US Youth Soccer ODP experience accounts for 86 percent of the U-14 and U-15 players called into National Team camps
U.S. Soccer held their initial identification camps for the Under-14 age group last month and the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) was again a common thread of those players called into camp. The U-14 program is designed to introduce players to a level of soccer they would not otherwise see at such a young age and allows the country's top youth the chance to experience soccer at its highest level while in an international setting.
The U.S. U-14 Girls National Team Identification Camp began on July 31 and ran through August 6 at the University of Portland. The camp featured 100 of the top young female players in the country, of which 96 are members of US Youth Soccer ODP. The majority of players called in were born in 1996 with a few born in 1997, all of which will be eligible for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. Coach Mike Dickey and his staff evaluated the week of training and games and will select 36 players for an upcoming team camp this month at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The U-14 Boys also held their initial identification camp last month as Manny Schellscheidt brought the group of '97s to Concord, Mass. from Aug. 1-7. Of the 119 players called in, 99 are participants in US Youth Soccer ODP. The event included training sessions and games, as well as programs designed to introduce the players to the National Team environment and teach them how to prepare themselves for potential future call-ups to National Teams.
Earlier in the summer, last year's U-14 Boys ('96) ended their cycle with the last camp before moving on to the U-15 Boys National Team. Held at the training facility of New Jersey club PDA, 38 players were called in for a week of training with 32 of them representing US Youth Soccer ODP. The players trained twice daily while participating in scrimmages against local club teams. The U-15 Boys ('95) also held their last camp of the year alongside the U-14s in New Jersey. Coach Jim Barlow brought in 48 players, 34 of which are involved in US Youth Soccer ODP.
The U-15 Girl's National Team ('95) met in Sunrise, Fla., in late August for a week of training and games as this group will form the core of the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup. Twenty-two of the 24 players in attendance also trained and developed through US Youth Soccer ODP. Amber Munerlyn, a member of Cal-South and Region IV US Youth Soccer ODP, is the U-15s leading scorer with three goals in four games last year.
These players hope to follow in the footsteps of previous US Youth Soccer ODP players such as Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Victoria DiMartino, Kristen Mewis and Courtney Verloo to play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
To learn more about the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program, click here
For complete U.S. National Team camp rosters, click the age group below: