Congratulations to Southside High School’s Carlos Herrera for being selected to the Regional Olympic Developmental Program Player pool. Selected players from Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida and Tennessee play in ODP Regional competition consisting of over 200 players. According to U.S. Soccer, these players are the best all-around players in their states. At the end of Regional Competition, approx. 50 players are placed in the Regional Pool of players.
The Olympic Developmental Program was created by US Soccer around 30 years ago for two purposes:
1. To identify national team players early, at the youth level.
2. To provide development opportunities for these pot`ential national team players.
To this day, these two core purposes, namely, IDENTIFY and DEVELOP for the national team, have not changed. However, many players have also come to associate ODP with improved opportunities for playing college soccer and getting college scholarships. This is because many college coaches work on ODP staff at the state, regional, and national levels and also most college coaches scout players at ODP events. College coaches consider a player’s participation in ODP as an indicator of talent and soccer ambition.
The Region Pool in most age groups is held over at camp for another 2-3 days to train under the Region Coaches. In the months after camp, Region Teams of 16-18 players will be selected in each age group to participate in National camps, Inter- Regional events, and/or international trips. The National Staff Coaches attend these events and evaluate players for inclusion into National Pools.