US Youth Soccer is proud to announce that the 2019 and 2020 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) East Region Championships will be hosted by the Kirkwood Soccer Complex in New Castle, Del., and Rider University in Lawrence Township, N.J.
“Rider University and the Kirkwood Soccer Complex have been great partners and they do a nice job of working with US Youth Soccer to provide the best experience possible for the thousands of high level players who attend this event each year,” said Dr. Greg Smith, US Youth Soccer East Region General Manager. “Everyone looks forward to building upon the recent successes of this event to continue raising the bar as we move into the 2019 season and beyond.”
The US Youth Soccer ODP East Region Championships feature competition for 13U through 17U boys and girls teams from the 15 US Youth Soccer State Associations that comprise the East Region. The 13U and 14U teams play a festival format while the 15U, 16U and 17U play a championship format. With approximately 180 teams competing in the event, around 6,400 people will visit either New Castle or Lawrence Township for the competition.
The boys will play their preliminary matches at Kirkwood Soccer Complex, while the girls will play their preliminary matches at Rider University. The semifinals and finals for the 15U-17U age groups for both boys and girls will be played at the Kirkwood Soccer Complex.
“Kirkwood Soccer Club would like to thank US Youth Soccer for choosing Kirkwood to be one the two venues to host the US Youth Soccer ODP East Region Championships for 2019 and 2020,” said Joe Schorah, Operations Director for the Kirkwood Soccer Club. “We are excited and look forward to sharing our wonderful facility with the top competitive teams selected to play at Kirkwood Soccer Club.”
The combination of the Kirkwood Soccer Complex and Rider University first joined to host the US Youth Soccer ODP East Region Championships in 2017. Rider University and its surrounding area has been a part of the event for the past 25 years.
“We are so proud to have been chosen by US Youth Soccer as a site for its ODP East Region Championships,” said Michael F. Reca, vice president for Facilities and University Operations at Rider University. “We are delighted to host soccer's elite youth players and their families on our campus for two consecutive years. We are committed to providing exceptional service to everyone involved, and a positive, memorable experience for athletes, coaches and guests.”
Teams are comprised of players who 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.
The State Associations represented at the US Youth Soccer ODP East Region Championships include: Connecticut, Delaware, Eastern New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York West, Pennsylvania West, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
“The ODP committee is excited to continue our relationship with Rider University and Kirkwood Soccer Complex in 2019 and 2020,” said Katia Sarokon, US Youth Soccer ODP East Administrator. “Improving the ODP East Region Championships every year is our goal. Having quality facilities and improving even the small things makes this a great competitive environment for players in the ODP East Region program.”
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.
About US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) -US Youth Soccer ODP, established in 1977, is the original Olympic development program in the United States. Formed to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team could be selected for international competition, selected players are exposed to the nation's top coaches from collegiate institutions, U.S. Soccer and the professional leagues. Programs exist in each state and with competitions such as the US Youth Soccer ODP Championships, Interregional Training/Competition, Regional Camps and International play. US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way in elite player identification and development. US Youth Soccer ODP is an approved program of the U.S. Soccer Federation.