CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson men’s soccer team is set to take part in US Soccer’s Spring Men’s College Program this semester. The event spans from March 3-April 21, and Clemson joins Duke, Georgetown, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest to round out the six participating programs.
“Clemson men’s soccer is very excited to be partnering with U.S. Soccer and other top Division I programs to bring a new phase of development to our players this spring,” head coach Mike Noonan said. “The exposure for our players and the level of competition amongst the participants will certainly bring new meaning to the non-traditional component of our schedule. More importantly, it will be an opportunity for our players to develop under the watchful eye of U.S. Soccer staff, scouts and coaches under guidelines that reflect the way the game is played around the world.”
During the seven-week span, the six programs will participate in a round-robin series of five games each. Each game will be played with traditional time keeping, a maximum game day roster of 18 players and no re-entry. During the first six weeks, each college will host two games on their respective campus before a final three-game event, hosted at Wake Forest, closes out the program on April 21. Wins will earn a team three points, while losses will garner no points, and the team with the most points at the end of the event will be declared the winner.
Clemson opens competition on March 4 with a matchup with North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., followed by a home meeting with Wake Forest on March 17. After a two-week break, the Tigers will resume play against Duke on April 7 before heading to Charlottesville, Va. to face Virginia on April 14. Clemson will play Georgetown in the Wake Forest-hosted event on April 21 to conclude the program.
Program Philosophy Despite the vast improvement of Professional soccer options (MLS, USL, NASL) the competition and number of opportunities remain limited. U.S. Soccer recognizes that some players not prepared or good enough to play soccer professionally choose the college environment to continue their development. As part of its mission to develop world class players, the launch of the 2018 Spring Men’s College Program represents the first step toward U.S. Soccer, in collaboration with six of the top Men’s College Soccer programs in the country, initiating an additional development opportunity that incorporates international rules and standards. The games will also provide an additional opportunity for U.S. Soccer Scouts to identify potential U.S. Olympic and National Team players and expand the player pool.