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Olympic Development Program

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Olympic Development Program

The environment in which elite youth soccer players are identified in the United States is expanding. While U.S. Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program is the original and, to date, most effective method of identifying and developing elite players, there are an increasing number of paths a young player can take to achieve regional and even national recognition.

  • Mission is to identify and develop elite players
  • Create a challenging and competitive environment for every player
  • Develop individual players and geared solely to the identification of the elite player. Unlike environments in which team achievement is paramount, ODP is free to develop the individual player with only his or her best interests in mind.

Player and Parent Handbook 2020

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FIFA “The 11” 

FIFA “The 11” is a comprehensive warm-up program designed by FIFA’s Medical Assessment and Research Center (FMARC) in cooperation with a group of international experts to reduce injuries among youth soccer players aged 12 years and older. The program will be performed as a standard warm-up at the start of each training session.

12U, 13U Program

  • 12U-13U will tryout as split age groups.  Players born January through June will tryout together as the “Olders” and players born July through December will tryout together as the “Youngers”. 
    • Studies have shown that most national team programs selected 80% of their players who were born within the first half of any given year. It is aimed to take an equal amount of “Olders” and “Youngers” for the 12U and 13U. 

Player Pool Sizes

In the Olympic Development Program, the pool sizes, or number of players offered a spot will always be based on the talent level of the players attending tryouts.  Massachusetts ODP will aim for about 35 players for the 12U group, about 30 for all other age groups.

Indoor Classroom Sessions

Massachusetts ODP will continue hosting classroom sessions in conjunction with the winter training sessions, covering topics such as Sports Psychology, with assistance from Springfield College Athletic Counselors, Nutrition & Wellness, Strength & Conditioning, amongst others.  There will also be parent educational sessions during the winter season.

Goalkeeper Academy

We will be continuing a goalkeeper academy for the Olympic Development Program.  During tryouts, players who want to try out for the goalkeeper position will be evaluated as they always have been with goalkeeper specific training followed by a scrimmage which includes both field players and goalkeepers. The goalkeepers will be assessed on their ability to stop shots, distribute the ball, and organize the defense in front of them.  The top performing goalkeepers will then be invited to join the goalkeeper academy. 

They will have five dates during the winter months of both training and classroom sessions.  Once the spring season begins they will train at the same time as the field players.  Every other week, the top two goalkeepers from the previous week’s goalkeeper training session will be selected to join the team training session (based on player availability). The remainder of the goalkeepers will work with the goalkeeping staff. 

Our hopes are to continue to create a more competitive training environment for the goalkeepers as well as make a better connection between the top goalkeepers and the field players within each given team. 

East Region Tournament

The 13U through 16/17U teams will be participating in the East Region Tournament which includes all State Associations in our region. (https://www.usyouthsoccer.org/east/)  This tournament takes place in June at Rider University, NJ and Kirkwood Soccer Complex, DE, with the boys and girls at separate locations.  Teams will be competing for a Regional Championship which then leads to an opportunity to compete for a National ODP Championship.

East Region Identification (ID) Camp

East Region ID Camp will be on an invite only basis.  Players will be identified through sub-regional scouting events taking place.  Regional staff will observe Massachusetts players at these events which will lead to individual player invites to attend the East Region ID camp in July.

Uniform

Players will be required to purchase a kit (New Balance: Red Jersey, White Jersey, Black Shorts, White Socks) from soccer.com.  Once players are invited into the program, they will be sent a separate link to purchase their kit via a soccer.com email with a designated uniform number.

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