Day 4 of 4
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PHOENIX (Jan. 13, 2014) – The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region IV Championships were a success for Washington Youth Soccer Elite Player Development (EPD) teams and players as four teams advanced to the championship match, more than any other state except for California South, which not only played in every final but took home all 10 titles. Two Washington teams also advanced to third place matches, and the success of Washington teams is expected to land many players on the All-Tournament teams which will be released by US Youth Soccer later this week.
“What a fantastic event and our players did not disappoint,” commented Washington Youth Soccer Director of Coaching Education Shannon Murray. “Everyone should be proud of how our players conducted themselves not only on the field, but how they brought a high level of professionalism and pride to everything they did off the field as well. Seven of our 10 Washington EPD teams got to the semifinals and four teams played in the final. From a results standpoint, we are thrilled with how the kids performed.”
Murray was excited that not only did Washington EPD teams have success, but that they approached the games the right way and employed a skillful, possession style.
Although the four teams that advanced to championship games came up short against tough Cal-South opponents, the experience provided plenty of lessons for players to take back to their clubs teams.
“Two things stood out to me,” said Murray. “First, the technical demands that are required at this level. The pace of play and the pressure is high here, and we hope that our players can take this back to their club environments and continue to raise the level of their everyday training atmosphere. Second, the experience of representing Washington. This state is a special place to grow up playing soccer. I grew up here and I am a product of the ODP/EPD system. Most of our staff are a product of this system. Most of the opportunities that have come our way are a result of our time in this system. The opportunity to play in front of National, Regional, professional and college scouts and represent where you are from is something that I hope all our players will remember for years.
“At the end of the day, we need to continue to put our players in a consistent, demanding environment to continue to develop high level technical players that can play under pressure. Cal-South showed a lot of quality, especially in the attacking third of the field. That was evident in a couple of the finals where the play in terms of possession and time on the ball was fairly even, but they made you pay when they got chances on goal. I’m looking forward to seeing our players continue to grow in the quality environment that the Regional Club League provides them and to see our clubs continue to ask a lot of our players. I can’t wait to come back next year and see if we can close the gap.”
See the full results and standings from the Region IV ODP Championships here. Keep up with the EPD program by following Washington Youth Soccer on Twitter at @WAYouthSoccer or sign up to receive news, and learn more by visiting WashingtonYouthSoccer.org/Programs/Elite_Player_Development.
FINAL DAY RESULTS
1997 Boys: Washington 0-7 Cal-South
1999 Boys: Washington 0-3 Cal-South
2000 Boys: Washington 0-3 Cal-South
2001 Boys: Washington 1-3 Cal-South
Third Place Matches
1997 Girls: Washington 0-3 Utah
2001 Girls: Washington 1-2 Cal-North
1998 Girls: Inactive, finished with 2 wins and 2 draws
1999 Girls: Inactive, lost in the semifinals. No 3rd place match.
2000 Girls: Inactive, finished with 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss
1998 Boys: Inactive, finished with 2 wins and 2 losses