Max Edelstein plays for the SFEA 2000 & 2001 Boys NPL team and recently committed to Colgate University where he will play Division I college soccer. Everyone at the San Francisco Elite Academy is proud of his accomplishments on and off the field, and we were delighted that he took the time for our brief pathway to college interview.
Please be on the lookout for additional conversations with the many players at SFEA who are moving on to college-level play next year.
When did you first begin playing soccer and when did you know it was something you would want to do in college?
I have played soccer for as long as I can remember and have always been interested in continuing to play at the highest level possible. I really became serious about putting my efforts into pursuing college soccer around my sophomore year, but have always had it in the back of my mind as a goal I wanted to achieve.
How has the San Francisco Elite Academy shaped you into the player and student athlete you are today?
I have played for San Francisco Elite Academy since the summer of my sophomore year, and, in part, I made the switch to the club because it allowed me to reduce my commute times to and from practice so that I could devote more time to my academic studies. I think the atmosphere surrounding San Francisco Elite Academy has always included other players who were as motivated as myself. This allows us to push each other to excel. In addition, I was able to find synergy between SFEA with my high school team at University High School, which allowed me to compete in both club and high school play and eventually find success in both arenas.
Choosing a college is daunting and finding one to also play soccer can make it even more so. Please share a few thoughts on your college-selection/recruiting process and how you came to the conclusion your school was right for you?
One key piece of advice I held onto was that whatever school I was going to attend I would still want to be there even if I was not playing soccer. Personally, I was looking for a school that combined rigorous academics with a successful soccer program, and in the end I found that Colgate was a place that fit all of these categories. After visiting, I was really able to picture myself as part of the community there.
When did you begin working on your college recruiting and what did you do first?
I began working on my college recruiting process in my sophomore year by having discussions with my high school and SFEA coach. With their help, I made a preliminary list of institutions that I was interested in. I also began attending some of the different ID camps around the Bay Area as a way of exposing myself to the process in preparation for other ID camps around the country that I would attend in the summer. In addition, I compiled a highlight video to send college coaches before different showcases to attract attention to my games. I also emailed different coaches and invited them to my games, and I was able to start building connections with different schools.
What key words of advice would you give fellow SFEA players who are just beginning the college recruiting (or finding a college soccer play opportunity) process?
I think the key to the college recruitment process is that it is a player-driven endeavor. By putting together your own highlight video, reaching out to coaches, and having discussions with people who have knowledge of the process, you can gain a lot of useful information on the best way to pursue the process. If you are active in building connections with different coaches and schools, and all the while continue to improve as a player, college soccer is an achievable goal.
Please share what you are most excited about when it comes to attending your college--from student life to academics/areas of study as well as college play?
I am extremely excited to engage with a whole new community across the country and dive far deeper into my areas of academic interest. I am also perhaps most excited to compete at the collegiate level because it gives me a chance to continue to push myself as a player and play at an even higher level than before.
Is there anyone you would like to specifically thank for helping you on your journey from youth player to elite prospect to college-level soccer?
I would like to thank all the wonderful coaches that have helped me become a collegiate-level player, and especially those who I worked with more recently over the past three years--Mauricio de Leon, Po Bronson, Deejae Johnson, and Chris Flanagan. In addition, I want to thank all my teammates who have pushed me to become the player I am today. Special shoutout to Luke Bronson and Henry Gorelik who I have played with almost everyday for three straight years. And of course, my family who have always been the most supportive of all my soccer endeavors and have spent countless hours driving, standing through the hot, cold, and rain, and always willing to remind me to have fun.
The SF Elite Academy
Our mission is to provide an elite level program for soccer players in San Francisco.