QUESTIONS What is purpose



What is the purpose of ODP?

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 ODP is protected by the Amateur Sports Act, a federal law enacted by Congress in 1978. The purpose of this prestigious program is to IDENTIFY players on the basis of open tryouts and DEVELOP them to the best of their ability for an opportunity to be selected to represent their state, region, and the United States in soccer competition. ODP teams are formed at each of the 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations.

Who can participate in ODP?

Any age eligible soccer player can participate in the open ODP registration process. However, ODP is for the serious soccer player who has hopes of playing in college and beyond. Participation in ODP does not replace club play or disqualify a player from playing with his/her Club or High School team.

Who are the ODP coaches?

Illinois ODP staff coaches are experienced selected professionals who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills and challenge them to play at their highest potential. Illinois ODP Staff consists of College Coaches, Club Directors of Coaching, Club Coaches, High School Coaches, and renowned GUEST coaches. All Coaches have quality credentials with the majority having US Soccer Federation ‘A’ or ‘B’ licenses.

In addition to our top-level staff coaches, Illinois ODP players have taken part in special training sessions over the years lead by the following Guest Coaches:

  • 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 “Tosh” 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

What is the Evaluation & Selection Process?

Players are evaluated and selected on the following major components:

  • Technical Skills (Passing, Receiving, etc.)
  • Tactics & Understanding of the Game (Decision Making)
  • Movement off the ball
  • Communication (Leadership)
  • Fitness and Athletic Ability
  • Attitude & Willingness to Learn

What are the steps for Illinois ODP and beyond?

  1. Indoor Sessions (open to everyone)
  2. Interstate Friendlies (by invitation only)
  3. Regional Camp (by invitation only)
  4. Regional Events (by invitation only)
  5. National Events (by invitation only)

Illinois ODP Indoor Sessions

The ODP process starts with 7/8 Indoor Sessions on four days between November and April. It is at the Indoor Sessions that players learn what it takes to become an ODP player and to compete against other quality players under the guidance of the ODP staff and renowned GUEST coaches. From these trainings some players will be invited to participate in Interstate Friendlies.

Interstate Friendlies

In addition to the Indoor Sessions, IYSA will organize Friendlies with other states’ ODP teams. The purpose of the Friendlies is to further evaluate certain players in a game environment against other states’ players. Not every player or age group will be invited to participate in an Interstate Friendly. Teams may travel to other states depending on facility availability. There is an additional fee for the Friendlies. Players will need to provide their own transportation and arrange hotel accommodations should the game schedule require an overnight stay.

US Youth Soccer Midwest Region Camp - 

The US Youth Soccer Regional Camp is under the jurisdiction of US Youth Soccer Midwest not Illinois Youth Soccer. US Youth Soccer runs the camp, selects the coaching staff and identifies the Regional Pool players from state associations. 1 The regional camps are overnight camps that take place in July and last between 4-5 nights. 

What are the costs involved with ODP?

Indoor Sessions – TBD

Interstate Friendlies – Varies with each event.

Regional Camp – Varies between approximately $550 and $850 depending on the regional costs and camp duration.

Can I get a refund?

No. ODP does not provide refunds for any reason.

What are my options if I cannot afford ODP?

As an organization we want to get the best players into our program. If cost is a concern we have some options that may help. There is a Financial Aid Application that may qualify an eligible player for a partial or complete scholarship. This Application which is forwarded to an outside accounting firm for consideration must be submitted prior to start of the Indoor Sessions. Players who do not qualify for an ODP scholarship can obtain a donation letter.

Why do I have to enter payment for the Regional Camp/Tournament before I’m selected?

Any player that attends the State Combine must be prepared to attend the Regional Camp/Tournament if selected. Regional Camp payments are not processed before the State Combine. The regional payment will be processed once the player is selected to attend the Regional Camp/Tournament. It also ensures that all participants know the financial commitment that is required for the Regional Camp/Tournament.

I can’t make a session, will I be penalized?

There is no penalty for missing a session but commitment to the ODP is a consideration. Additionally, the coaching staff needs to see you play and it may improve your chances of getting invited to additional events. KEEP IN MIND THAT EACH SESSION IS A TRYOUT.

Since there are no discounts or refunds for missed sessions, a player may attend a make-up session at one of the other ODP locations in Central, South or North.


Can I just show up for the Combine or Regional Camp?

No. Players must attend the Indoor Sessions to be selected to the State Combine with the exception of a currently listed US National Team pool player. All selected players must attend the State Combine to be invited to the Regional Camp.

Is there a difference between ODP locations?

Although the North location has a larger number of participants, the age group coaches are equally qualified and in communication with the Illinois Youth Soccer Director of Coaching and the other district coaches for their age group. Their sessions are supervised by the District Head ODP Coach and the Illinois Youth Soccer Director of Coaching

Who do I contact if I have a question?

ODP Administrator
Ivan Rico -  847-774-1958