Updated 12/19/11 9:11 a.m.
66 74 former ODP players participate in championship games
Excellence was on display as the final four NCAA Division I men's and women's soccer teams took the field for the 2011 College Cups. The level of play reached in the semifinal and final games took years to hone, and for the majority of players in the Men's and Women's College Cups, US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program played a critical role in player development and identification.
More than 70 percent of the girls on Final Four rosters who were born in the United States participated in State and/or Regional ODP teams. In the final, Stanford defeated Duke 1-0 to lift the National Championship trophy after US Youth Soccer ODP Region IV product Teresa Noyola netted the game-winner.
On the men's side, nearly 60 percent of U.S.-born players claimed US Youth Soccer ODP affiliation in their college bio, but even more were identified at the US Youth Soccer ODP State and Regional levels. UNC keeper and US Youth Soccer Region III ODP alum Scott Goodwin was at his best in the College Cup, posting a clean sheet to win the national championship after two clutch saves in the semifinal shootout. Goodwin's shutout effort was enough thanks to US Youth Soccer Ohio North ODP standout Ben Speas, who netted the only goal for UNC in the final against Charlotte.
"The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program was established to give players from around the country the chance to play high-level competition and to prepare for the next level of play," said John Sutter, president of US Youth Soccer. "As the program has evolved for the past three decades to meet the needs of players, it continues to provide the best available stage for competition and identification."
US Youth Soccer ODP, established in 1977, is the original Olympic development program in the United States. Formed to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team could 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.
Programs exist in each state and with competitions such as the US Youth Soccer ODP Championships, Interregional Training/Competition, Regional Camps and International play. US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way in providing elite player identification and development. US Youth Soccer ODP is an approved program of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
In addition to the storied US Youth Soccer ODP, US Youth Soccer National Championship Series
and US Youth Soccer National League
provide top level teams with the highest level of competition for further player development and identification opportunities for college and national team selections. 2011-2012 National League play is underway now, following the first girls and boys weekend events.
For the full list of former US Youth Soccer ODP selections who competed in the 2011 College Cups, see below.
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About US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) - US Youth Soccer ODP, established in 1977, is the original Olympic development program in the United States. Formed to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team could be selected for international competition, selected players are exposed to the nation's top coaches from collegiate institutions, U.S. Soccer and the professional leagues. Programs exist in each state and with competitions such as the US Youth Soccer ODP National Championships, Interregional Training/Competition, Regional Camps and International play. US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way in elite player identification and development. US Youth Soccer ODP is an approved program of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
– US Youth Soccer - "The Game for ALL Kids!®"
is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member State Associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit www.USYouthSoccer.org