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US Youth Soccer ODP Georgia State Team Enjoys Successful Trip to Portugal

682x422_Media_Wall_ODP Georgia
FRISCO, Texas (May 21, 2013) — Members of the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) Georgia state team traveled to Portugal April 20-28 to train with Sporting Club Portugal, as part of Georgia Soccer’s partnership with the Portuguese Primeira Liga club. The US Youth Soccer ODP Georgia players — in the 1996-2000 age groups — had the opportunity to participate in training sessions with Sporting CP coaches, play games against English and Portuguese youth teams and attend several Sporting CP youth academy and reserve team games.
The players took part in nearly 10 practice sessions led by Sporting CP coaches during the trip, some of which included training alongside players from the Sporting CP youth teams. One of the Sporting CP coaches complimented the ODP players for their athleticism and cited them as a good example of the improving progress of American soccer.
The ODP Georgia team played a pair of full-sided games, winning one while tying the other. In the first game, the ODP Georgia squad defeated an English team, 2-1. After falling behind, 1-0, Andre Deas controlled a pass from Danny Kierath (GSA Phoenix) and beat the English keeper to level the score. Kierath later found Yosef Samuel (GSA Phoenix) in the box, and Samuel moved around a defender to score the game winner.
The squad faced a Sporting CP Under-15 team in its second game, and once again fell behind early. The ODP Georgia team tied the game shortly after halftime when J.R. Cozine (GSA Phoenix) slipped a through ball to J.J. Nixon (Concorde Fire), who beat the keeper. Despite several good opportunities, the ODP Georgia team couldn’t find a winning goal, as the match ended in a 1-1 tie.
After adjusting to the differing speed of the game, Georgia Soccer Director of Coaching Jacob Daniel, who led the ODP team, said the players began to match up with the play of the members of Sporting CP.
"Our players blended in well to their soccer culture," Daniel said. "The first couple of days of training definitely prepared us for the Sporting CP teams. Our top players definitely competed well with their top players at all age groups."
The ODP Georgia players also completed a fitness test, featuring leg press, sit-down reach and a 30-meter dash. The Sporting CP coaches then compared the results against the average Portuguese player in their age group.
"The Sporting CP players are technically strong and had good team chemistry, but we know if we lived and practiced in this environment, we would be just as good, if not better, than them," Samuel said. "The Sporting CP coaches opened up some of our weaknesses and highlighted some of the things we really need to work on if we want to play professionally, but we know we can play with them."
US Youth Soccer ODP is the original Olympic development program and with programs in all 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations, is available to any player regardless of hometown or club affiliation. US Youth Soccer ODP is the only elite player development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, as well as the majority of current and past national and youth national team members, as alumni.
To learn more about US Youth Soccer ODP, click here. You can also follow US Youth Soccer ODP on Twitter: @usysodp.
Sporting Club Portugal Trip
Georgia Soccer ODP Roster
Daniel Kierath
GSA Phoenix
Lukas Joyner
TSC 97 Elite
Kofi Twumasi
GSA Phoenix
Andre Deas
SDY Jaguars
Hein Htet MacArthur
Concorde Fire SC
Chris Mikus
Atlanta Fire United
Yosef Samuel
GSA Phoenix
Justin Jun
Concorde Fire
Diego Manrique
Atlanta Fire United
Ernando Manrique
Atlanta Fire United
JJ Nixon
Concorde Fire
JR Cozine
GSA Phoenix
Jack Rittmeyer
South Carolina United
Carlos Pineda
Atlanta Eagles SC
Andrew Carleton
Southern Soccer Academy
Dapo Orelesi
GSA Phoenix


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