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Olympic Development Program


PA West Soccer ODP - Mountain District
PA West Soccer will offer ODP training in District 5 (Mt. Dist.) this spring.  The training will be offer in State College at Fogelman Field.Boys and girls with birth years 2002-1997 are eligible to participate and must be recommended by their club coach.  After recommendations are reviewed invitations to participate in training will be sent out by December 10. Click Here for more info.
Regional ODP Camp
The 96-98 girls attending Region I ODP camp spent some time with former PA West Soccer ODP standout Taylor Schram.  Schram started ODP as a U13 and progressed through the system to earn a spot on the U20 Women's National Team.

Pizza Night

Pictured:  Taylor Schram (right) with PA West Soccer 96-98 girls enjoying pizza at ODP Camp.

ODP Opens Door To US Women's National Team
Eighteen girls from the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) participated in the US Youth Soccer ODP Girls 1996 National Camp held April 20-27 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

Players were selected by U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director April Heinrichs based on their performance in the 2012 US Youth Soccer ODP Thanksgiving Interregional, and were evaluated for possible participation in U.S. National Team events.  “I would like to congratulate all the players chosen to participate in the US Youth Soccer ODP National Training Camp,” said Heinrichs. “We were excited to see these players compete alongside the Under-18 Women’s National Team for evaluation and possible inclusion in future U.S. National Team activities.”

Santa Clara University Head Coach Jerry Smith and former U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Mike Dickey led the US Youth Soccer ODP National Camp.  “Not many athletes get a chance to get invited to the Olympic Training Center,” said Dickey. “To have the opportunity…it’s once in a lifetime for some. It was great to see these players closer to achieving their ambitions of potentially being World Cup players.”

Players collaborated and scrimmaged with the U-18 U.S. Women’s National Team and also had the opportunity to receive counsel from U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Tom Sermanni, and U.S. Women’s Under-20 Head Coach Michelle French, who also trained the girls in a session.  “All had very encouraging messages on how they valued the US Youth Soccer ODP program and saw it as a wonderful tool for identifying and developing future national team players,” said Smith.

“Tom Sermanni thanked the girls for their commitment to the game and talked about the U.S. Women’s National Team and that many players got their start in ODP.  April gave quite a bit of advice to the players, and the message she gave on the last day was: thank you for making the match difficult, you put our team under pressure. Michelle French talked about how she enjoyed her years on the Washington Youth Soccer ODP team and how she really felt that it helped her prepare for U.S. Soccer and that now she’s looking forward to tracking ODP players.” 

Because of her notable performance in the first scrimmage, US Youth Soccer ODP player Megan McCashland was asked by April Heinrichs to train with the U-18 Women’s National Team throughout the week.  “She did quite well and in some cases more than held her own with their group,” said Smith. “It’s a great message for both groups. In our group it’s a very clear picture of …if you work hard and focus to do the right things you will be with that team. It’s also great for the U.S. Soccer team to know that these players are on their heels. Megan’s very hard-working. She got a chance, and she made the most of it.”

An added opportunity that the US Youth Soccer ODP girls exclusively received was the chance to be one of the first groups to go through a training regimen with Athletes’ Performance and SKLZ  - US Youth Soccer’s official player performance training partner - at their new facility in San Diego. The players received education on strength, conditioning, recovery and nutrition.  Other testing during the week included the exact physical and technical assessments which the U-18 U.S. National Team players also completed.  “It really quantified things for our players and helped put things in perspective,” said Smith. “Not only did we get to rank players from our own group, but then we took those numbers and compared them with the players in U.S. Soccer.”  “There were so many positives to this joint venture, that I think it’s something we’ll continue to want to do moving forward,” said Smith. “This is mutually beneficial. In the end, this is about soccer development in our country.”

US Youth Soccer ODP is the original Olympic development program and with programs in all 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations, is available to any player regardless of hometown or club affiliation.  US Youth Soccer ODP is the only elite player development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, as well as the majority of current and past national and youth national team members, as alumni.

What It Takes To Be A Successful Player
US Youth Soccer's former Technical Director John Ellinger offered a paper with insight into what it took to be a successful ODP player.  But the information in
"What It Takes To Be Successful in US Youth Soccer ODP" can be used by any player to improve their game 

Any Questions about ODP: Contact Paul Halford, Director of Coaching at