The US YOUTH SOCCER Olympic Development Program, or ODP as it is more commonly called, is a national identification and development program for high-level players. The program identifies and develops youth players throughout the country to represent their state association, region and the United States in soccer competition.
ODP teams are formed at the state association and regional levels, made up of the best players in various age groups. At the state association level, pools of players are identified in each eligible age group, and brought together as a team to develop their skill through training and competition. From the state pools and subsequent teams, players are identified for regional and national pools and teams.
What are the Goals of ODP?
To identify a pool of players in each age group from which a United States National Team will be selected for international competition.
To provide high-level training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels.
Through the use of carefully selected licensed coaches, develop a mechanism for the enhancement of ideas and curriculum to improve all levels of coaching.
Who is Eligible?
Any soccer player is eligible for consideration in the ODP provided that he or she meets the age requirements for the established age group. A player may try out in the state association in which he or she is eligible to be registered. A player may not try out for the ODP in more than one state association.
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:
- fitness and athletic ability
- psychological component (attitude)
What do ODP Players do?
Upon selection, a state association ODP player is expected to participate in all activities of their team. These activities may include exhibition matches, invitational tournaments and sub-regional and regional camps. If players are not available for a specific event, they may be replaced by another player from their player pool.
Players are expected to take their participation in the program seriously, and should be committed to improving their individual skills as well as improving as a team player. Players are subject to the ODP Code of Conduct upon entry into the program at the state association level.
What are Regional Camps?
U.S. YOUTH SOCCER is divided into four regions, each of which offers a regional camp for state association ODP 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 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. Again, if you do not have those numbers, contact the National Office.
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 identify players for placement in the national pool or on a national team.
What are the Benefits of Participating in ODP?
Development as a player. The opportunity to train and play with the best players in one's age group.
Quality instructions from nationally licensed coaches.
Quality competition. Games against other state association ODP teams.
Exposure to regional and national team coaches.
The opportunity to represent one's state, regional or country in competition.