By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
April 9, 2019-The Olympic Development Program (ODP) is considered the highest level of competition in each state association. Every year, players must be re-evaluated by the ODP professional staff of coaches for a position on each age-specific team. The identification process ends each summer with the most elite players within the East Region competing for a position on the regional team. Players are then identified by US Soccer staff coaches for possible entry to the national team program.
Partly proven by the recent national championships our ODP teams have won, the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) has a particularly strong Olympic Development Program, which is divided into North and South to serve our large geographic region. Crystal Dunn and Allie Long are Eastern New York ODP graduates who are playing on the US Women’s National Team yet even those players who do not make the regional or the national teams often use ODP as a springboard to college scholarships and even on to professional soccer.
The Eastern New York ODP South coaches, serving players in New York City and Long Island, are a particularly diverse group. All 25 coaches have coaching licenses and they were born in nine countries––United States, Barbados, Honduras, Ecuador, Uruguay, Italy, England, Croatia and Egypt. Eight are currently coaching college programs and seven previously coached college soccer.
This diverse staff of Eastern New York ODP South was put together by Director of Coaching Gary Book, Boys Director of Coaching John Fitzgerald and Girls Director of Coaching Shawn Tarquinio. Recently, Eastern New York ODP South hired Kim Wyant, the first-ever US Women’s National Team goalkeeper and current NYU men’s coach, as a Goalkeeper Coach.
“I was very happy to recommend Kim to the ODP staff as she adds to our already stellar group of coaches. I know Kim well as she played for me on the Long Island Lady Riders, and was a big reason why we were national champions,“ Fitzgerald explained, “And now as a coaching colleague, she brings years of playing experience, including on the US Women’s National Team as well as her time as a college coach, to the table. Our players will benefit greatly from what Kim has to offer.“
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.