US Youth Soccer created the Olympic Development Program nearly 30 years ago. It was designed to identify and develop elite players across the country to feed the US national Team system. These core purposes remain today. Louisiana ODP also provides opportunities for players to train and play with other elite players from across the state and to be scouted by college and professional team coaches from across the country. These coaches consider a player’s participation in ODP as an indicator of talent, commitment and soccer ambition.
How Are Players Selected for ODP?
Players are selected in Louisiana on the basis of open tryouts and an invitation process. Players are scouted year round from events such as LCSL, the US Youth Soccer National League, The State Cup and US Youth Soccer's Southern Regionals. The Scouting Staff will consist of ODP, South Region and US Soccer personnel. The LSA Technical Director will coordinate and have final approval on invitations to the closed tryouts.
Does ODP Conflict With Club or High School Soccer?
ODP is intended to supplement a player's soccer development, not to cause conflicts. Tryouts, training sessions and ODP events are scheduled with potential conflicts in mind. ODP publishes a list has an exemption with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) that allows the player to participate in ODP, during the High School Soccer Season. The LHSAA exemption includes Tryouts, Training, Games and Tournaments as approved by Louisiana's Olympic Development Program.
Can Players Be Added to the State Team After Tryouts are Over?
Players can be added under the following circumstances: Immediately after the State ODP Tryouts, once the State ODP Pools are announced, club DOC’s who feel very strongly that the evaluators missed a quality player can contact the State Technical Director. If the State Technical Director is satisfied that the club DOC is familiar with the ODP level and has a legitimate case, the player in question might be invited to an ODP practice for a second evaluation or a staff coach might be sent to watch the player play a club game. If the player is good enough, he/she might be added to the pool. Club DOC’s are encouraged to contact the LSA Technical Director immediately after the tryouts. The longer they wait, the less likelihood of the player being added. Once the fall season is over and the pool has settled down, it is much harder to add more players and it happens only on rare occasions.
Other typical scenarios that might warrant a player added to the pool are: – Quality player moving into Louisiana after the tryouts. – Quality player missing the tryouts due to injury. – Quality player identified by State, Regional, or National staff coach after the tryouts through the scouting network.
Players identified after the tryouts are added to the State ODP Pool only if they are in the top half of the pool and only with approval by the LSA Technical Director. The ODP at the state level has an obligation to identify the best players and put them in front of the Regional and National staff. This is the most important mission of the program.
How are Players Selected for the Regional Pool?
State and Region Scouts nominate players to attend Region Camp through training and SubRegional events. Selection comes from the Head South Region Coaches.
What do Louisiana ODP Tryouts Look Like?
In the selected ages, the tryout process in Louisiana starts with State Tryouts in November/December. Typically, between 40 to 70 players are involved in a State Tryout, depending on the age group.
Determination of roster spots depends upon the South Region ODP Programming as well as the overall talent within the age group. Some age groups maybe combined based upon numbers. Generally the rosters follow:
U12- (roster size 12-16), U13 and above (roster size 16-20)
Note: Alternates selected pay the training and administration fee. The event fee is paid only for those players selected to attend events by the staff coach and directors.
What does it Cost to Tryout for Louisiana ODP?
The State Tryout fee is $75. NO ON-SITE REGISTRATION.
What is the Format of a Typical Louisiana ODP Tryout?
All the tryouts follow the same format. Coaches will receive a list of players in their assigned age group with their ODP Tryout number and position listed. The emphasis is on evaluating players across a combination of small sided games and training activities. Full-size scrimmages and training sessions complement the tryout, evaluation process.
It is recommended to attend ALL Tryout sessions.
At the completion of the tryouts, a list of players selected is drawn up and given to the LSA Technical Director. This list will be published on the ODP Page of the LSA website as the State ODP Pools. Generally, invitations for selection are 7days post event. However, with the recent opening of "return to play" and the schedule congestion, the invitation process requires adjustment. Details are forthcoming to registered players. Again, all players must register for tryouts to be considered for ODP selection.
