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News - Details

March 2018 ODP Update

US Youth Soccer ODP East Region teams have been very active in the past few weeks. Follow along with game recaps from international trips to the Netherlands, Ireland and Iceland.


Game 1

SC Buitenveldert’s first team play in the Second Division of the Netherlands Women’s Football League. They lost 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven on Saturday in the Cup. Their team this evening included a mix of First Team players and youth players.

After a nice day touring Amsterdam, the heavens opened to greet our first half of play in the Netherlands. The slick conditions played a part in an early goal that we conceded within the first 3 minutes.

As the half progressed, the East Region girls had to “dig in” to stay organized defensively. At half-time we changed to confront SC Buidenveldert higher up the field. This change in mentality led to Macy Ramsey pressuring the opposition’s back four into a mistake. Lainey Foti finished brilliantly with her left foot.

The rest of the second half was a tight, back and forth affair. As the game neared its end, the East Region created a number of good chances, based mainly on their athleticism and fitness, but were just not able to finish.

Game 3

The East Region did a good job learning from our opponents in our second game, and we wanted to play today in a way that reflected a change in how we were doing things.

On a beautiful evening, we faced another top team in the National League. Tonight’s game was against SC Heerenveen. We played their youth team, which is also their reserve team.  Our opponent rostered two players who play for their U16 National team, along with several others that suit up for the club’s top Women’s team.

Our main goal going into the game was to offer a more unified and cohesive unit on the defensive side of the ball. Training this morning was very light in activity, but very heavy in tactics and led us to a plan on our defensive end unlike what we demonstrated in our second game. Tonight, we forced play in areas of the field we wanted to defend in, we anticipated play and were able to read what options our opponents wanted to exploit earlier in play, making it very hard for our opponents to find success taking the ball through us.

We could sense a different energy level among the team tonight.  Although falling to SC Heerenveen 2-0, great strides were made defensively, and clearly our East Region team is bonding and becoming the “Beast of the East” we expect from it. Each team faced has been very talented, we will see yet another high level opponent tomorrow and for this, our last game, we look to continue to improve, see consistency in our defensive effort, and hopefully see more attacking success.

Game 4

After working really hard on our team defending yesterday and focusing on our team attacking before tonight’s game, the East Region team managed to secure a 4-0 victory in its final game of the Netherlands trip.

Macy Ramsey scored two goals, while Tess Belnap and Rachel Finelli each scored oen against SC Genemuiden. Assists were credited to Tess Belnap, Michelle Money, Jess Carrieri and Lainey Foti. Angela Accetturo and Lindsey Pazdziorko combined for the shutout.


The US Youth Soccer ODP East Region 2002/2003 Girls team traveled to Ireland this past week.

“This was a trip of a lifetime for our players, as we battled against some of the best women's team in Ireland and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with people in the local community,” East Region ODP head coach Sue Ryan said. “We came away with a 3-0 record against Shelbourne Ladies Football Club, Peamount United FC and Galway United Ladies FC. We took some time to see the magnificent sites that the country has to offer, and we lined the streets of Galway as we watched the local St. Patrick’s Day parade.”


Opponent:  Shelbourne Ladies Football Club
Result: East Region 02 (4) vs. SLFC (0)


1) Goal scored from a corner taken from the right side, the ball dropped in the box where it was controlled and shot lower corner (Peyton Gilmore – 34:00).

2) Pass made centrally from Katie Carey to Lena Lukowicz, where the shot was taken at the top of the 18-yard box and placed in the lower right corner (Lena Lukowicz – 56:00).

3) The opposing left center defender played a poor pass centrally to our Macey Harder, who intercepted the pass, dribbled into the 18-yard box and placed the ball in the bottom right corner (Macey Harder – 75:00).

4) The ball was played down the right flank to Haley Gschrey, who crossed the ball into the penalty area. Alyssa beat her defender at the near post and finished the ball upper right corner (Alyssa Hardin – 80:00).

Game Summary:

Our first international friendly was a success. Our team had one training the day before and many of the players played together for the first time. With that being said, the players entered the pitch and demonstrated great confidence, bravery and team work. Within the first twenty minutes of the game, we had at least three chances on goal, which resulted in hitting the goalkeeper. Our defensive line did an excellent job connecting passes centrally quickly to break pressure. Our midfielders were able to combine amongst themselves, as well as play penetrating passes between the lines and channels to our wide players. Many of our chances originated from wide play, beginning with our backs and midfielders. As a team, we had much of the possession and opportunities tonight. Shelbourne allowed us to maintain and circulate possession at speed, which opened up gaps centrally for us to penetrate. As a team, we executed our tactical plan based on the style and formation introduced to the players. The players were on the same page and communicated well, which was a direct result of the outcome. As a staff, we are pleased with the performance and energy of the team and tomorrow, we will address the areas we need to improve on both individually and collectively.


