The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program ("ODP") is designed to give the elite youth soccer player an opportunity to focus on his or her personal development as a player in a highly competitive soccer environment. At its inception, ODP was the pre-eminent pathway to the US National team. The soccer environment has changed in recent years and there are now numerous such pathways to the National Team. US Youth Soccer has responded to those changes by redefining and standardizing ODP across the country.
The ODP mission at the regional and national levels will focus on identification of the elite player. This will require the development of a vast scouting network at all 3 levels of the program.
ODP Regional Camp will be by invitation only and will be administered entirely by the Regions. The ODP Camp in July will no longer be a team-centric camp. Only those players identified by the ODP scouting process will be invited.
One of the primary vehicles the Region will use to scout and identify players is a Region-wide ODP tournament. The older ODP age groups (15U, 16U and 17U) will face off in a tournament in June and the younger age groups will face off in a tournament in January. This means the ODP cycle in Louisiana must start earlier than it has in the past.
- The practical changes to ODP at the state level may include:
- Naming an LSA Chief ODP Scout
- Naming an ODP Scout in each Club
- Preseason recommendations from Clubs
- Video analysis shared with Region
- Hosting a sub-regional ODP event
- Increasing involvement with Regional ODP Staff
- Foreign travel at specific age group (e.g. 14U)
The key to the success of ODP in the future is enhanced involvement and commitment by our clubs in the identification of ODP players.
The 2 memoranda from US Youth Soccer linked below detail these changes in ODP