Downingtown (September 11)–Nearly 2000 youth players aged 10 to 16 participated in 2016-17 tryouts for Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer's Olympic Development Program (ODP) this weekend.
The tryouts took place across five locations: Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Lancaster Mennonite School, Lehigh County Fields, Marywood University and United Sports Training Center.
ODP brings the best players and coaches in the state together to compete on the regional and national levels.
“We're proud of all the support our players show for ODP. The sheer number of participants is a testament to the quality of our coaching staff and program,” said Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Technical Director Mike Barr. “We look forward to working with these players throughout the year and competing against Region I's best.”
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer will select teams for age groups U12 to U17. There will be five regional teams for U12: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Lancaster/Harrisburg, Delaware County/Chester County, Philadelphia/Bucks County and Allentown/Reading. The U13's will have three regional teams: Philadelphia Area, Lehigh Valley and Lancaster/Harrisburg. The U14 through U17 teams will be composed of players all across Eastern Pennsylvania.
Eastern Pennsylvania ODP teams will compete in two main competitions in 2017 in addition to training throughout the year. They will play in February's Virginia Friendlies, which features state teams from across Region I, and in the Region I tournament next Summer.
ODP players will also have the chance to attend Region I Camp. If they play well there, they will train with the Region I team and have a chance to make the US Youth National Team pool.
Some players who have come out of Eastern Pennsylvania ODP include Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin, former US Men's National Team player Chris Albright, Bayern Munich defender Gina Lewandowski and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Nicole Barnhart, a goalkeeper with FC Kansas City.