Opponent:  Peamount United FC
Result:  East Region 02 (2) vs. Peamount United (0)


1) Cross made on the left side from Sydney Schnell, to Alyssa Hardin, which was lightly flicked inside the 18-yard box to the back post, where Haley Gschrey beat her defender and placed it in corner of the goal (Haley Gschrey – 25:00)

2) Macey Harder played pass centrally to Jailene Dejesus, who beat her defender at the top of the 18, and placed it in the bottom right corner (Jailene Dejesus– 28:00)

Game Summary:

This evening, we encountered difficult playing conditions, however our team overcame the adversity and performed to the best of their ability. It was a collective effort that lead to two excellent goals off the run of play, scenarios discussed prior in trainings and team meetings. We are very impressed with the player’s receptiveness and coachability, which has transmitted from the training field and classroom to the game pitch. As coaches, we are excited to see the players progress from day 1 to day 4, whereas the material implemented in the training and meetings have been executed in the matches. We hope for continued progress moving forward.


Opponent:  Galway United Ladies FC
Result:  East Region 02 (5) vs. Galway United Ladies FC (1)


1) OPPONENT – Shot outside 18-yard box on the left, no pressure on the ball, over the goalkeeper – 16:00)

2) Jailene Dejesus, who beat her defender at the top of the 18, and placed it in the bottom left corner (Jailene Dejesus – 18:00)

3) Pass from Leah Sparacio (center of the field) to Alyssa Hardin, shot from the top right of the 18-yard box (Alyssa Hardin – 37:00)

4) Pass made from the left back Lena Lukowicz, who played a pass into the left flank, Haley, beat the defender inside the 18-yard box, shot off center of the goal (Haley Gschrey – 40:00)

5) Rebound inside the box, tapped in by Leah Sparacio (Leah Sparacio - 41:00)

6) Set piece from 20 yards, left corner of the 18-yard box (Haley Gschrey – 49:00) 

Game Summary:

For our final match, we were asked to play three periods of twenty-five minutes, which was beneficial for our team, due to the amount of trainings and games prior. The opponent was stronger and much more organized than the other teams that we played during this trip. We did concede a goal early on, but we were able to respond immediately, scoring a goal within three minutes later. Once we got into a rhythm of the game, we created four excellent opportunities that lead to goals. At the break, we discussed how we were able to accomplish our goals and keys, which occurred in the first and second period of the game consistently. Overall, we noticed the improvement in the players from game 1 to game 3, both individually and collectively. This game was our most challenging due to the level of the opponent as well as the physical conditions of the players. However, the players were able to overcome the difficult situations and stick to our objectives and goals for the game. As a staff, we are satisfied with the performance and progression over the course of the trip.


The US Youth Soccer ODP East Region 2004 Girls team is competing in Iceland.

March 26

Opponent: Stjarnan, Iceland (combination of 3 age groups ’03, ’04, ‘05).  Included 5 Youth National Team Players with the possibility of 3 of those players being called in Senior National Team camp soon.

Result: East Region 04 (1) vs. Stjarnan (4)

Scoring Summary:          
38’ — Stjarnan:  shot from approx. 23 yards out for goal
41’ — Stjarnan:  shot from approx. 20 yards out for goal
60’ — East Region ’04:  Samantha Kersey with an assist from a pass, centrally, inside the box on the right flank, their GK deflected it to Jayda Shehadi who ran in and 1x a shot for the goal.
65’ — Stjarnan:  shot from approx. 25 yards out from goal
68’ — Stjarnan:  shot from approx. 18 yards out from goal

Maya Naimoli (1st half: 0 Goals Against, 6 Saves)
Martine Royds (2nd half: 4 Goals Against, 2 Saves)

Quick Bit:                      
We had a valiant effort in very brutal, horrid weather conditions.  We had very good moments, more so in the first half, where we combined, overloaded the areas in which the wind conditions carried us, to create quick combinations with the ball on the ground.  Therefore, it created some dangerous chances at goal, which we narrowly missed.

Stjarnan was shooting from long distances for most of the match.  Early in the second half, we did not apply pressure quick enough to deny the long shot and they made us pay.  The conditions made it very difficult to pick up the trajectory of the ball and it played to their favor in these cases. Going down 2-0 very early in the 2nd half, we were proud of our fight to get one back and make it a 2-1 game.  However, in the waning minutes, where we were working hard, pushing for the equalizer, they counter-attacked on us to put the game away.

It was a great opportunity for our team to deal with much adversity and problem solve in many manners.  We showed we are very much capable of competing against players who compete on the National Level for Iceland.  We learned a lot from this match which provided many teaching points for us as we make adjustments and prepare for our upcoming match.

March 28

Opponent: Breidablik, Iceland (04)
Result: East Region 04 (1) vs. Breidablik (2)

Scoring Summary:     
40’ — Breidablik: From their throw-in, their runner got in behind and sent a ball across the 6 yard box.  Ball was deflected into a runner coming on who shot for the goal 

50’ — East Region 04: From a switch of play starting with Cassidy Shaw, through Emily Riggins for the assist on the angled shot (our R side) and score by Natalie Zibinskas.

