Peter Mannino, director of coaching for the Clearwater Chargers, said the number of players signing this year was unprecedented for a club that actively advertises Major League Soccer players Jeff Cunningham and Bobby Boswell as well as Kenny Cooper, who plays professionally in England, among its alums.
"The club has had a long history, 30-plus years, of being sort of a place where talented soccer players want to achieve to get to the next level," Mannino said. "The club provides an opportunity, provides the proper curriculum and provides a good coaching staff, a staff that has the knowledge to take these kids to the next level."
Having so many talented players together also makes recruiting easier for college coaches under time and monetary constraints, further fueling the club's reputation as the premier destination locally for players hoping to play in college.
"It's worth a lot for a college coach to see that many players at once," Mannino said. "It saves them money, especially when their budget is not what it used to be. … And not only that, they actually see the player being challenged because the level of play is so high."
*What is a Soccer Scholarship? A scholarship is an award of access to an institution, or a financial aid award for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.