Typically, the top soccer players around the world sign with professional clubs early on, as opposed to p\laying at the collegiate level. This is no different for the top American players in the world.
Christian Pulisic for example, left the states at the age of 15 to play for Borussia Dortmund in Germany. However, this summer’s Gold Cup, which culminated in Team USA lifting the trophy, was filled with former American College soccer stars.
Let’s examine the top College stars that made up the Championship Team USA roster.
Matt Turner, Goalkeeper - Fairfield (2015)
Turner’s rise from unknown college player to potentially the top American goalkeeper in the world is truly an amazing story.
Turner first gained national attention when he served as an integral part of the New England Revolution’s spectacular run in the 2020 MLS playoffs. That run earned him a start in a Team USA friendly against Trinidad & Tobago.
Turner rode this momentum into the Gold Cup and hopes to one day represent Team USA in the World Cup, and possibly make a move to a top European Club.
Reggie Cannon, Defender - UCLA (2016)
It only took 1 season at UCLA for star defender Reggie Cannon to earn a contract with his hometown FC Dallas.
After 4 seasons in Dallas, cannon gained the attention of Boavista, the Portuguese club signed the defender for the upcoming season. Cannon was one of the few players on the USA squad who didn’t play in the MLS last season.
Despite being only 23 years old, Cannon was the most experienced member of the USA backline.
Christian Roldan, Midfielder - Washington (2014)
Roldan was the 12th pick in the 2015 MLS Superdraft following two strong seasons with the Washington Huskies. Roldan had the choice between the playing of the USA, El Salvador, or Guatemala but ultimately chose to represent the Red, White, and Blue.
He has earned 20 total appearances for Team USA since his debut in 2017. Roldan is hoping that his recent successful Gold Cup campaign will earn him a spot on Team USA as they look to qualify for the World Cup.
Daryl Dike, Forward - Virginia (2019)
After two seasons with the Cavaliers, where he netted 15 goals, Dike was the 5th overall pick in the 2020 MLS Superdraft by Orlando.
Dike attracted the attention of many European clubs in his first professional season and was ultimately loaned out to Barnsley in the EFL Championship League. Dike made his debut for the USA last January against Trinidad & Tobago.
Since then, Dike has carved out a name for himself as one of the top American goal scorers in the pros.
College Soccer is still not the primary way in which American stars break into the top leagues around the world. That route still includes signing with a top youth academy overseas at a young age. But a successful collegiate campaign is a great gateway to a long career in the MLS or playing for team USA in the Olympics or the Gold Cup.