How to Try Out for the National Women's Soccer Team

By Marlon Trotsky

Most girls who grow up playing soccer in the United States have at some point dreamed of playing on the U.S. National Team. For most, the dream will whither away as they play against higher levels of competition. But for a select few, the path to representing America in international competition typically starts at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which is also a recruiting ground for professional leagues from around the world. National team coaches are always on the lookout for exceptional players they can pluck from the Academy and add to the national roster.

Play for club and traveling teams while in elementary school, and later join your junior high and high school teams. Find your natural position and play there throughout your career. Attend any soccer camps in your area.

Try out for a Development Academy club team. There are two age groups for club teams: Under 15/16 and Under 17/18. You will be assigned to one based on your age and skill level. The tryout process is different for each team, so you will have to contact the teams directly. Generally, your acceptance to the Academy is based on your skill set and past on-field success. Many players concurrently play on their high school and Academy teams.

Impress coaches with your play, and you may be invited to play for one of the youth national teams, which are categorized as Under 17, Under 18, Under 20 and Under 23. The number of players who get called up hovers around 100. Some players also elect to play in college after playing in the Academy to continue developing their skills.

Excel on the youth national level, while playing strongly in the off-season for your college or club team. If you happen to catch the eye of one of the national team coaches, you will be selected for the player pool, a group of talented players with various levels of playing experience that coaches can draw from to replenish the national team's roster. Players are often evaluated by coaches, who frequently shuffle their rosters by inviting players from the pool to play for the national team.

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