Eddie Pope was from North Carolina, and he knew that he wanted to go to UNC, a strong academic school where his family could attend all his games. However, he was undecided between playing football and soccer. In the end, his parents paid for his first in-state semester, so that he could wait and decide which sport's scholarship offer to accept. If Pope had been from Texas or Florida or Illinois (or many other states), he would not have had the option -- he would have ended up a football player. People may point to O'Brien, Beasley, and Donovan and claim that college soccer doesn't matter to the National Team. However, a glance at the current player pool quickly refutes that idea. 29 of the 40 players have collegiate experience (72.5%). Of the remaining 11, 4 were not raised in the United States (Regis, Llamosa, Stewart, and Gutierrez). Down the road, more players will forgo college. However, there will also be a lot more Eddie Popes. Unless men's college soccer gets support from the big schools, most of them will be lost to the National Team.