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ODP Frequently Asked Questions

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What is ODP?

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 develop and train the best soccer players in Eastern Pennsylvania. Provide opportunities to be identified for the Region One Team and the Youth National Teams. 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 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 ODP in more than one state association. Tryouts are conducted in September & October of each year. Interested players should check this web site or contact Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer for dates and details.

How are Players Selected?

Players are selected on the basis of open tryouts. These tryouts are conducted by coaches who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills. Selection of these players is not an easy task. The state association technical director will be assisted in the selection process by several other qualified coaches from the club or league level.
Players are evaluated on 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 their team's activities. These activities may include training sessions, exhibition matches, invitational tournaments and regional play. 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?

US 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. See the online payments page for estimated costs.

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.

My child did not make ODP this year. Could you provide an evaluation?

ODP tryouts are a selection process and should not be viewed as an evaluation. As ODP coaches are viewing players, they are attempting to select the players that stand out based on the four criteria laid out above. Coaches do make mistakes in identification from time to time. After all, they are human. Parents, please recognize that in a selective environment such as ODP, children may experience their first setbacks or failures to make a team. These should be seized as opportunities to improve. Coaches feel confident that if they miss a player one year they will be recognized the next.

I understand that after tryouts there will be a pool selected. How big will the pool be for each team and when will the final teams be picked?

Coaches of the specific age group or district (In the U12, U13 & U14 age groups) decide how large the pool will be. There will be two callback tryouts for all pool players. These dates are posted on the individual team pages. After those training dates, coaches will select their final teams. Rosters will be released as soon as they are all finalized.

How many players will be chosen for each team and age group?

Typically, the U12 teams carry up to 15 players. Older age groups may take as many as 22. If number of quality players--whether in a district or at an older age group--warrants more than one team, that age group will most likely carry multiple teams.

What competitions will the ODP teams participate in this year?

The U13-U17 age groups will be competing in two major tournaments: the Virginia Friendlies in late February in Williamsburg, Virginia and the East Region ODP Tournament (June). The boys East Region tournament is at Rider University in Mercer County, NJ. The girls play in Kirkwood, DE. The East Region tournament is a festival format for the U13 and U14 age group, while the older age groups play for a championship.

Both the U12 and U13 age groups will also have a round-robin day in the spring. The U12's, in lieu of regional competition, will travel to Wilson, North Carolina to compete in the North Carolina friendlies.

In addition to official competitions, friendlies and scrimmages may be scheduled throughout the year.

What if there are conflicts with my club team?

Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer would like to see players follow the U.S. Soccer guidelines of three practices per one match and one match per week but realize that very few clubs follow that practice. We do not want to see young athletes over-train and contribute to overuse injuries. We train almost exclusively on Sundays to limit conflicts for players, parents and coaches. In a few instances, ODP teams may train midweek in preparation for competition. All State Cup (NCS), Presidents Cup, Challenge Cup or ECNL tournament games take precedent over ODP training. Having said that, players are expected to attend at least 75% of the training dates, barring injury or longterm illness.

Are Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer ODP players required to attend Regional Camp?

No, but player are strongly encouraged to attend. Regional camp is both a developmental and identification camp. Coaches at East Region Camp are looking for players to represent the region in national and international competitions. Player pools are selected after region camp, with final rosters solidified for various competitions. From there, players may be identified for national pools or national teams.

How much playing time will players receive in competition?

Coaches are asked to attempt to play all players in matches that have no consequences for advancing in a tournament (I.e: during the Virginia Friendlies or round-robin play). In the East Region tournament for U15-U17's, ODP teams have a chance to advance but coaches are still asked to play everyone if possible.

Does Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer provide scholarships for ODP?

Yes. scholarships are determined on a case by case basis upon receiving a completed scholarship form (Available here). Scholarship applications are due December 1. 

What do the players wear to training?

Players will be provided a training shirt in addition to their team kit. They should arrive in training in this training shirt.

How do I reach the coach or coaches in my age group?

Each coach's email will be linked in his or her name in the coaching staff section of the team pages. These will be updated once the coaching staffs are finalized.

How do I know if training, a match or an event is cancelled or postponed?

All effected parties will receive an email notification and the information will be posted on the individual team pages. We will attempt to notify families of changes at least three hours before start times.

Will there be European trips for ODP teams this year?

Yes. All information about European trips can be found here. These are not mandatory.

Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Call the state office at 610-238-9966 or email Meridith Crowell at mcrowell@epysa.org.


Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer
4070 Butler Pike, Suite 100
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
P: 610.238.9966
F: 610.238.9933
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