Olympic Development Program

Olympic Development Program

General Information

US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program Region III
The primary mission is to identify elite level Region III players and facilitate their selection to the U.S. National Team programs. The selection process takes place through state, regional and national trials. The primary benefit to the player is to be able to try out, train and play against the best players in their age group, allowing the best players to further their development as soccer players.

Ensure the elite players from each state are represented at the regional evaluation level. Ensure the regional coaches are comprised of professional, college, high school and club coaches of the highest ethical standards. Ensure the regional coaches evaluate the best players against each other from the 12 states in a fair and impartial manner. Ensure the program to be as cost effective as possible, especially for the elite level players; costs of the program will be equally distributed among all players; and ensure a fair selection process.

·  To provide a consistent structure the annual camps.
·  To consistently communicate selection process and annual schedules to players, parents and states utilizing website and emails to players, coaches and state representatives and presidents on a regular basis to allow each state to make "area regional camp."
·  To allow states to send full teams or players at the U-14, U-15 and U-16 age group levels with older age groups only represented as region pools (i.e. U-17 and U-18).
·  To appoint a coaching staff for each age group.
To establish a schedule for each age group and publish schedules at least one year in advance.

US Youth Soccer ODP philosophy
To identify players of the highest caliber on a continuing and consistent basis, which will lead to increased success for the U.S. National Teams in the international arena.

The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program was formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team will be selected for international competition; to provide high-level training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels; and, through the use of carefully selected and licensed coaches, develop a mechanism for the exchange of ideas and curriculum to improve all levels of coaching.

How do I participate?
Contact your local US Youth Soccer State Association office to find out more about getting involved with US Youth Soccer ODP. You can find State Association by clicking here.

Program description history
In 1979, the program expanded, the organization became more efficient and multi-year plans were developed. State Associations were encouraged to develop programs which supported and worked in tandem with National and Regional programs. At the beginning of 1982, a formalized program for girls was created, with the addition of a full committee (one member from each region).

Current organization
From 1982 until the present, international events for youth national teams have increased substantially and the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program has kept pace by instituting trials and player pools for five age groups in the boys program, and five age groups in the girls program.

US Youth Soccer ODP selection process
Each State Association holds ODP tryouts on an annual basis. Age groups and tryout dates are different from state to state, based on seasonal and state considerations. Your first contact should be to your State Association for tryout information.

How are players selected?
Players are selected, in most states, on the basis of open tryouts. These tryouts are conducted by State Association coaches who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills. Some State Associations combine scouting techniques and invitations to certain players with the open tryouts. Selection of these players is not an easy task. The State Association head coach or state coach will, in most cases, be assisted in the selection process by several other qualified coaches from the club or league level. Players are evaluated on the four components that make up a soccer player:
1. Technique
2. Tactics
3. Fitness and athletic ability
4. Psychological component (attitude)

What are regional camps?
US Youth Soccer is divided into four regions, each which offers a regional camp for US Youth Soccer ODP State Association teams in each eligible age group. The camps are designed to provide high-level competition and training for participating players. During this training and competition, players who are capable of performing at a higher level of play are identified for possible national team camp, pool or team participation. Each region varies somewhat as to the specifics and the cost of their camps. Your state association or regional administrator should be contacted for more information.

What is a national camp?
National camps and Interregional events are held throughout the year at various locations in the United States. The national team coach or a national staff coach is present at these events to observe, train, and indentify players for placement in the national pool or on a national team.

What are the benefits of participating in US Youth Soccer ODP?
1. Development as a player. The opportunity to train and play with the best players in one's age group.
2. Quality instruction from nationally licensed coaches.
3. Quality competition. Games against other State Association teams.
4. Exposure to regional and national team coaches.
5. The opportunity to represent one's state, region or country in competition.
6. Exposure to college coaches.