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In women's soccer, the National Women's Soccer League ("NWSL") is currently the only professional soccer league in the U.S.  And college soccer in the U.S. – primarily, universities that have NCAA Division I soccer programs – is the predominant development pathway to play professional soccer in the NWSL.  The problem, which is highlighted by a controversial blog-article written in 2018 by the Academy's founder, is that a three-(3)-month competitive season (including preseason) is structurally inadequate and inefficient as a platform for the development of our best women soccer players.  (Click on this link to read such article: Why Should Elite Youth Soccer Players Forego Playing NCAA Division I Soccer And Play Soccer Abroad?


According to such blog-article, the NCAA College Soccer platform only "produces athletic players whose technical skill and tactical knowledge leave much to be desired due to a comparative dearth of consistent training and competitive game-experience."  In contrast, the European soccer player is lightyears ahead of her American counterpart – technically and, especially, tactically – since the competitive season in Europe is eleven (11) months (including preseason).  The blog-article concludes that, as a result of the "... comparatively defective aspect of the U.S. system of using Division I college-soccer as a platform for the development of elite, youth-soccer-players, ..." the European (female) soccer player is currently far superior, technically and tactically, than the American (female) soccer player due to the short-development period in the U.S. (12 months after 4 years) compared to the longer-development period (44 months after 4 years) in Europe:

"As a result, a Division I college-soccer player places herself in a competitive disadvantage compared to her European counterpart by going to a university to play college soccer instead of going to Europe to play professional soccer. This ought to be priceless insight for those elite, female-soccer-players in the U.S. whose sole objective is to become professional women-soccer-players."


The College-Defection Trend is in-vogue and will continue to grow in numbers, especially due to the increased investment by corporates in the global sport of women's soccer, which has had positive effects on such sport (i.e., augmented salaries, more professionalism in the operation of European soccer clubs, upgrades to professional facilities, and improvements in coaching and training, etc.).  In the history of women's soccer in the U.S., the following players have turned professional skipping college after finishing high school ("H.S."):

1. Lindsey Horan H.S. to Europe (France Paris Saint-Germain) in 2012 Age 18

2. Mallory Pugh (now, Mallory Swanson) H.S. to NWSL (Wash. Spirit) in 2017  Age: 18**

3. Olivia Moultrie - H.S. to NWSL (Portland Thorns) in 2021  Age: 15*** 

4. Trinity Rodman – H.S. to NWSL (Wash. Spirit) in 2021 – Age: 18

5. Jaedyn Shaw – H.S. to NWSL (San Diego Wave) in 2022 – Age: 17

6. Alyssa Thompson – H.S. to NWSL (Angel City) in 2023 – Age: 18

7. Chloe Ricketts – H.S. to NWSL (Wash. Spirit) in 2022– Age: 15

8. Melanie Barcenas – H.S. to NWSL (San Diego Wave) in 2023 – Age: 15

9. Onyeka Gamero - H.S. to Europe (Barcelona B-Team)  in 2023 – Age: 17

10. Kennedy Fuller - H.S. to NWSL (Angel City) in 2024 - Age: 18

11. Alexandra Pfeiffer - H.S. to NWSL (KC Current) in 2024 - Age:17


** Mallory attended UCLA early but did not play in the fall, choosing instead the NWSL pathway to professional soccer.

*** Olivia turned professional at age 13 when she sued the NWSL based on antitrust violations to allow her to play in that league.

Our own youth trainee, SOPHIE CASTRO, a 2004 ODP National Pool player and ODP East Region (Top 18) player (2016-19), finished H.S. in 2022 and will skip college soccer.  She did trials in Europe with Real Madrid's B-Team (pictured above), Levante's B-Team, Deportivo Alaves' 1st Team (Div. 1 in 2021), Osasuna's A-Team and B-Team, and Atletico de Madrid's U-20s, etc., when she was 17 and 18 years old.  Despite two operations in her calves for chronic exertional compartment syndrome, she will play in Spain in the 2024-25 season for a top-shelf team to be determined soon. (She just turned 19 years old.)

There are several articles on the Internet underscoring this College-Defection Trend, among which the following are some examples (click on link to read article):

The Teen Invasion of Women’s Pro Soccer Is Under Way (The Wall Street Journal)

Why More Players Are Skipping College To Join Pro Soccer Teams (Girl's Soccer Network)

The French Connection: Why Lindsey Horan’s Past Represents the USWNT’s Future (The Ringer)

The O.R.T.A. Professional Soccer Academy ("Academy") is a sophisticated "development academy" for aspiring professional soccer players.  Ideally, the Academy will provide a "Pathway to Play Pro-Soccer in Europe" for female youth-soccer players - ages 16 to 22 - whom are aspiring professionals and wish to play professional soccer in Europe in lieu of playing NCAA College Soccer. 


If your sole objective is to become a professional soccer player as your trade or career, come join us at the Academy. Our fitness training, technical training, and tactical instruction is par excellence. We will not only train you and prepare you for the adversity, the challenges, and the obstacles that you will face in Year 1 of your professional career, but also obtain a contract for you in a European soccer club that is a good fit for you, one in which you will continue to develop technically and tactically. Our Academy is the sole "Pathway to Play Professional Soccer in Europe" for elite-level, youth, female-soccer players who wish to turn professional and by-pass becoming an NCAA Division I college soccer student-athlete.  And we guarantee placement on a top-level professional soccer club in Europe after completing one of our two development programs (a 3-month program or a 6-month program).

Team Pic2 - White Jerseys.jpg

Top Row (Left to Right): Natalie Muth, Jess Johnson, Gabriella Cuevas, Annie Williams & Karsyn Hasch

Bottom Row (Left to Right): Gianna Milaro, Taryn Jakubowski, Ashley Dozier, Julia Camp, Toni Malone, Steph. Budrock & Katie Pingel

(These players signed short-term contracts and were supposed to play for the Academy in friendly games against top-level soccer clubs in Europe, but were precluded from doing so due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down the borders of all European countries.)

Most of these players are currently playing Division I soccer in Europe.

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