer career for a team in Sweden than in the states; there’s actual revenue being made allowing me to play longer than approximately four seasons.
I say that because this is the third attempt at a women’s professional soccer league. The idea of women’s professional sports is not well liked amongst the American audience. So if no one is watching it, that in turn means no one is paying for it, and at the end of the day it’s a business, not a hobby. Teams need revenue to function and stay afloat, and a lack of revenue is what has caused two previous leagues to fold.
The overall likelihood of this league lasting past five years is low… extremely low. And that’s the sad reality. European women’s leagues are not only successful, but they can stand the test of time. Almost every club in the European Premier League has a women’s side that is just a successful as the men’s.
While women’s soccer is not as publicized in Europe as it is in the U.S., it’s still a big deal there. I mean, “football” is the European game, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, everyone plays and/or watches soccer.
So if you want to continue playing past college, leave the states. You will not have a career here in the US. I’d say even if you have a chance at being one of those girls amongst the 36, you should play outside the states.
America loves football, baseball and basketball; soccer is still below those sports to most of the American audience. If you want near-guaranteed success, head where they love soccer almost as much as they love walking around in the nude: overseas.