Canada Scholarship

Kurst, President of ProSoc, Talks About Recruiting Players to American Colleges

Sebastian Kurst runs ProSoc, an agency that puts German talent into American colleges. In an interview, he talks about the requirements, scholarship opportunities – and why universities are already charging hefty fees to their sports teams.

Mr. Kurst, who is calling your agency?

This is really broad. You can’t say they are all young people with an affinity for the United States – there are many who simply want to combine football and study. The USA and Canada are the two best countries for it. It is also true that many play for their second chance in professional football – which is not unrealistic either. As an agency, you must be aware of this desire, so you choose universities accordingly. There are simply very different levels of performance.

How many players do you put on average for each age group?

About 20. We do not accept more in our group until we can guarantee individual care. The rule is to go for the winter – that is, in August. But this is also possible in the summer semester.

And what level should a player have?

For girls in the German under-17 league or the women’s regional league, for the boys from the under-19 regional league. But we also put players from the U19 Federation League. Everyone is given the opportunity to evaluate their chances, and we will not take anyone we don’t see as having a real chance.

You also address the candidates directly – how is the year distributed?

About 60 percent come to us, 40 percent we recruit ourselves.

At what age do you start?

Often girls are early in their personal plans, they start at the age of 16. At best, they go there immediately after graduation, at the age of 18. But this is, of course, difficult: you have to study for the Abitur exams, but at the same time You have to take care of the language tests and push the whole “USA machine” forward. Ideally, the players in our group will be one to two years before they graduate – there is no such thing as too early.

And when are you old?

Basically, we look first at the individual players’ personal situation, which depends less on age and more on how long they graduated from school. gap year (one year vacation) It is possible, but then you have to enroll in an American college in order to have the opportunity to study. Players can also go to the United States as “transfer students,” including students already enrolled at a university in Germany. A master’s degree in the United States is also possible after a bachelor’s degree in Germany.

How far can you choose where you want to go?

Of course there is a saying: if a player says that he wants to go to a big city, we will not contact any university in the country. And then we’ll see what the response is: in terms of performance, financial framework, etc., do we get a proper package? The final decision is always made by the player and his family. We are available to advise and make our recommendations.

Are there colleges with a particularly good reputation? Where does everyone go?

Clear. For boys, it’s Santa Barbara, and for girls, it’s Stanford.

They look expensive. Who can count on covering all costs?

This is called a “Full Ride,” a full scholarship, which includes an amount of $200,000 to $300,000 through to completion. We can supply some girls with it every year group. For boys, this is more of an exception than the rule, most of whom have to account for a deduction of $8,000-12,000 a year – something that also costs a college degree here in Germany with all the trimmings. Generally speaking, there are three pillars: Tuition, Accommodation, Food – depending on the scholarship, one is included and the other is not. You have to take a closer look and sometimes renegotiate.

If you can sign up with athletes, this is the best advertisement for colleges.

What do colleges actually graduate? Why do they invest so much money in scholarships for talented athletes?

reputation. College athletics is a multi-billion dollar industry closely associated with the school’s brand and reputation. A successful sports team simply ensures a very positive public image in the competition that prevails among universities. If you can score points with athletes who then play professionally, that’s the best college ad.

Who pays you for your work? Universities?

No, they shouldn’t spend any money on it. We make contracts with players – or their parents. We only take a small deposit for this. Actual brokerage fees are only due after successful completion. We allow ourselves to be measured by recruitment success.

Training factor – this is taken very seriously, right? One would surely hear from the football field and basketball in particular that the college stars out there are already very easy on the academics…

We had no personal experience with this. In general, the first year is a kind of revitalization almost everywhere, and it is easy for you to settle in. But then, you have to be there and stay with him. But if we compare the levels of performance: our German players have always had a good average, there are few who have bad grades or fail.

So the academic level is lower?

It should also be noted that students receive more help there. And the interesting thing too: coaches are also measured by players’ scores. This means: if the team gets very good grades, it will get more funding again. So he is also concerned about not allowing players to leave their academy. Sometimes there are penalties for bad grades and you no longer play. In addition, players with good academic values ​​have the opportunity to increase their scholarship in the following years.

How do you imagine the football being played there?

Very athletic, fast and technical. Tactics were somewhat ignored from the German point of view. But in general, it’s about college players facing physical challenges. In preparation for the season, training is sometimes conducted twice a day.

At the end of the day, will every player be assigned to your agency?

Yes, this is usually the case. Boys have between three and five performances on average. There can also be a lot for girls because the competition simply isn’t that great. It is also the case in which we see ourselves as a premium agency. We carefully select the players who join our group, have an extensive network and an affiliate agreement with the US Soccer Federation. The coaches are based on our personal recommendation.

Do you have dummy icons – players “made” them?

The most famous name is definitely Laura Freigang, although she was already a player on the national team when we put her on the line with Penn State. At that time, despite the offers from the German Women’s League, she decided to go to the United States and repeatedly traveled to Germany for training sessions. We didn’t have any of the boys who ended up in the NBA. Paul Hoffmeister was nominated once for the project but was not selected. But many of our players have been honored and honored in their universities and leagues.

We accompany two talents on their way

“Across the Pond: College Soccer Adventures”

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