Is Club Soccer Worth It?

Is Club Soccer Worth It?

Many years and thousands of dollars are put towards high-level club soccer in the United States, usually with the ultimate goal of landing a college roster spot — or even better, a college soccer scholarship.  When a high schooler decides not to play college soccer, has the club experience still been worth all of that time and money?

Zack Manship, RSF Attack and San Marcos High School alumni, was a standout outside defender for Malcolm Tovey’s B98 Academy team. He helped the team achieve two SCDSL championships, two Cal South National Cup finals, and a Surf College Cup championship. Along the sidelines at the 2016 Surf Cup before Zack and the team were beginning their senior years of high school, many college coaches sought out Zack after watching him play.  One coach from a Connecticut university told Coach Tovey, “Zack is, by far, the best outside defender at this entire tournament.”

Needless to say, Zack had many offers to play college soccer.  After an exhaustive college search and weighing many options, Zack decided that he would attend the University of Colorado at Boulder — a school without a men’s soccer team.

We asked Zack and his dad, Richard, if they still felt that club soccer was worth the time, energy, and money.

Check out the video…



  • comment-avatar

    Simple answer…absolutely yes, club soccer is worth it no matter the outcome afterward. Life experience that molds us into functional adults comes from a variety of realms, and that includes all levels of soccer. If you are open to the lessons you learn from playing club soccer and you apply them to life beyond the field then you will discover the value in how soccer was your “catalyst” for friendships, travel, humility, confidence, and a healthy lifestyle. There are certainly many positive things to say about playing at the collegiate level, but as the saying goes… it’s about the journey, not the destination.

  • comment-avatar
    John 3 years

    Really depends on what your goals are and understanding what you are getting into. We do it because our son loves soccer, it keeps him busy and healthy through the hard work and dedication that the sport requires. Character and relationships are also built along the way that will have a positive impact on him as well. As a high school student, we prefer to see him as a dedicated athlete, rather than hanging out with potentially the wrong crowd, getting into trouble or partying. However, don’t be fooled. Club soccer is a business and they are there to make money (even if they are classified as a non profit). The system is definitely broken when only middle class to wealthier families can afford the $5000 + related cost to join a club. Our coach gets a minimum of $1200 $1800 per out of state tournament, PER TEAM. He tends to have 3-5 teams that coincidentally all play in the same tournament. I’ve seen the spreadsheets, he makes $3600 – $6000 (minus a few hundred in travel expenses) per tournament in a single weekend, aside from his salary and other comps. It’s just fees after fees, volunteer hours required and fundraisers that leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Go into understanding what you are really paying for, what you are getting into and your return on investment. If you see the value in ROI and can afford it, do it. In a perfect world, a system would be in place that really cares and makes it about the kids and develops them regardless of their socioeconomic background. There would be a bigger interest in the sport and would create international tier players. Everything that the current system is simply not doing, because it’s all about the money at clubs.