Players are selected on the basis of open tryouts and invitations. These tryouts are conducted by coaches who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills. 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.
For U11-U9 players seeking participation in a high-level training program, click here to learn more about the Developmental-Olympic Development Program (D-ODP).
Players are evaluated on the four components that make up a soccer player.
- Tactical Understanding of the Game
- Fitness and Athletic Ability
There are three phases in the Virginia ODP program:
- East Region (Regional)
At The District Level
Training is held in five districts throughout the state with a total of seven training sessions. Players are required to tryout in order to earn a spot in their respective District Training player pool. The last two training sessions are known as Inter-districts. Inter-Districts are held at the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center in Fredericksburg, VA, on two separate weekends. Inter-districts consists primarily of scrimmages between the five districts. Players’ performances at these scrimmages, and during district training sessions, will determine where or not they are selected to the Virginia ODP State team.
At The State Level
Players participate in a minimum of 10 training sessions (weather permitting) with an experienced coaching staff. At this stage, players are selected to attend regional events against other State ODP teams in the East Region. Not all players are selected to attend each regional event. The events for state teams start in January with the North Carolina Friendlies. The Virginia Friendlies takes place at the end of February and the ODP International Trip is held in March or April for two age groups.
At The Regional Level
Virginia participates in the East Region along with Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Eastern New York, New York West, Eastern Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania West, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia. US Youth Soccer East Region covers the northeastern United States.
What are Inter-District Scrimmages?
After the seven District ODP training sessions, (includes Nov & Dec dates) the State ODP pool will be selected and State ODP training will begin. If your player is not named to their State ODP age group pool, unfortunately, their ODP season has come to a close. The State ODP pools will be posted on the State Training page no later than the Wednesday following the final scrimmage session. If your player is listed as a Call Back, they should attend the first State ODP pool training session, unless alternate instructions were provided from their State ODP age group Head Coach, for an additional evaluation.
High level players that purposely bypass the District ODP training sessions in hopes of going straight into the State ODP training pool, exhibit characteristics that are not conducive to top flight soccer. We are looking for players to play for Virginia that exhibit the skill, character, and work ethic to train at all levels of the program.