What are the odds of going pro?

In this article, Ryan Sleeper calculates the odds of athletes going pro in a variety of sports.

Here’s what he found for women’s soccer players:

  • How many girls play high school soccer in the United States? 371,393
  • How many girls’ high school soccer players will play on a college soccer team? 1 in 10
  • How many girls’ high school soccer players will be drafted to the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League)? 1 in 10,316
  • How many women’s college soccer players will be drafted to the NWSL? 1 in 986

Here’s what that looks like:

The odds of going pro in women's soccer aren't high (graphic by Ryan Sleeper)

The odds of going pro in women’s soccer aren’t high (graphic by Ryan Sleeper)

For most of the numbers, he used scholarshipstats.com, which tracks the number of high school players in the US along with the number that advance to play on a Division I, II, or III NCAA team. And to find the the total number of players in the pros he looked up how many players are drafted per year to each top tier professional league in the United States.

Through his research and data analysis it’s clear that the odds of playing professional soccer domestically are pretty low, so looking abroad might be a better option for many players.

 

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