62’ — Breidablik: (own goal) Free kick on the endline that floated over our GK and hit off our defender who tried to clear it as it was crossing over the line.

Maya Naimoli (1st half: 0 Goals Against, 4 Saves)
Martine Royds (2nd half: 2 Goals Against, 1 Save)

Quick Bit:                       ​; 
We had a great first have in which Breidablik found it difficult to break our press and had difficulty with our speed of play in transition on our counter attacks.  We attacked goal on many occasions but found it difficult to score.  Though we had one great goal on a 3 player combination that was unfortunately called back for an offside call.  The 2nd half proved to be difference yet once again.  We started extremely strong, turning Breidablik over in their defensive end a countless number of times with our pressure.  However, they caught us flat and “sleeping” on a throw-in which allowed them in behind us.  We found ourselves unbalanced in the transition and their low cross from the flank centrally was deflected into the path of their oncoming runner. 

We once again fought to gain a goal back and tie it up with Cassidy Shaw changing the point of attack with a ball that was played through Emily Riggins who found Natalie Zibinskas in on the right flank for the angled shot and score. 

Tied 1-1, it looked as if we were going to earn either a point or all three with the constant pressure and speed of play we were exhibiting.  However, Breidablik earned a Free Kick, in transition, deep in our end (near the endline of their L flank).  The free kick floated over our GK and deflected off a defender in an effort to clear it from going over the line.  The result was an own goal.

Though it was not the result we had hoped for, the effort to earn the result was there.  The team has proved that they are up for the challenge vs. the top 2 clubs in Iceland.  It is fantastic to see our play begin to evolve and develop.  The growth between the 2 games have been noticeable.  Their efforts have been complimented greatly by the Icelandic Clubs.  The team showed that they can absorb the information and apply it to their game.  We look forward to gaining the info of today’s game, making adjustments needed, and applying them to our upcoming game.

March 30

Opponent: Valur, Iceland (Mix of 03, 04)
Result: East Region 04 (3) vs. Valur (2)

Scoring Summary:
40’ — Valur:  Scramble in the box which included many saves by Maya Naimoli, but a rebound shot just cleared the line before a defender cleared it out. 

42’ — East Region ‘04:  Olivia Charles (PK goal)-  Olivia Graham penetrated into the box on a dribble and got tackled from behind to draw the penalty.

46’ — East Region ‘04:  Olivia Charles (goal), Jayda Shehadi (assist), Sonoma Adams (assist)-  Free kick in our defensive end taken from Sonoma Adams. The kick was flicked on by Jayda Shehadi to Olivia Charles who dribbled towards the box, cut inward to her left foot and rifled a shot low to the GK’s left. 

53’ — Valur:  From our free kick, Valur won the ball and found a central player, were we lost a 1v1 tackle.  The Valur player shot from 18 yds out over our GK.

56’ — East Region ’04:  Olivia Graham (goal)-  From Valur goalkick, Olivia Graham won it and chipped the Goalkeeper from 40 yards out.

Martine Royds (1st half: 0 Goals Against, 3 Saves)
Maya Naimoli (2nd half: 2 Goals Against, 2 Saves)

Quick Bit:                        
A great game to complete our trip on. Very competitive with evenly matched teams.  Valur is a club rich in history and much success in youth development.  After a half in which either side could have taken a 1-0 lead, it seemed as if it was meant to end 0-0 and go down to the final 35 minutes. It was an intense and very entertaining 2nd half.  After going down 0-1, it seemed to wake the sleeping giant, which was us.  We then took over the game and won the many aspects of it.  We were winning 50/50 balls.  We were attacking with pace and numbers.  When we lost it, we applied immediate pressure. 

We made things happen on set pieces and restarts, therefore executing and gaining the advantage. 

Super proud of the progress and results produced throughout the week.  We competed against all the top clubs in Iceland in various types of weather conditions ranging from extreme to pleasant.  We entered each match with goals to accomplish and achieved it with contributions made by every single player on the roster. 


The US Youth Soccer ODP East Region 2000 Boys team is also competing in Iceland.

Day 1
We arrived in Iceland at 7 a.m. — great flight accompanied by pro skating legend Tony Hawk. We immediately got whisked off to the Blue Lagoon to experience the geothermal-heated swimming area in the middle of a lava field. Great adventure and great way to kick off the trip. We were back on the bus traveling to our guesthouse in a quaint village called Hveragerdi. We had a light training session and tour of town in the afternoon. Early night after a long day.

Day 2
Nice breakfast at the guesthouse and off to training at the local club, Hamur, in their indoor bubble. In the early afternoon, we travelled to Reykjavik for a walking tour and to check out some sights. We also toured the National Stadium and met a representative of the Icelandic Football Association. In the afternoon we were transferred to our first International friendly vs. Breidablik. The East Region started the game brightly, holding a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes. However, we found ourselves 2-1 at half time and were humbled in the second half as Breidablik tallied several more goals, running out 8-2 winners in the end. It was a great learning experience for the group playing against several players who are in the national team set-up. All in all, a wonderful day despite the result.