It was an oddly specific ranking
it was actually the opposite. i thought about where they might land population wise, and decided middle of the pack sounded right. soccer has some fluctuations population wise (like north carolina might be higher than theirs as might kentucky or missouri or ohio) but it sticks pretty well to population unlike football where lousiana and georgia can greatly outperform higher populated northern states. thus 25 out of 50.
and you guys are basically agreeing with me so i dont get the questioning in the estimate at all.
as for how i know, it's always a guess but like you said it's from playing teams, watching teams, and general talk/following youth and college soccer. i think 25 is a fine estimate.
how many guys from louisiana go to D1 schools each year?