Olympic Development Program

What is the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program?

The US Youth Soccer ODP Philosophy

To identify players of the highest caliber on a continuing and consistent basis, which will lead to increased success for the U.S. National Teams in the international arena.


The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program was formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team will be selected for international competition; to provide high-level training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels; and, through the use of carefully selected and licensed coaches, develop a mechanism for the exchange of ideas and curriculum to improve all levels of coaching.

Program Description History
In 1979, the program expanded, the organization became more efficient and multi-year plans were developed. State Associations were encouraged to develop programs which supported and worked in tandem with National and Regional programs. At the beginning of 1982 a formalized program for girls was created, with the addition of a full committee (one member from each Region).

Current Organization

From 1982 until the present, international events for youth national teams have increased substantially and the US Youth Soccer ODP has kept pace by instituting trials and player pools for five age groups in the boys’ program, and five age groups in the girls’ program

The US Youth Soccer ODP Selection Process

Each State Association holds ODP try-outs on an annual basis. Age Groups and try-out dates may be different from state to state, based on seasonal and state considerations. Your first contact should be to your State Association for try-out information.


What does ODP stand for?  ODP stands for Olympic Developemental Program.  For more details about the program and it’s origin, please see the “About ODP” tab.

Does a player have to attend all try out times to be considered? NO, absolutely not!  A player can attend just one or all sessions depending on their schedule, but the price is the same.

What age can my player try out?  Each year there are ONLY 6 years that are evaluated during try outs.  We allow one year younger, but no more than that.  2017-18 the ages are ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05 and ’06s..That means that, for the 2017-18 teams, we can not have players born in 2007 or younger attend these try outs.

How are the 2006’s evaluated if there is NO TEAM for them? All 2006s will be evaluated, however NO TEAM will be named or attending the ODP Championship Tournament in January.

Additionally, a 2006 CAN make the 2005 team if the coaches want them to attend the tournament.  These evaluations are solely for the State coaches to have players to recommend to Regional camp the following year (2018)

Any 2006’s that attend, but will be evaluated along side the 05’s players for a spot in the ’05 pool.

If my player plays on a ’01 team, but was born in ’02 which try out do they attend?  You child will be evaluated on THEIR birth year, not what team they currently play for, so they should attend the 2001 try outs.

What if my player is injured and won’t be released from the doctor to try out in June?  Injured players MUST register BEFORE try outs end —  even if they can not attend the dates of the scheduled try outs.  Players unable to tryout on the original date must send an email to the ODP Director at nysaprograms@gmail.com for more information.

What if my player plays forward or midfielder, but the ODP coaches have him/her playing defense?  Try outs for the ODP pool/teams are simply that, try outs for a “team”.  The head coach of that team decides where best suited your player should play, based on the abilities of all of the team members at his/her disposal.  You should keep an open mind, and perhaps the ODP coach will inspire a new position in your player that propels them into the next level.  Because telling a coach, as a player, “I only play midfield” (or forward – or defense) when the coach already sees 5 midfielders better qualified that your player could keep them from being selected to the pool or team.

My player was in the Regional pool, do they have to try out again?  YES, in order to be considered for a team this year EVERYONE must try out each year.

What is “Regional pool” or Region IV?  The United States is divided up into 4 Regions with approximately 12-13 states in each.  Each State is given the opportunity to select up to 18 players per age group to represent their State in different events/tournaments that Regional Coaches may attend and identify players that could be selected for the “Regional Pool”, or even Regional team.  Once part of the Regional team they could be evaluated for the National Pool and team.

A “pool” of players is more than the 18, which is the maximum allowed on a team for competitions; coaches use this to finalize their selections to a “team”.  The Region IV web-site is www.regioniv.com

What is the Region IV camp?  The Region IV camp is a INVITE only camp where Region IV staff “invites” a player from a selected state to come together with other players from other states to a summer camp, where they are evaluated further for a possible place on the Region IV pool or team that then goes into further evaluation for the National pool/team.  And, yes, they do have a charge for that camp, that information can be found on the Region IV web-site.

What is the ODP Championships?  It is a tournament in which all of the Region IV ODP teams participate to see which state has the top team and players.   Additionally, Region IV ODP staff uses this tournament as their primary time to evaluate players for the Region IV camp/team.  In the past the tournament has been held in Arizona, but could be held in any of the Region IV states.

