Check the AYSA website for the latest information on Alabama ODP and 2012-2013 schedules.
The US Youth Soccer ODP Philosophy
To identify players of the highest caliber on a continuing and consistent basis, which will lead to increased success for the U.S. National Teams in the international arena.
The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program was formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team will be selected for international competition; to provide high-level training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels; and, through the use of carefully selected and licensed coaches, develop a mechanism for the exchange of ideas and curriculum to improve all levels of coaching.
Program Description History
In 1979 the program expanded, the organization became more efficient and multi-year plans were developed. State Associations were encouraged to develop programs which supported and worked in tandem with National and Regional programs. At the beginning of 1982 a formalized program for girls was created, with the addition of a full committee (one member from each Region).
From 1982 until the present, international events for youth national teams have increased substantially and the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program has kept pace by instituting trials and player pools for five age groups in both the boys’ and girls’ programs.
How do I participate in Alabama’s ODP program?
Players enter Alabama’s ODP program through District Training and Tryouts. The selection process begins with District Tryouts and then State Tryouts.
Click here to download a copy of the Alabama ODP brochure.
What are the Benefits of Participating in US Youth Soccer ODP?
- Develop as a player. A great opportunity to train & play with the best players.
- Quality instruction from nationally licensed coaches.
- Quality competition. Games against other state association ODP teams.
- Exposure to regional and national team coaches.
- The opportunity to represent your state, region, or even your country in competition.
- Exposure to college coaches.
How are Players Selected?
In Alabama, players are selected on the basis of open tryouts during District Training or at state-wide tryouts. District Training is conducted by the 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 is District Training?
District Training is the entry point to Alabama’s ODP selection process. It has other objectives as well: (1) minimize travel time; (2) increase the amount of training; (3) get exposure to as many college coaches as possible; (4) learn the skills, roles and responsibilities required for each of the positions; and (5) develop leadership for older players due to training with younger players. As well, younger players should learn to provide full-hearted support to older players.
Club coaches are strongly encouraged to advise the District Coordinator on players who are serious and committed for higher-level soccer. The District Coordinator will allow these players to train at an ODP District/Clinic session. Upon observing the player, the District Coordinator may recommend the player for future training and participation on the state ODP team/pool.
What are Regional Camps?
US Youth Soccer is divided into four regions, each 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 team 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. Alabama is part of US Youth Soccer Region III.
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.