FRISCO, Texas (August 23, 2011) – U.S. Soccer held their initial identification camps for the Under-14 age group, as well as camps for the Under-15 age group this month. The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) was again a common thread of those players called into U.S. camps as a total of 171 US Youth Soccer ODP players were selected, accounting for 77 percent of the participants. No other program or league in the U.S. has been as successful as US Youth Soccer ODP in identifying and promoting top players to the U.S. National Teams.
The U.S. Soccer U-14 National Development Program is designed to introduce players to the National Team programs and allows the country's top youth the chance to experience soccer at its highest level in an international setting.
The U.S. U-14 Girls National Team Identification Camp began on July 31 and ran through August 7 in Portland, Ore. The camp featured 72 of the top young female players in the country, 61 of which are members of US Youth Soccer ODP. The majority of players called in were born in 1997 with a few born in 1998. U.S. Soccer Women’s Development Director Jill Ellis ran the camp, evaluating players for a 36-player training camp to be held later this fall.
The U-14 Boys also held their initial identification camp this month as Manny Schellscheidt brought the group of '98s and ‘99s to Carson, Calif. from July 31- Aug. 6. Of the 80 players called in, 56 are participants in US Youth Soccer ODP. The event included training sessions and games, as well as programs designed to introduce the players to the National Team environment and teach them how to prepare themselves for potential future call-ups to National Teams.
Also in Carson were the U-15 Boys ('96), led by head coach Jim Barlow. Barlow called in 48 players for the last U-15 camp of the cycle and 35 represent US Youth Soccer ODP. These players will now move on to make up the next two-year cycle for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The U-15 Girl's National Team ('96) are currently in Carson until the 29th with 22 players, including 19 US Youth Soccer ODP members. Damon Nahas is overseeing the camp along with Ellis. All of these players are eligible for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
These players hope to follow in the footsteps of previous US Youth Soccer ODP players such as Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Victoria DiMartino, Kristen Mewis and Courtney Verloo to play in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.