The Illinois Olympic Development Program or ODP is the start of the identification process for the National and Olympic Teams. The Illinois Youth Soccer Association conducts the program for US Soccer under the jurisdiction of the US Olympic Committee. The purpose of this prestigious program is to identify players on the basis of open tryouts and develop them to represent their state, region, and the United States in soccer competition.
ODP teams are formed in each of the 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations and four regions and are made up of the best players in the various age groups. At the state level, players are selected to participate in pool trainings and competitions against other state teams throughout the winter and based on their performance at those trainings, players are then invited to attend the one-day Illinois ODP State Combine.
The State Combine is the final selection process for the Illinois ODP Teams. Teams, made up of 18 select players, will participate in the Region II ODP Camp to train and compete against the ODP teams from the 14 State Associations in the Midwest. At this camp, players will be identified to the Regional Pool from which they can be invited to represent the Region at national and international competitions. At the national events, players are seen by national staff coaches.
Any soccer player is eligible to participate in the ODP process provided he or she is age eligible for the specific calendar year age group.
Illinois Youth Soccer will follow the US Soccer guidelines.
What it takes to be a successful ODP Player (US Youth Soccer)
How are players evaluated and selected for the State team?
Tryouts and training sessions are conducted by Illinois ODP staff coaches who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills. They include club, high school, college and international coaches who have at least a National ’D’ license although the majority have the top level A’ license. The coaching staff and selection process is overseen by the Illinois Youth Soccer Director of Coaching.
Players are evaluated by four major components:
- Fitness and Athletic Ability
Illinois ODP is for serious soccer players who love the game and have hopes of playing in college, professionally and for the US National team. EVERY YEAR THE PROGRAM STARTS FROM THE BEGINNING – NO ONE IS GIVEN A SPOT. Players change each year physically and emotionally. Players who may be physically mature at an early age may be surpassed as others mature. Any player can be released and replaced during the process. We DO NOT select players based on their club affiliation or their club team’s record. The focus of the ODP is a player’s overall development, not tournament wins.
Players are expected to participate in as many ODP events that they can make, behave responsibly, conduct themselves in a professional matter and always challenge themselves to get better.
What are the benefits of participating in Illinois ODP?
Although there are many good soccer training sources, the ODP process is the one most recognized throughout the United States as the best way to identify top quality players who can perform in a changing environment and still cope with everyday demands.
Direct benefits for players are:
- Development as a player
- Quality Instruction from nationally licensed coaches and special sessions held by professional coaches
- Quality competition and opportunity to train and play with the best players in your age group
- Exposure to regional, national and international coaches
- Opportunities to represent Illinois, the Midwest and the US in national and international competitions
- Exposure to college coaches
In addition to our top-level staff coaches, over the years Illinois ODP players have taken part in special training sessions lead by:
- US National Staff Coaches
- Manchester United Academy Coaches
- Chicago Fire Staff Coaches
- Chicago Red Stars Staff Coaches and Players
- Everton FC Youth Academy Director, Tony Farrell
- Everton FC Youth Academy Development Officer, Robbie Anderson
- Derby County Academy Coaching Manager & Wigan Athletic First Team Coach, David Lowe
- Director of Hamburg Football Club Academy, Stephan Hildebrandt
- Hamburg SV Director of Youth Programs and Soccer Academy, Jens Todt
- Charlton Athletic Football Club Youth Academy Coach, Steve Avory
- US Women’s National Team Assistant Coach, Lauren Gregg
- England Women’s National Team Goalkeeper Coach, Keith Reece
- Royal Netherlands Soccer Federation Technical Coordinator, Nico Romeijn
- Royal Netherlands Soccer Federation National Team Coach, Ruud Dokter
- Royal Netherlands Soccer Federation Academy Coach Nico Labohm
- Royal Netherlands Soccer Federation Coach Arno Pijpers
- Fortuna Sittard Head Coach & Technical Manager, Pim Verbeek
- Liverpool Head Coach & Technical Director of the French National Soccer Federation, Gerard Houiller
Illinois ODP has seen it’s players exceed at the regional and national level with players regularly selected for the Regional Pool and National Pool Events.
For more details about the Illinois Olympic Development Program call 847-290-1577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org