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New Mexico State University and University Degrees Abroad have agreed to establish a developmental men’s soccer program at the university and to begin recruiting local, state, regional and international players to take part. NMSU will be home to the first UDA soccer program in the U.S.
“I’m excited to have UDA become part of our Aggie Community,” said NMSU Vice President for Student Success Renay Scott. “Having developmental soccer on campus will enhance Aggie Life while allowing participants be part of a supportive community where we all want to see them succeed in their goals. This is a win-win for everyone.”
For years, UDA has operated a year-round developmental soccer academy in England. Their mission is to provide student-athletes with an internationally recognized university degree, a developmental soccer experience and opportunities for multiple pathways in their chosen career.
As part of the agreement, UDA will establish a European-style academy with a professional coaching environment on the NMSU campus. All program participants will be full-time, degree-seeking students at either NMSU or Doña Ana Community College.
“When we made the decision to bring our academy concept to the U.S., we had a number of qualifiers we felt were paramount to our success – especially as we look to offer a different option to the current men’s collegiate soccer model in this country,” said Jeff Thompson, director of graduate recruitment for University Degrees Abroad. “Most importantly, NMSU offers student-athletes a fully integrated university experience and a full range of internationally recognized academic programs. Additionally, Las Cruces and the surrounding area provide a perfect environment for the delivery of a year-round play, access to quality competition and a lot of local, state and regional soccer talent to recruit into our program.”
NMSU will facilitate the admissions process, in conjunction with a UDA liaison, for participants in the program. All UDA recruits are subject to NMSU’s standard admissions procedures and standards. UDA will work to recruit 18-25 new participants each year, with a goal of having at least 50 participants by the third year of the program.