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Jun, 2022

New Jersey ODP Hosts College Recruitment Webinar

Austin Lloyd, NJ Youth Soccer

New Jersey ODP recently continued its webinar series with a discussion featuring Fairleigh Dickinson University (Florham Campus) men’s and women’s soccer head coaches, Keith O’Connor and Kristin Giotta. New Jersey ODP Coaching Director Lou Mignone moderated the conversation.

The coaches covered a large array of topics, all of which could be helpful for players going through the college recruitment process.

“Head coaches Keith O'Connor and Kristin Giotta provided an in-depth look at the role of the player within the college recruitment process that included academics, accountability and responsibility, the player profile, communication, use of video content, ID camps, recruitment services and expectations of an incoming freshman,” said Mignone. “The detailed information that was discussed was aimed at being meaningful for the needs of the college-bound soccer student-athlete.”

Prior to joining FDU, Keith O’Connor spent 14 years as the head coach at Centenary University, where his team enjoyed 10 postseason campaigns and two trips to the NCAA Tournament. O’Connor also spent four years as an assistant men’s coach at the University of Delaware. He played collegiately at Loyola College (now Loyola University) and was also a New Jersey ODP participant in his youth. O’Connor is currently in his fourth season at the helm for the men’s soccer team at FDU. 

Kristen Giotta is in her 16th year as the head coach for the women’s soccer team at FDU. She is the winningest coach in program history at 144 wins and was named the MAC Freedom Coach of the Year in 2010. Before joining FDU, Giotta spent one year as the head coach at New Jersey City University and four years as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Monmouth University. During her playing career, she was a two-time First Team All-Conference Goalkeeper and two-time conference champion. She subsequently went on to play one season with the New Jersey Lady Stallions in the USL W-League. Giotta is also a former New Jersey ODP coach.

During the webinar, Mignone asked the coaches a series of questions to facilitate a conversation regarding communication from young athletes to college coaches, and how it is perceived from the coach’s point of view.

“When it comes to showcases and tournaments, please get those (schedules) to us in a timely manner because there are a lot of prospects to see,” said Giotta. “If you can be proactive and send us schedules early, that is super helpful."

The coaches also discussed what should be expected when beginning your collegiate career.

“The number one expectation a coach will have of any student-athlete coming in, whether they are new or returning, is that you have to be fit,” said O’Connor.

New Jersey ODP is an identification system linked to the United States Soccer Federation and US Youth Soccer. The program offers its players a pathway that could lead to representing Regional and U.S. Youth National Teams. New Jersey ODP remains committed to providing its players with top-level coaches and educators, and the ODP Webinar Series serves as a resource to assist players who are preparing for the next level.

For more information about New Jersey ODP, please email [email protected]. Additionally, make sure to like the official New Jersey ODP Facebook Page.

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Phone: 609-490-0725
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New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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