US University Scholarships
Olé has a track record of placing players in US Universities on scholarships. With over 5 staff who have been through the US University system, and having placed over 30 players in universities, Olé are experienced with the process and are well-connected with networks in the US.
For players who are interested in this opportunity, Olé will begin working the individual and their family as they transition into the Senior Academy and into NCEA at school. Olé will guide players through which subjects they need to be take, grades, eligibility, booking and sitting the SAT’s, as well as creating a player portfolio and highlights video for potential university coaches.
During the placement process, Olé will always endeavour to find the “best fit” for a player and their family.
Noah Billingsley’s Olé Story
“In my opinion going to Olé Football Academy is the best decision I have ever made. It taught me so much, on and off the field. It’s more than just a football academy and it produces great people as well as great footballers. Olé has helped take me to a World Cup; something I had only ever dreamed about and has given me the opportunity to attend one of the best universities in the United States. Although I have a long way to go, I feel safe knowing that I’m in the hands of Olé Football Academy.”
Noah Billingsley, All White and MLS Professional Player
Noah is a Wellington local and began with Olé at the age of 14. Noah trained full-time at the academy, developing and moving through to the First Team by the time he was 16. As a 17 year-old, Noah was identified by the New Zealand U20 National team prior to the World Cup held in New Zealand. Noah had an outstanding World Cup, starting and scoring as the youngest player in the team against Myanmar in a 5-1 win at Westpac Stadium, which saw the team advance to the final 16.
After the World Cup, Olé supported Noah to pursue the opportunity to attend US University, Noah and his family deciding that it was in his best interest to accept a four-year scholarship to NCAA Division 1 school, the University of California Santa Barbara.
Noah spent four years playing at the highest level of college soccer, returning to New Zealand to train at Olé and play for Western Suburbs FC during each of his breaks.
In his final year at UCSB, the team made it through to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. Noah was named the Big West Defensive Player of the year, and an All-American, where he made the United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Region First Team, the United Soccer Coaches All-America Third Team and College Soccer News Second Team.
Following this, Noah was selected 18th overall in the MLS SuperDraft by Minnesota United FC where he signed his first professional contract. In his first training session with MNUFC, Noah broke the club fitness record.
With 2020 being his first year as a professional player, COVID-19 had a massive impact. Noah was set back 6 weeks of training and playing, when he got the virus early in the season. Once he recovered, this offered him the opportunity to head to USL Championship club Las Vegas Lights on a loan spell, before heading back to Minnesota where he made his MLS debut for MNUFC on 8 November against FC Dallas.
Noah’s journey continues with MNUFC, where he’s back into training for 2021 after a visit to New Zealand, where he spent a month in First Team training at Olé!
Olé players have been placed at the following US Universities:
- Elliot Collier (Loyola University)
- Kyle Adams (San Diego State University)
- Noah Billingsley (University of California Santa Barbara)
- Dan Keat (Dartmouth Univeristy)
- Harry Merz (Luther College)
- Harry Morton (Hartwick College)
- Mike Faber (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
- Caleb Wake (Luther College)
- Frankie Walkington (Marshall University)
- Xavier Green (Ohio State University)
- Mohamed Awad (St Johns University)
- Andrew Withers (St Johns University)
- Furkan Kokcu (New Jersey Institute of Technology)
- Ashlen Stroud (Luther College)
- Jaylen Rodwell, (University of Portland)
- Logan Kinajil-Moran (Bucknell University)
- Jarrod McKechnie (Liberty University)
- Maya Hahn (University of Oregon)
A Q & A with Noah Billingley