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15

Feb, 2023

New Jersey ODP Participates in Eastern PA ODP Friendlies

Will Scherer, NJ Youth Soccer

The New Jersey Olympic Development Program (ODP) recently participated in the Eastern Pennsylvania ODP Friendlies, which were conducted for 2006-2011 Boys and Girls. The EPA ODP Friendlies took place at two locations in Pennsylvania, including The Proving Grounds in Conshohocken and The Net in Palmyra. The event consisted of friendly matches between New Jersey ODP and EPA ODP teams.

“Thanks to Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association for organizing this event,” said James Galanis, NJYS Director of Technical Operations. “This tournament gave us an opportunity to further assess our player pools and instill our playing philosophy. Getting in games in February is a bonus for everyone, and we still have the Maryland and Virginia tournaments left. It is going to be a good winter break for our ODP teams if the weather keeps helping.

Gary Stephenson, EPA ODP Technical Director, echoed the sentiments of Galanis about the event.

“It was great to see the high level of play from all players and teams throughout the day,” said Stephenson. “Additionally, it was a great opportunity for the referees, whether young and just getting started or highly experienced college referees, to hone their craft without pressure from the coaching or spectator sidelines. It really shows their passion for the game and the necessity to respect our officials who dedicate just as much time as the players in pursuit of great game days. Well done to everyone involved. Everyone showed great pride for their state programs.”

ODP Friendlies enable various ODP State Programs to compete against one another in a competitive and developmental setting. As previously mentioned by Galanis, New Jersey ODP will also be participating in Maryland and Virginia ODP Friendlies this month. 

“We were ecstatic to host New Jersey for this round of friendlies and offer an environment to our U14 and below players different from most game experiences,” said Bree Benedict, EPA ODP Manager. “There are not many opportunities to play full-sided games indoors during the winter months, and it was great to see the players really enjoy playing in the facility. For the older teams, we were happy to have mild weather, a great playing surface and an opportunity to film the games using Veo for in-depth player and team analysis.”

The Olympic Development Program 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. Originally established in 1977, ODP was the first program in the country designed to identify potential youth national team players. ODP players begin initially at the local sector before progressing to the state, regional and possibly national levels. By playing with like-talented athletes, ODP offers the opportunity for players to advance in their personal development and to be scouted by college coaches.

For more information about New Jersey ODP, please email [email protected]. Also, make sure to visit the program online and like the official New Jersey ODP Facebook Page.

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

New Jersey Youth Soccer

3 Paragon Way, Suite 400
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

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