MLS Player Combine 2018


He’s a teammate of former Ballon d’or winner Kaka as well as former AC Milan and Italy star Antonio Nocerino. He is also seen by some as one, if not the best young player in the MLS and already has 19 appearances for Canada. Of course we are talking about Orlando City’s Cyle Larin who himself has been through the MLS Player Combine!



Cyle, who has an astonishing 43 goals in 85 gamres for Orlando City was the first pick of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. The SuperDraft setup is similar to the draft you would expect in other sports in the USA. Players will attend the Adidas Major League Soccer Player Combine in Los Angeles in early January where their talent will be evaluated in three games over five days and individuals who impress will be entered into the SuperDraft.

Athletes of ours who excel while out in the States do have the possibility to be involved with this extremely prestigious event! 


College Sport On The Up!

The NFL is without a doubt, the biggest of all US Sports. The whole college sport setup itself dwarfs other sports in the nation with coverage of it as in depth as we may see here in Britain with the Premier League. According to Sporting Intelligence, in 2015 the NFL’s 23 professional teams averaged over 68,000 fans per game with the top 30 college programs averaging even more at 81,000. This is staggering and if combined, would make it the highest attended sports league on Earth. Soccer scholarships in the USA are big business and at Soccer Smart we know all about this!

soccer scholarships usa

This level of popularity has allowed US colleges to create some of the most advanced facilities anywhere in the world which dozens of our Soccer Smart Athletes have been able to discover first hand during their time in the states. Take for example Sean Holmes, Danny Carroll and James Halpin who have excelled during their time out there! Dino James played summer league in front of 8000 fans which is something very few people get to do.

It’s not only the facilities that have been effected by the sizeable revenue of college sports with coaches and staff being paid huge salaries. The defensive coordinator at the University of Oregon has a reported $1.15 million annual salary package which is enough to hire 10 assistant professors! There are several college sport coaches around America with similar salaries to this. As you can see below, some coaches at this level are on absolutely staggering salaries which would rival coaches in premier divisions of other sports all around the world.

American Football coach salaries at college level.

The issue with all of this is that NCAA has a philosophy regarding amateurism and says…

“Amateur competition is a bedrock principle of college athletics. The collegiate model of sports, the young men and women competing on the field or court are students first, athletes second.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how far this rapid expansion goes and whether the NCAA will have to move away from their ethos in the coming years. College sport is certainly on the rise.

Get in touch with Soccer Smart for more information on soccer scholarships in the USA as well as information on our Spanish Soccer academies! 

Why attend a UK Football Trial?

Why attend a UK Football Trial?

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What to do after being released? Here is Jamie Vardy's story...

Have you ever been released from a football club? Well no need to worry, so was Jamie Vardy. Jamie Vardy got released from Sheffield Wednesday FC when he was 16 years old and now he is playing for Premier League Champions, Leicester City FC. Your football career has only just started! Did you know that Soccer Smart can help you get a club in the UK as well as abroad? You can learn how to get a soccer scholarship in USA from the United Kingdom. So if it’s staying in the UK like Jamie Vardy or going to America and progressing like Luke Mulholland, Soccer Smart would be the smart choice for you! (We can also help you get a club in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Gibraltar and Canada!)

In this blog we are going to find out what steps Jamie Vardy took from being released, to where he is now. 

As soon as Vardy got released from Sheffield Wednesday FC he joined Stocksbridge Park Steels FC in their youth system. From the youth set up, he made his way through the reserves and made his first team debut in 2007. One thing that Vardy had was a passion for football. After getting released, he didn’t just give up, he had the mentality to carry on playing football and wanted to prove himself as a player at Stocksbridge Park Steels FC which would hopefully get his name known and bring opportunities for him to progress further! 


In June 2010, he signed for FC Halifax Town. Within his first season at the club, Vardy was the top goal scorer with 26 goals and he also got the player’s player of the season award. 