Will my player have to miss school to attend the tournament? Unfortunately, yes, the ODP Championships is a four day tournament beginning on the first Thursday in January through the following Sunday. The first games for some of the teams starting at 2pm on Thursday, and all teams in the tournament will play sometime on Thursday, so it will be necessary to take Thursday and Friday off.

Can I play High School Soccer and participate in the ODP program without violating any NCAA rules?  Yes!  But you must contact me to obtain a form that you have to give to your principal of your high school who also sends it to your school district.  You CAN be turned down by either your principal or school district, but I haven’t had that happen at this point.  Just send me an e-mail to nysaprograms@gmail.com and on the subject line put; ODP High School form needed.  ALL ODP players (team, alternate, pool players) if any training causes them to miss school should get this form filled out, as well as any player that is involved with high school sports that the ODP program causes them to miss any trainings for.

If my player makes the Nevada State ODP pool/team, are there additional costs?  Yes, there are additional costs, last year it was $300.00 for the pool and $350 for the Arizona tournament costs. (This did NOT include any necessary travel for your player, and will not include those costs again this year.)

This year, those that are selected into the ODP “pool” will have a fee associated for the pool training sessions. This fee covers costs of fields/lights, coaches, admin, equipment, etc.  We estimate those fees to be between $350 – $450 per player

Those that are selected to the team for the Arizona ODP Championship Tournament will have additional costs for tournament fees, uniforms, sweats, coaches travel fees, tournament entry costs, etc. which we estimate will be between $100-200 per player.

What does it mean if my player was selected as an “alternate”?

Alternates are very important to the ODP program/and teams.  An alternate is to attend all trainings and camps that team members attend, in case they have to replace a team member that is injured, sick, or unable to attend the ODP Tournament.  Alternates do NOT pay uniform fees, only team members pay those, but they DO have to pay their “pool” fees like everyone else.  The only time that an alternate would have to pay the last installment/uniform/tournament fees is if they are replacing a team player that is unable to attend.  Otherwise they do NOT attend the ODP tournament unless replacing a team player.  Alternates are welcome to attend team training sessions.

What is the ODP pool and team fees for?  The cost for ODP includes;  summer camps, coaches travel to all events, practice shirts, tournament entry fees, uniforms, and sweats, equipment, etc.  The State of Nevada does NOT consider ODP as a money maker, or profit based event for the State.  The charges to participate are hard costs for each event for the coaches, their travel and tournament fees.

What if I am planning to travel with my player, do I have to stay in any specific hotel?  No, you can make your own hotel/travel arrangements to fit into your budget.  Just be sure to arrive Wednesday night for a potential 8am kickoff Thursday morning

How are Players Selected?

Players are selected, in most states, on the basis of open tryouts. These tryouts are conducted by state association coaches who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills. Some state associations combine scouting techniques and invitations to certain players with the open tryouts. Selection of these players is not an easy task. The state association head coach or State Coach will, in most cases, be assisted in the selection process by several other qualified coaches from the club or league level. Players are evaluated on the four components that make up a soccer player:
1. Technique
2. Tactics
3. Fitness and Athletic Ability
4. Psychological Component (attitude)

What are Regional Camps?

US Youth Soccer is divided into four regions, each which offers a regional camp for state association ODP teams in each eligible age group. The camps are designed to provide high level competition and training for participating players. During this training and competition, players who are capable of performing at a higher level of play are identified for possible national team camp, pool, or team participation. Each region varies somewhat as to the specifics and the cost of their camps. Your state association or regional administrator should be contacted for more information.

What is a National Camp?

National Camps and Interregional events are held throughout the year at various locations in the United States. The National Team Coach or a National Staff Coach is present at these events to observe, train, and indentify players for placement in the national pool or on a national team.

What are the Benefits of Participating in US Youth Soccer ODP?

1. Development as a player. The opportunity to train and play with the best player’s in one’s age group.
2. Quality instruction from nationally licensed coaches.
3. Quality competition. Games against other state association ODP teams.
4. Exposure to regional and national team coaches.
5. The opportunity to represent one’s state, region, or country in competition.
6. Exposure to college coaches.