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We would like to explain as a general knowledge how the United States university soccer leagues are organized, specially to our European followers it can be a bit confusing… Let’s start by saying that the organization in charge of the leagues is the National Collegiate Athletic Association or (NCAA). its mission is to guarantee the correct function of all the sports organizations of the universities of the country, lets have in mind that this organization handles the following sports; basketball, tennis, soccer, golf and so on.


It’s important to mention this University league is the anteroom for leagues such as the NBA, the NFL, the MLS, which is the main major soccer league of the U.S.A and Canada, because it’s common in the US that most professional athletes play university leagues before becoming pro, this is because most franchises don’t sponsor local teams, just professional teams, this is why more than 450 thousand players get their early training in this league, it’s worth mentioning the importance of traveling abroad to a soccer culture country to train and to have an advantage over other North American players. European soccer academies are more advance on the type of plays and strategies and it can provide the practical experience in a short period of time to play pro in the United States of America.  

In this league there are 3 different categories, also called Divisions with the peculiarity that they are not organized in order or hierarchy, meaning that a Division 3 team can beat a Division 1 team, due to the fact that they are not in Division 1 for winning matches. 


*NCAA DIVISION 1: 417 Universities, This league is normally for universities that are sport focused, they are normally bigger than others and have more students. 

*NCAA DIVISION 2: 206 Universities, In this league we find a balance between sports and academics, this Division and Division 1 normally host international students.

*NCAA DIVISION 3: 438 Universities, In this league there are not many international students because there are not many sports scholarships available, the most available ones are the ones students get by their grades. This is the main reason most students, especially international ones, go for Division 1 and 2. 


Normally Division 1 has more exposure in the media, some matches are broadcasted on TV due to the fact that most Universities are well known and famous. When it comes to accessibility, Division 1 is harder to get in, they’re requirements are more strict with the age and the grades obtained also the level of English. Division 2 is more flexible with less restrictions.   

There are other North American Leagues that are influential such as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The advantage these leagues compared to the other ones is the restriction and the fact that there are more than 450 million dollars worth of scholarships available specially for international players. The NJCAA is formed mostly by community colleges, meaning two year education or professional formation (FP) in Spain, this league can give you the opportunity to transfer to a NCAA league. 

An important factor of international soccer academies are,  the level of training and techniques, this is why Spain Rush-SPF can help get a young player the recognition, they need back in the U.S.A. in a short period of time, most of our programs will have you playing with Local Spanish teams of different divisions and even tryout for them.

As an example the professional soccer player D.J. Taylor was a student here in our soccer academy, now he is playing pro in the MLS for the Minnesota United F.C. team.


Our international soccer academy is well connected with one of the most important leagues in the world; Laliga from Spain with teams such as Real Madrid C.F., F.C. Barcelona, Valencia C.F. to mention a few teams. If you want to play professionally and become a soccer athlete don’t hesitate to consider Spain Rush-SPF as the best international soccer academy of the region.