Exclusive Interview with MLS Star and the founder of Soccer Smart Ltd the USA Scholarship Company

USA Scholarship Company - What could you achieve?


Luke Mulholland .vs. Elliot Livesey


Elliot Livesey

Luke Mulholland


Take a look at how these top talents went from being kids together to where they are now. This Blog will be a Q&A session with both Luke and Elliot and we will get an insight into their careers in football and scholarships in America! 


Where did you both meet?


"It was a long time ago now, I had just been released from Burnley Football Club and decided to complete my season with Cadley Boys in Preston. We were team mates at Cadley and went on to win the Lancashire Cup against Town Green, which I still have the video of somewhere!"


"I believe I met Elliot when we both played for Cadley boys U16s. I dropped down a year and repeated the U16 age group."







Did anyone guess where these two met? The power of football and the friendships we make from football is incredible. From a young age, football is a great form of socialising, but when players experience the passion and pride of playing, they want to become a pro!


You both decided to get a scholarship in the USA...How did this happen and why the USA?


"After Fulwood high school I attended Preston College. I did a BTEC in sport and played for the football academy. Each year the academy travelled to America to play in a long weekend tournament against American clubs with college scouts potentially being there. I played for the academy for 3 years in which time I was able to lock up a soccer scholarship"


"I got to sign with Morecambe Football Club between the ages of 16-19 but did not think that I would get a professional contract, so I decided to prepare with a USA scholarship company so that I could play soccer and get a degree in the USA. It helped that I was made an offer by a University with a 6000 seated stadium, was a big selling point for me and it placed me in the same conference as Luke! Small world!"


Did you know that Seattle Sounders player Andy Rose started their career on soccer scholarship? Both Andy and Luke and now playing with the likes of Steven Gerard! Everyone has to start somewhere and a soccer scholarship could be your pathway into major football leagues, whether that’s the MLS or the Premier league! The world’s most popular sport, football or otherwise known a soccer, is becoming more popular in the USA. On a soccer scholarship you will be earning a degree at a US university while playing the sport you love!

USA Scholarship Companies are a great help for players wanted to play in the USA.

Soccer Smart - Luke Mulholland - Steven Gerrard

      (Luke Mulholland and Steven Gerard)

         (Andy Rose and Steven Gerard)

What are the best experiences that you had while on your scholarship?


"Best experience was living stateside, attending university on a scholarship based on my footballing talent. I was constantly on a high and just embracing each and every moment."


"I had so many, being able to play full-time soccer and meet and play with players from all over the world, would have to be up there! I used to enjoy travelling and staying in hotels all the time, it was good to use my USA soccer scholarship to travel the USA. Our coach was kind enough to book us in a few hotels right by the beach which was always nice throughout the                                                             season!, For me using a USA soccer scholarship company was very important"

We have all watched the movies and seen the lifestyle that students have in colleges and universities in the states. Well these movies aren’t made up, the lifestyle really is phenomenal! As well as this, being on a soccer scholarship you will be living, playing and socialising with many people across the world, learning different cultures and gaining lifelong friends. We all know that British weather can be a bit hit and miss, well in the states the climate is definitely going to be much more enjoyable! 

Elliot Livesey USA Soccer Scholarship

(Elliot being congratulated after scoring for Shorter University)

Would you recommend a scholarship in the USA?


"I would recommend it. It’s definitely not for everybody though.  You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot. Not seeing your family for months on end, losing touch with old friends, missing out on UK gossip & trends and lad’s holidays to Malia. But on the flip side it’s an amazing experience. You get to see a whole different world, meet new people, and become really close with players at your college. You have the ability to start fresh, the opportunity to make a name for yourself and build your on empire."


"I would recommend a scholarship in the USA to anybody that could be eligible. It is the best thing I ever did and would not have traveled and achieved the things I have today without that experience. I think it’s safe to say that through Luke’s experience, he would highly recommend it too!"










As you can see there are some sacrifices that have to be made when you go on a soccer scholarship. In this case, Luke and Elliot would not be where they are now if it wasn’t for a soccer scholarship! It’s like it is in the business world, no risk = no reward. In Luke’s case he risked losing contact with friends, but was soon to become close to other players on a soccer scholarship! Now he is close with current players in the MLS! He lost his lad’s holidays to Malia, but now he is a professional footballer, he doesn’t have to scrape up the pennies to be able to go again and can take the Soccer Smart team with him!

