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What is ODP and should our players participate?

In the September, 2001 Attack Soccer Club Newsletter, ODP was described as follows:

ODP refers to the Olympic Development Program, the first step in the selection process that leads to playing on a US Youth National Team.

The purpose of the ODP program is to select the best eighteen players in a State at each age level, then form a boys team and a girls team at each age level to represent the State. State teams compete each July at week long Regional Camps at the end of which a pool of approximately 20 players in each age group is selected to form a Regional team. Selected Regional Team players from each of the four Regions around the United States are chosen to compete for spots on US Youth National Teams. Players who were bypassed for Regional teams or who did not participate in ODP may also be invited to the National Selection Camps by National Team Coaches. Regional Team players are also invited to travel with the Regional Team to tournaments in the United States and abroad. In the past William John, who plays on the Attack U-17 team, traveled to France to play with the Region II team.

The ODP program is operated by each State Youth Soccer Association under the direction of the United States Soccer Federation and the US Olympic Committee. Every state has a different selection process and organization. The Missouri Youth Soccer Association (MYSA) divides Missouri into three regions. Each region selects a pool of candidates that compete against the other regions' pools for selection to the Missouri State team. The Kansas State Youth Soccer Association (KSYSA) operates on a state-wide basis.

Unlike club soccer, with age gradations based on the school year, ODP follows the international soccer practice of age separation based on the year a child is born. You thus have an 85 boys team or an 87 girls team in each State. Generally, the process starts the year a child will turn 11.

Tryouts in Missouri and Kansas start in September and are held during monthly practices. Kansas has a day camp the first of each August to start the process. Information for the dates, location and costs of ODP try outs can be found in the KSYSA web page.

We encourage all of our players to participate in ODP. For younger players the competition and additional training will improve the speed of overall play and give the players the opportunity to learn new drills and skills from different coaches. For younger players selection to a State Team provides an added boost of credibility when High School coaches are trying to separate Varsity and Junior Varsity squads. For older players, selection to a State team and participation at Regional Camp is an excellent opportunity to showcase skills and ability in front of many college coaches. ODP is also the main screening tool used of college coaches when pouring over the resumes of prospective recruits.

For ODP registration forms visit the web pages for KSYSA or MYSA.