How Long are the Tryouts?
The usual time allocation for Louisiana ODP Tryouts are 1.5-2 hours per session. Depending on the numbers involved, the actual length of the tryout could be less. It is up to the Lead evaluator to decide how long is needed to accomplish the task. It is recommended to attend all tryout sessions.
How are the Evaluators Selected for the Tryouts?
The evaluators are selected from the LSA State Coaching Staff and have experience at the highest levels of play. Most of the evaluators have participated as assessors of talent at many previous ODP tryouts and are familiar with the rating system and player qualities for ODP.
What is are the South Region Scouts Looking For in an ODP Player?
In terms of player qualities- here is a link to what US Soccer utilizes in their approach to defining player qualities:
For the South Region, you can read how those qualities are applied by position:
Both documents provide insight into the qualities, roles, and responsibilities of Regional and National Team Players that State ODP Players should employ in their personal development plans.
Last year MLS (Philadelphia Union, FC Cincinnati) and NWSL (Houston Dash) scouts recognized and invited multiple players into Academy Trials. The South Region invited 9 Boys and 6 Girls to represent the South Region at the November 2020 Event.
What is a Region?
US Youth Soccer split the country into 4 regions for administrative and logistical purposes. The four regions are known as Region I (Northeast), Region II (Midwest), Region III (Southeast) and Region IV (West). Each region comprises 12-14 State Associations. We are in Region III, together with AL, AR, FL, GA, MS, NC, NTX, OK, SC, STX, OK, and TN. Each Region has a Region Board presided by a Region Director. Each Region also runs the Region ODP. The Regional Director appoints a Region ODP Administrator and a Region ODP Head Coach who, together, are in charge of running the ODP at the Regional Level.
What is the Purpose of ODP Regional Camp?
The main purpose of Region Camp is to evaluate the players from all the states and select a region pool of players in each age group for further evaluation and competition. All the states send their state teams to camp and play each other in front of the regional staff coaches.
The other purpose of region camp is to expose the players to a higher level of competition and contribute towards their personal development through challenging games and training with high level region staff coaches.
When is ODP Regional Camp Usually Held?
Regional Camp is usually held in early July each year. The two genders have their own separate camps, each at a different location.
What is the Role of the Louisiana ODP Coach?
The State ODP Coach prepares his/her players for scouting through training sessions. The focus is on the development of the individual player rather than on the achisevements of the State Team.
What Benefits Do Players Get From ODP If They Are Not Ultimately Invited to the Regional ODP Camp?
STATE ODP is a chance for players to challenge themselves and gage themselves against the like-minded players in Louisiana. Good players thrive on playing and training with like-minded players. "Steel sharpens steal"
STATE ODP is an inspiring experience. It provides a new environment for players to manage uncomfortable scenarios involving new positional roles, new teammates, and new coaches. Learning to adapt provides invaluable lessons for future development.
What are the Costs Associated With ODP?
The following is the list of events that the Louisiana Olympic Development Program participated in previous season, and the estimated costs associated with each individual event for 2015. The costs of the Olympic Development Program can vary slightly year over year but this provides a good baseline of what costs to expect.
State Tryout – $75
Pool Training Fees, Events & ODP Gear – $400-$500 based on age group (Includes Training). Events and Gear/ Uniforms are separate.
Is Financial Assistance Available for ODP?
The Louisiana Soccer Association State Select Team Program offers a financial assistance program for youth soccer participants who are in need of financial aid in order to play soccer on a Louisiana State ODP team. Each financial aid request is considered on a per event basis and covers a portion of the various fees associated with the ODP program.
The financial assistance program exists to provide financial aid to talented players. Once a player qualifies for the financial assistance program they will be notified of the amount available broken down by each event.
Individual financial aid may be awarded up to 80% of the total event fee. The difference between the financial aid amount and the event fee will be the responsibility of the player.