The Olympic Development Program (ODP) was created by U.S. Soccer around 25 years ago for two purposes:
To this day, these two core purposes, namely, identify and develop for the national team, have not changed. Many players, however, have also come to associate ODP with improved opportunities for playing collegiate soccer and getting college scholarships; this is because many college coaches work on ODP staff at the state, regional and national levels. Many college coaches scout players at ODP events as well. College coaches consider a player’s participation in ODP as an indicator of talent and soccer ambition.
For most age groups, the tryout process in Georgia starts with preliminary tryouts in September, followed immediately by state tryouts.
Some of the older age groups do not have preliminary tryouts due to a smaller number of players involved. In those instances, all the players go directly to the state tryouts.
The preliminary tryouts are open for all age-eligible players. Those who do well in the preliminary tryouts are invited to the state tryouts and are joined there by the players who were in the state pools in the previous year.
Typically, between 50 to 80 players are involved in a state tryout, depending on the age group. At the state tryouts, a state pool of 30 to 40 players is selected. (Note: the younger ages tend to have bigger pools than the older ages.)
ODP Coaching Staff, Administrators and Chaperones
All coaches, administrators and chaperones that are selected to participate in the ODP program must undergo a mandatory online background check. In order for Georgia Soccer to process this check, all coaches, administrators and chaperones must submit a registration profile to the program.