The inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) kicked off last Saturday (April 13) when FC Kansas City hosted Portland Thorns FC at 8:35 p.m. ET in Overland Park, Kan. The new women’s professional league is composed primarily of American, Canadian and Mexican players, as well as a handful of international players from Europe and Australia.
The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP
) is well-represented on each of the league’s eight teams. Of the 116 American players named to opening day rosters
, 101 are former US Youth Soccer ODP members. That’s more than 85 percent of American players and more than 67 percent of all players in the league with US Youth Soccer ODP experience.
Several of the league’s most recognizable players, who are also regulars for the U.S. Women’s National Team, are among those with US Youth Soccer ODP backgrounds. They include Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Sydney Leroux, Kristie Mewis, Heather O’Reilly, Lauren Cheney, Carli Lloyd, Kelley O’Hara, Rachel Buehler and Ali Krieger, among others.
US Youth Soccer ODP, the nation's original player identification program, has continued its tradition of elite competition and player development for more than 30 years, and is the only identification and development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer, the NWSL and the majority of Men’s and Women’s National Teams. To learn more, visit www.USYouthSoccer.org
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You can stay also up to date with US Youth Soccer ODP by following it on Twitter: @usysodp