As part of our work here at SoccerWire covering the college recruiting process, we’re starting a new series in which we’ll be talking to coaches from throughout the college soccer community. The series will highlight college programs across the country and will provide youth soccer players with valuable insights into the recruiting process.


The summer recruiting process is a hectic time of the year. From ID camps to the youth soccer playoffs, there are plenty of events going on at once. For colleges, it’s also a critical time as June 15th marks the opening of the official contact period for the next class of players (in this instance the Class of 2025). These two events, coupled with preseason training and preparation for the fall season ahead, mean that most colleges coaches are likely to be surfing internet connections on a soccer sideline rather than on a sandy beach.

Alex Ng, who serves as recruiting coordinator and assistant coach for the University of Maryland women’s soccer program, shared how he and the rest of the Terrapins’ coaching staff approaches the critical period.

“May and June was a combination of traveling for playoffs and finals while also beginning communications with 2025s after June 15th,” Ng told SoccerWire. “During these travels there are various projects each staff member is able to work on within their roles and responsibilities as well such as creating preseason presentations, preparing training sessions and meetings and working on video analysis projects.”

Ng and head coach Meghan Ryan Nemzer, are in their second season at College Park, bringing back a young side that battled through a tough Big Ten Conference last season (3-7 in the Conference, 4-8-3 overall). The side returns three seasoned seniors in Catherine DeRosa, Liz Beardsley and Caroline Koutsos to go alongside a recruiting class that includes ECNL standouts Ashlyn Basinger and Trysta Thomas.

For Maryland, the ability to recruit players like Basinger and Thomas fits in with the type of player that the side is looking for in the years ahead. Their recruitment strategy focuses on finding players that possess both high-level physical abilities, as well as the technical know-how needed to play against the likes of Ohio State and Michigan.

They also place a premium on how a player reads and processes the game. 

“Every player at the Big Ten level is going to be athletic but the players that can play within our team’s playing principles and read opponent’s intentions are the ones that become elite,” said Ng. “Athletes that play with composure and intention in possession and are competitive and relentless out of possession are the ones that we feel fit what we want from a Terp.”

In addition to on-the-field characteristics, Maryland also extensively studies how a player handles matters off the field and communication with their coaches and teammates. In recruiting, the program looks at the player’s academic history, how they take feedback from coaches, and their interactions with their teammates to help guide their process.

“We want to relentlessly protect our culture here at Maryland so we take a recruit’s character and values very seriously when building our recruiting classes,” added Ng.

In addition to attending college showcases and events, the program also actively uses social media, not just for watching players, but also to show interested players the strengths of their program.

“I love using social media to show off all the incredible things we’re doing here at Maryland,” said Ng. “Over the years social media has also been a great way for me to connect with and stay up to date on recruit’s highlights and awards.”

For the Maryland Women’s program, finding the right player requires many long days during the summer and plenty of hard work. But their efforts in finding players that fit their philosophy and values leave the side optimistic for the road ahead.