By Ed Morrone, Digital Communications Manager
DOWNINGTOWN (September 8)—While the day prior served as opening day for ODP tryouts, Sunday was far
In total, there were were eight tryout locations spanning the six age groups of 12U-17U:
- United Sports Training Center in Downingtown
- Lehigh County Sports Fields in Allentown
- The University of Scranton
- Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in Plymouth Meeting
- Penn-Legacy Hempfield Quad in Lancaster
- The South Philadelphia Super Site
- Germantown Academy in Fort Washington
- Lower Dauphin Middle School in Harrisburg
Almost 400 girls and boys turned up at the Downingtown location alone, a fact that delighted all of the coaches on
hand to evaluate the talent.
"I was very, very impressed with both the level of play and the numbers out here today," said 14U South girls head
coach Kevin Rooney, in his 25th year working with the ODP program. "I think we had record numbers with over 75
out here, and I expect 80 by next week's tryout.
"There's a lot of talent by the way it looks, so there will be tough decisions to be made. Luckily, we have plenty of
qualified evaluators out here. I'm really looking forward to getting started, and we couldn't have asked for better
weather on the first day. I can't wait to have another great year."
The amount of kids who come to tryouts, as well as their overall level of enthusiasm for the opportunity, makes the
coaches' jobs that much more enjoyable. Head Goalkeeping Coach Simon Robinson was clearly having fun all
weekend working with both the younger and older keepers, emphasizing the fact that the coaches look forward to
opening weekend every fall just as much as the players.
"I love the tryouts," Robinson said. "It's great to see some new faces, and some old ones as well. The program itself,
it's just always exciting to come out and work with these kids who want to excel by getting themselves in front of
people to further their careers at high-level clubs and through the college ranks. Not only that, but the level of coaches
we have out here is pretty spot on. It's a good group all around that makes you want to come out every year and give
it your all. I love it."
There will be another round of tryouts next weekend (check your team pages for times and locations), followed by
two rounds of callback tryouts the final weekends of September and October. Coaches will finalize their rosters by
the first week of November. From there, teams will host training sessions and also participate in friendlies in New
Jersey (December) and Maryland (February), as well as Futsal Friendlies the last week of December.
Some teams will also get the opportunity to take international trips in the Spring of 2020: The 2003-04 boys and girls
will travel to Northern Italy, The 2005-06 boys and girls will head to Barcelona and the 2007 boys (Scotland) and 2007
girls (London) will be bound for the United Kingdom.
The schedule is capped off by the Region I tournament next summer. ODP players will also have the opportunity to
attend the East Region ODP camp in July, with the opportunity to to train with the East Region ODP team and make the US Youth National ODP Team pool.