The goalkeeper is one of the most valuable members on a soccer team, guarding the net from opposing teams trying to score. Professional soccer can offer significant opportunities for skilled goalkeepers, often including educational opportunities. Aspiring soccer players with favorable academic transcripts are often eligible to receive financial assistance through athletic grants from soccer organizations as well as public and private sources.
Goalkeepers can find grant opportunities with national and local soccer organizations. The Student Athlete Scholarships Foundation, a nonprofit organization run by parents and coaches, can assist young players with college funding. An example of a local organization is the Suncoast Soccer Club of Sarasota, Florida, which offers an annual $500 award through its Andrew Monroe Scholarship. All high school students who play on a Suncoast soccer team for at least three years and prove enrollment in post-secondary education programs are eligible to apply. Because Suncoast Soccer Club teams participate in United Soccer Association competitions, college-bound high school seniors may also apply for the $750 Joan Judd grant.
General Athletic Scholarships
General athletic scholarships cover a broad range of sports; including soccer. Minnesota State University at Moorhead provides scholarships to students who exhibit exceptional athletic skills in soccer. Female athletes can apply for William Woods University Athletic Scholarships that include soccer, golf and basketball. Chicago-area high school athletes may qualify for soccer scholarships through the World Sport Chicago scholarship program. In conjunction with its nationally acclaimed "Got Milk" campaign, The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) sponsors the Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Awards offering a $7,500 college scholarship and a trip to Disneyland to 25 recipients each year. In 2011, one of 25 national award recipients was Anna Cassell, a champion goalkeeper.
Goalkeeping School Grants
The Academy One Goalkeeping school in Washington, D.C. serves athletes of high school and college age and is run by veteran soccer professionals with more than 40 years of experience. Since its inception, students of Academy One have collectively earned more than $3 million in college scholarships. A few colleges that have provided scholarships to its students include University of Connecticut, Colgate University and Louisiana State.
Recruitment Agency Scholarships
Athletic recruitment agencies assist young athletes in preparing academic and athletic resumes and making the appropriate contacts within sports and education circles. The Athletic Scholarship recruitment service provides athletes of all NCAA and NAIA sports--including goalkeepers--with such services. This group will help prepare a student's resume and send it directly to as many as 600 college head-soccer coaches for scholarship review.
International Recruitment Scholarships
In association with College Sport USA, the GK Goalkeeper Agency helps aspiring UK soccer players age 16 through 22 to achieve American college scholarships based on their academic stature and athletic skills. Award recipients generally receive four-year scholarships to one of several universities in the United States. Athletes USA has assisted several talented goalkeepers achieve American college scholarships, such as German superstar Alex Theumer, who was granted a scholarship to top-ten ranked California State University at Chico. Athletes USA has locations in New York City, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Spain, Australia and Germany.
Michelle Renee is a professional trainer and quality assurance consultant in the career, education and customer service industries, with two decades of experience in food/beverage and event coordinating management. Renee has been published by Lumino and Career Flight as well as various food, education and business publications.