A year and a half later he signed for Conference Premier Side, Fleetwood Town. He won yet another award, the Conference Premier Player of the month award in November. Vardy got 31 league goals that season and helped Fleetwood town get their first ever promotion to the Football League. He also was the top scorer in the Conference Premier! 

Did you know that Blackpool manager Ian Holloway wanted Vardy and offered Fleetwood £750,000 for him? Fleetwood declined as they wanted £1million for Vardy and a loan back to the club!

In May 2012, Vardy signed for Leicester City for £1million, which could be worth £1.7million with add-ons . Vardy wanted to quit football after his first season at Leicester as he lost his form and got some stick from Leicester City fans on social media. 

In the 2013-14 season Vardy found his form and got 16 league goals which helped Leicester City win the Championship, getting promoted to the Premier League and he also got named Leicester’s Player’s Player of the season award! 

In the 2014-15 season, Vardy got nominated for Premier League Player of the Month in April and helped Leicester City finish 14th in the Premier League. 


In the 2015-16 season, Vardy got Premier League Player of the Month in October & November . The fifth ever player to win the award in consecutive months. He then beat Van Nistelrooy’s record by scoring in 11 consecutive games. Vardy is in the PFA Team of the Year and helped Leicester City FC WIN the Premier League! Lets not forget to mention he is also playing for England!

Is it all about the money?

If football is your priority and not money, the money will soon enough come. Jamie Vardy started on £30 a week for playing for Stocksbridge Park FC . He also had to work 12 hour shifts in a factory! His wages at Leicester City have recently doubled from £40,000 to £80,000 per week! He now gets paid 2,667 times more money than what he did when he started! £79,970 more to be exact! PER WEEK! Plenty of money for Jamie Vardy's Parties! 

Not quite got where you want to be in football? Don't quit, Vardy didn't and look where he is now! Soccer Smart can help you if you have recently been released or haven't quite made it to where you want to be. UK or abroad, we can help! Sign up for our next trail at by clicking HERE

Learn how to get a soccer scholarship in USA from the United Kingdom by attending one off our UK Football Trials

Don't know what you want to do??


I bet this question comes in to your head a lot… I don’t think many of us exactly know what we want/wanted to do at your age either. As a young lad, I made a decision that for me was definitely life changing. Like many others at 17/18 years old you have to start making decisions about your future. Do I go to university? Do I get a job? I wouldn’t mind going on a gap year, I have the opportunity to move abroad to continue playing football



All of these ideas in your head are quite hard to make a decision and to know what exactly the right decision for you is. Having been your age and having these thoughts in your head, also making the decision to move to America, completing four years of full time football, and a degree, and finally presenting to student athletes from the age of 16-23 I understand what you are going through. This is why it is very important that you receive all the information you can about all the different opportunities that are available to you.


I have been in to several different programmes/colleges over the last couple of months and I have seen a lot of confused faces, a lot of comments made by student athletes that they haven’t thought about what they are going to do once they finish college/6th form/university in the summer. The phase ‘not even thought about it’ is often used, this to me is a little worrying because it can be so easy that you go down the wrong path, or that you lose focus and drive to do something positive with your life. Please start thinking about your future because before you know it, it will be here and then what??


Ask you tutors about what they think you should do, speak with your football coaches, talk to your brothers/sisters, mums and dads, speak to people/companies like Soccer Smart. Everyone I have just mentioned wants the best for you, so take their advice, listen to what they say, take on board what you think is important and hopefully this will make you have a better idea of what you want to do.

I will always come back to the opportunity that I took to move to America, play full time football for four years and furthering my education with gaining a degree. This to me was the best decision I have ever made. You might think ok well America isn’t something I would like to do, it may be travelling for a year, and it may be playing football in another country or even just experiencing life away from home…


My advice to you is, do it!! If you have the opportunity to see the world then do it, and if you can play football at the same time then great, just get out there and experience life because I know for sure that when you get a little older and you settle down, you will regrets that you never did it!!

If you want to have a chat with any of our consultants then please get in touch with us via our website or by email @, we are here to help!!