Soccer Smart Blog Rio Tinto Stadium

(Luke Mullholland's team in action at Real Salt Lakes ground called The Rio Tinto Stadium)

What happened after the scholarship until now?


"It’s nearly been 5 years since I graduated. I’ve now just started my 6th professional year. Currently playing for Real Salt Lake in the MLS. Third season with this team. My first club was Wilmington Hammerheads in the USL. From there I went on to play for Tampa Bay Rowdies for 2 years in the NASL, before moving onto Real Salt Lake in the MLS."


"I returned to the UK after 2 ACL injuries and retired from playing football. I founded Soccer Smart in my last few months of University and grew it alongside my first job as a stockbroker in London. Since then it has gone from strength to strength and Soccer Smart has 3 full-time consultants and a team of part-time staff. Despite not playing anymore I am still working in the game and would like to think I am making a reasonable success of soccer, even though I hung the boots up! I work every day with players that are in the same position that I was, it’s safe to say that they are in good hands when Soccer Smart offer to help them."


I think a lot of us would dream to be in Luke’s or Andy's Position. However, due to getting a good education and obtaining a degree while on his soccer scholarship, Elliot had the skills and qualities to stay in the football industry and created and developed Soccer Smart. Elliot’s scholarship not only gave him the best experience of his life, but gave him many contacts of coaches, teams, clubs, colleges and universities throughout the USA. In fact, all of Soccer Smarts football consultants have at least four years playing experience in the USA. As Soccer Smart has grown over the last 6 years, they now have thousands of contacts in many countries throughout the world including America, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Gibraltar and also in the UK!

(Elliot presenting to potential Soccer Smart players on a trail day)

Who was the better footballer?


"Not applicable. You're comparing a footballer to a boxer." 











"I think I was the better player in the Lancashire Cup Final and then that was it for me! Even when Luke was younger he had great ability, he may agree or disagree with me but I feel that because the USA soccer scholarship gave him 4 full years of full time football, it developed him physically and mentally to the level he is today. I’m not sure that taking the non-league route in the UK would have worked as well, but who knows! I would like to challenge Luke Mulholland to a Soccer Smart head tennis dual upon his return to the UK, I reckon I would still beat him at head tennis!"


I think we can all judge who the better footballer was. But you never know what could’ve happened if Elliot wasn’t unfortunate enough to retire through injury. Elliot could’ve been the next Ian Hume!

See the comparison?

(Footballer Ian Hume)

(Elliot Livesey)

We will also make sure that we record and upload the head tennis dual between Luke and Elliot! Who do you think will win?

Who has the better job now?


"Elliot has the better job right now because he doesn’t have to run as much as me every day! He also has free time on his hands, that’s why he’s always blowing me up on WhatsApp for free laughs!"


"Haha, my job is great but let’s be honest, Luke is a professional footballer in the MLS, hands down he is living the dream! He needs to work on his banter though, it has seen a steady decline since he has been in the USA! "




Both jobs bring in a massive amount of satisfaction. Elliot gives talented players the opportunity to play abroad and within the UK, to live the lifestyle that they both have had, and gives players a potential pathway to becoming a professional footballer! I think we can all agree that playing football/soccer in front of 60,000 fans per week, has got to be the winner. We definitely think it's worth the running Luke!

Would you like to follow Luke’s footsteps and have the best experience of your life? Elliot and the Soccer Smart team can help you and guide you down the right pathway to success, whether that being on a Soccer Scholarship in America or working alongside playing football in various countries. Depending on your potential, you could earn up to $50,000 just for playing the sport that you love! The first part of the process will be attending a trail which take place throughout various locations throughout the UK. Apply for one of our trails at http://www.soccersmart.net/ukfootballtrials/ .

' Elliot now works with USA Scholarship company Soccer Smart whilst Luke is a professional footballer in the MLS'

(Soccer Smart staff Elliot (left) and Chris (right) with MLS star Luke Mullholland and Soccer Smart players at a Football CV camp)

We hope this blog post has given you an opportunity to get an insight into Luke Mulholland’s and Elliot Livesey’s experiences, as well as seeing how Soccer Smart can help talented players achieve their dreams, such as the one Luke is living right now!

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Thanks for reading and why not leave a comment below or get in contact with us!

Written by Conor Redfern.