Teesta Sisodia-Sullivan, Revised April 18, 2021
There are two types of soccer scouts; talent scouts and tactical scouts. You can learn more about each below.
SOCCER SCOUT – TALENT SCOUT
The first is a “Talent” scout. Talent scouts attend games with the purpose of identifying players that a club may wish to sign. Clubs are constantly on the lookout to improve their team. Every soccer scout wants to be the one to find that previously unknown talent who will be the next big star.
They travel the country attending soccer tournaments, showcase events and matches to try and see as many players as possible.
If a scout discovers a player who he believes has potential, he will pass the name along to a club. The club may then choose whether or not to follow that player over an extended period of time to observe their performance.
During this period, the club monitors the player’s progress. They track the player to see if they are improving or maintaining the same level of play
If a club determines that a player may be a good fit for its program, it can invite the player to a trial. Typically, at a trial the coaching staff will observe and determine whether or not the player may be a good fit for the team and club. They may consider such things as the player’s technical abilities, sense of timing and soccer IQ. They may also assess his attitude towards training, his fellow players and his general coachability.
Larger clubs have scouts who travel the world searching out talent. Many of these try to sign young players and train them at their club facilities. Some of these clubs will later sell the developed player contracts to other teams.
West Ham United is an example of a club that was known for developing outstanding players. Their training and development was well recognized.
When observing a player a scout considers several factors such as:
- body type
- interaction with other teammates
- focus on coach and session
They may ask around regarding the player’s reputation with the team. Soccer scouts collect their information together into a scouting report that they submit to teams for consideration.
SOCCER SCOUT – TACTICAL SCOUT
A tactical scout does a lot of data collection for a team and collects the information he gathers into a neat package that the coach and players can study in preparation for a match.
They evaluate teams as a whole, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the various players. Their job is to get a feel for how the various combinations of teammates work together. Tactical scouts may videotape games in order to better analyze the movements and playing styles of various players.
Data they collect may include such items as:
- which leg the various players favor
- does a player tend to kick high or low when taking a penalty kick
- does a player cut in on the field or go wide
Larger clubs, especially in anticipation of big games will take the notes collected by their tactical scouts and dissect them as a part of their match preparation.
Players may also review the notes or watch film to get an idea of how their opposition plays.
SAMPLE SCOUTING REPORT
Sam O’ Sullivan Barker, the first-team scout with Odense Boldklub and founder of www.beingafootballscout.com was kind enough to let me use one of his actual scouting forms so you can see what type of information is collected.
The first page is blank, but you will see completed fields in the last 3 pages. This will give you an idea of what type of information is captured.
Q & A WITH SOCCER SCOUTS
Go Soccer Pro is reaching out to scouts with questions. Click on the links below to hear what they have to say. the click on the links below to see what these scouts have to say.
Miha Kline is the Director of Recruiting and Soccer Operations at the Barca Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Barca Academy is the first full-time residential US Soccer Development Academy that is affiliated with an internationally recognized professional club.
To hear what he has to say about scouting a Barca, click here.