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US Youth Soccer ODP a Common Thread Among Players Selected to Fall Residency

September 28, 2011 10:00 PM
24 of 32 players selected participated in US Youth Soccer ODP
Under-17 Residency Roster [link]

Semester-by-semester listing of Residency Players [link]

The U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program recently named 32 players selected to participate in the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The 32 players represent some of the nation's finest, and in addition to their skills, determination and motivation to succeed, also share affiliation with US Youth Soccer, the nation's largest youth sports organization and home to elite programs such as the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program and US Youth Soccer National League.
Of the 32 players named, 24 are current or former members of US Youth Soccer ODP. Eleven players headed to Bradenton participated in last year's US Youth Soccer ODP Interregionals, an event that brings together the four regional US Youth Soccer ODP teams in front of collegiate and U.S. National Team scouts. Sixteen players from this year's class will play for MLS youth teams this coming season.
The residency players live on campus at the IMG Academy and train daily under the guidance of Wilmer Cabrera and assistant coaches Paul Grafer and Erik Imler. Cabrera was a former US Youth Soccer ODP coach for Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association and Imler was a member of the North Carolina US Youth Soccer ODP staff.
"The majority of the players coming through to the national teams have experience playing at high levels around the country. Players in programs such as US Youth Soccer ODP are familiar with the standards required to compete at the highest level and when they come through to the national team they have an idea about what it will take for them and for our national teams to be successful," said U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team head coach Wilmer Cabrera when asked what makes US Youth Soccer ODP a valuable program for players seeking advancement through the youth levels, specifically those seeking to be a part of the national team.
US Youth Soccer ODP is offered in every state, thus casting a nationwide net to find players capable of playing at the next level. 
Cabrera added, "Competing on a national level is essential for players looking to reach the next level. Players who can test themselves against opposition on a state-wide or region-wide basis give themselves the best opportunity to improve and gain exposure, whether they ultimately go on to play college soccer, professional or with the national teams somewhere down the road."
All players were born in 1996 and are the first cycle to be eligible for 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
"Our organization is known for the best youth soccer in the country and our member clubs and coaches are to be commended for their efforts in developing the future of American soccer," said John Sutter, president of US Youth Soccer. "Our elite-level programs, such as US Youth Soccer ODP, US Youth Soccer National Championship Series and US Youth Soccer National League, continue to provide the highest level of development and visibility to our players across the country and assist to better prepare our national teams for competition."
The US Youth Soccer ODP was formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a national team will 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.
US Youth Soccer ODP is the original Olympic development program and is the only elite player development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer and Women's Professional Soccer, as well as a majority of current and past national and youth team members, as alumni. US Youth Soccer ODP exists in every State Association and offers collegiate and national team staff coaches the opportunity to see the nation's elite players in the most competitive of environments. In addition to training and tactics, US Youth Soccer ODP also offers competitions such as regional and national championships as well as participation in international tournaments. US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way for elite player identification and development in the United States.

While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. team not only trains daily under Cabrera, but also has access to the IMG Academies facilities. The team regularly uses IMG's state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nation's best sports psychologists that work at the Academy. The facilities include three Bermuda grass fields, an indoor dome with artificial turf, two swimming pools, newly renovated student housing and dining facilities.

Beginning in 1999, the Residency Program has given players an opportunity to grow and move up the ladder in the world of soccer and become professionals in Major League Soccer, some of the biggest clubs in Europe and even make an impact on the full U.S. Men's National Team. The program in Bradenton provides players with an environment where they can prosper as individual players and come together as a team ahead of regional and world competition.

Since its inception, more than 300 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 100 of those players have moved on to Major League Soccer, or the professional leagues in Europe. Twenty-four players have also registered at least one cap with the full Men's National Team.
For more information on US Youth Soccer, visit For more information on U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program, visit To see the current roster, click here.



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