Best way to get a feel for the school and coach: Take a visit – are they interested in looking out for you beyond the soccer field?
Talk to current and former players
Talk to HS, club, and ODP coaches who have had players recruited by or attend that particular school.
As a high school soccer player you should be aware that the standard of play at the college level is very high. It is recommended that you attend a few games to actual gauge the actual intensity and speed of the game.
Remember, a college coach will have phone calls, emails with not only you, but at least 25 other prospects. Being prepared both academically, athletically and organizationally will enhance your possibilities as a college player prospect.
The NCAA rules state that coaches cannot call or speak in person with players until July 1 prior to their senior year and not pay for the costs of coming to visit their campus until the fall of their Senior year. It USE TO BE the case that players committed in the early part of their senior year. This is not the case anymore.
The profile of college soccer has grown and the number of college programs has increased, in turn, there is a greater competition among schools to get players to come to their school. Therefore, the following has become the norm.
Coaches ask players to come in on unofficial visits during their junior and/or sophomore year so they can talk to them in person. (NCAA rules prohibit them from speaking in person till July 1of Senior year unless the player is on their campus
Coaches tend to ask (via club coaches or email) players to call them, so they can speak with them legally over the phone. (NCAA rules prohibit coaches from calling players until July 1 of senior year, but they can email Sept 1 of Junior year.)
Remember that NCAA Div. III does not offer athletic money but still has rules for contacts with players, etc. The NAIA rules are significantly different and much more lenient. NAIA coaches are permitted to have contacts with players and even make scholarship offers as early as a player’s sophomore high school year.