One of the age-old discussions in the youth soccer community is the question of how the high school game does or doesn’t fit into the best interests of club players who are extremely serious about getting recruited to play soccer in college at a high level.

Although the club vs. high school topic has been debated for decades, it continues to be a major question mark for many athletes entering the most important years of their youth soccer careers, since the answer for what’s best for each player’s specific situation can be vastly different.

The quality of high school soccer competition can vary greatly in different areas of the country, and even within the same regions, major differences persist in the level of play in private vs. public schools, or larger public schools vs. smaller public schools.

Additionally, club soccer players may have much busier travel soccer schedules than others. Different travel leagues may play more games throughout the year, and some teams have extensive showcase tournament schedules as well.

Ultimately, youth soccer players should realistically evaluate the opportunities that are available to them, and make the best decisions that they believe will give them the best chance to thrive in the college recruiting process. In the era of year-round training and competition, young athletes should prioritize taking care of their bodies, preventing injuries and avoiding overuse.

Class of 2026 athlete Evelyn Shaffer (@shafferevelyn26) recently posed the question on Twitter, asking for advice on whether she should play in her upcoming high school season, or whether she should instead focus on speed training, lifting and technical training. The tweet garnered over 20 thoughtful responses from a variety of sources, including from the prominent College Soccer Truth (@ImCollegeSoccer) account, as well as University of Kentucky 2024 commit and Florida Elite ECNL goalkeeper / multi-sport high school athlete Gaby Rourke (@gabyrourke03), among many others.

See below for a sampling of the top responses in the discussion. To view the full tweet thread, click here.