The traditional early February National Signing Day came and went last week. The first Wednesday of February in recent years was set aside for many high school senior soccer players to announce where they’ve signed letters of intent to attend and play soccer.
This past Wednesday was quieter than usual.
That’s because this school year, significant updates to the signing period rules sped up the timeline. In the past, there was an early signing period (usually in November) followed by a break over the holidays (dead period) before signing NLIs resumed in the spring during the regular signing period.
All athletes outside of football and men’s and women’s Division 1 basketball players began signing scholarships on November 14, 2018 and continue to sign anytime through August 1, 2019.
Thus, the new “National Signing Day” for soccer players this season was November 14. With that date falling right near or after the conclusion of the high school soccer season, especially here in Pennsylvania, many seniors weren’t ready to make their decisions, while some, who had already made their decisions for some time, didn’t waste a moment to sign on or soon after November 14.
Larry Fingers, who coaches both for Canon-McMillan high school boys program, and with Century United where oversees the club’s College Center programs, currently has 60 former boys players in the college ranks, believes this system helps both the players and the college coaches.
“A lot of kids were changing their minds,” Fingers said. “The new rule provides a chance for the colleges to lock down a player earlier, and that also provides a chance for that student-athlete to secure a scholarship that has been offered.”
In the past, NCAA D2, D3 and NAIA schools have waited for D1 programs to complete their recruiting classes before ramping up their signings.
Now that D1 schools will be completing their signings earlier, coaches from the other division levels were busier over the holidays and early in 2019 instead of mid -to-late spring.
With these changes, we’ve been playing catch-up, but we’re doing our best to stay on top of things.
Special thanks to the efforts of Pittsburgh Soccer Now contributor Ed Rosensteel, we have begun to compile a list of Pittsburgh area high school seniors that have made college commitments and have signed a National Letter of Intent. Ed was able to compile a strong list of the female commitments, and we’re starting to build the list for their male counterparts. If you have any additions to these lists, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the Riverhounds Development Academy will be hosting its own Signing Day event on Tuesday, February 12.
While many of this year’s high school seniors either have made their decisions, or some are still in the process of narrowing down their choices, younger players aspiring to play collegiate soccer some day are currently in the heart of indoor and showcase season.
Once again, some of the bigger clubs in the area are hosting College showcases, bringing in dozens of coaches and clubs from all around the region for these weekend tournaments.
- Century United Boys – February 9-10 – Cool Springs (South Hills)
- Century United Girls – February 16-17 – Cool Springs (South Hills)
- Beadling Girls – February 15-17 – Southpointe
- Beadling Boys – February 23-24 – Southpointe
Some other clubs will have showcases at different times of the year. For example, Arsenal FC of PA held a showcase in December at Seneca Valley High School.
LOCAL DI PROGRAMS
One of the ramifications of the changes in signing period is that the college programs will likely not be in position to announce or share upcoming new class of player until later in the Spring.
We know of at least one local player who made a commitment to a local Division I program on Wednesday.
— Coach Miele (@BVABoysSoccer) February 6, 2019
In the coming weeks, we’ll start to get more information and take a look at the local college programs, and where they stand with their incoming classes. Because the final signing period extends to August 1, they may not have a lot of information available on incoming players.
Here’s some of the ‘commitments’ that we’re tracking with a little assistance from TopDrawersoccer.com:
|Luke Mort||2019||F||Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh Riverhounds|
|Veljko Petkovic||2019||MF||New York||NYCFC|
|Nathan Dragisich||2019||F||McDonald||Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh Riverhounds|
Brian Bruzdewicz Peters Twp Century United
Carter Breen Norwin Century United
Markello Apodiakos Belle Vernon Century United
|Anna Bout||2019||D||Cambridge||Ontario||Burlington Youth Soccer|
|Mackenzie Edwards||2019||F||Jamison||Pennsylvania||Continental FC DELCO|
|Catie Hassett||2019||MF||Pittsburgh||Pennsylvania||Century V FC|
|Madeleine Moran||2019||D||Edmonton||Alberta||FC Edmonton|
|Athalie Palomo||2019||MF||Lewisville||Texas||FC Dallas|
|Madison Root||2019||MF||Ephrata||Pennsylvania||Rage Soccer Club (PA)|
|Krystyna Rytel||2019||F||Pittsburgh||Pennsylvania||Century V FC|
|Sarah Sinnott||2019||F||Pittsburgh||Pennsylvania||Century V FC|
|Marisa Tava||2019||MF||New Jersey||Match Fit Academy FC|
|Abigail Wert||2019||MF||Pittsburgh||Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh Riverhounds|
|Amanda West||2019||F||Burlington||Ontario||Burlington Youth Soccer|
|Jaimi Araujo||2019||F||Tabernacle||New Jersey||PDA|
|Maddie Genicola||2019||D||Norwin||Pennsylvania||Century United|
|Brianna Passaro||2019||F||Commack||New York||Massapequa SC|
|Kristina Skulte||2019||MF||Virginia||FC Virginia|
Natalie Bell 2019 Hickory Century United
Jessica White 2019 Hickory Century United