NORTH TEXAS SUB-REGIONAL HUGE SUCCESS
Held in conjunction with the Ross Stewart Tournament, the annual ODP Sub-Regional was a huge success, featuring teams from all North Texas age groups, plus Oklahoma, Mississippi and FC Monterrey. On the opening night, over 100 spectators watched the '98 and '97 FC Monterrey teams play the North Texas '98 and '97 teams.
For the 25 North Texas teams, the competition served as a great tune up for upcoming camps in Oklahoma and Alabama.
In addition to strong competition, the weekend included a College Seminar put on by Sports Source.
One of the highlights of the tournament was for those families that housed the players from FC Monterrey. Here is just one response from one of those families:
"We enjoyed tremendously having Misael and Mario in our home last weekend! They were so well-mannered, personable, funny and a pleasure to be around. They quickly became a part of our family. My 3 boys enjoyed practicing their Spanish with them and getting to know them, and now we are staying in touch with them on Facebook! Please know that Misael and Mario are welcome in our home ANY time they travel to Dallas, as well as any other team members. Thank you again for allowing us the privilege of having the boys in our home and including them in our family!"
We are already in discussion with FC Monterrey and other International Clubs for future events.
IT'S OFF TO CAMP
The first group of campers left June 12 as five '98 Girls teams went to the Development Camp put on by the Oklahoma State Soccer Association in Norman, Okla. Throughout June and July, we will send a total of eight boys' teams and nine girls' teams, totaling 296 players, to camps in Alabama.
The girls' camps were held at University of Montevallo, with the '98 girls camp attending from June 25-28, the '94 and '97 girls from July 1-4 and the '95 and '96 girls from July 6-10. The boys' camps, meanwhile, were conducted at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The first camp, held July 8-12, was for the '95, '96 and '97 boys, while the '94 and 98 boys attending from July 14-17.
We were fortunate that the horrific tornadoes that caused so much devastation in Alabama earlier this Spring did not do any damage to either of the camp sites.
Camp is an opportunity to be trained and observed by the Regional coaches and staff. Based on performance, players are selected to the Regional Pool. Even if a player is not selected to the Regional Pool, camp is a great opportunity to train and compete with the top players in Region III.
PLAYERS DESIGN CAMP T-SHIRTS
For the first time, we gave ODP campers the opportunity to design their own t-shirts for camps. A contest was held, with one boy and one girl winning partial scholarships to camp. There were a large number of entries, with some outstanding designs from both groups. A panel selected the top two designs from each group, before the voting was turned over to all ODP plauers.
Well, the results are in! Congratulations to our girls' winner, Destiney Powell from our '99 Girls Team! Below is her winning design:
Also congratulations to the boys' winner, Mario Quintanilla from the '96 team. Great job!
NORTH TEXAS ODP ALUM ON U17 NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
Three players that grew up in the North Texas ODP program, and were first called up to the National Camp at age 14, were recently named to the 21-player roster that will represent the United States in the U17 World Cup. The players are Kellyn Acosta, who plays for FC Dallas Academy, Matt Dunn from FC Cologne, and Alfred Karoma of Solar FC. Congratulations!
ODP Player/Coach Profiles
Coach Cassidy Acuff is truly a homegrown girl. Cassidy played club for state Champions/Regional Finalist Dallas Texans, and also participated in the ODP. Upon graduation from high school, she started her college career at Purdue University, where she played in 2000 and 2001 before finishing her college career at University of Texas at Dallas. While at UTD, she was team captain from 2003 to 2005, helping her team to an ASC Conference Championship and a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2002.
Cassidy recently earned her National "B" License and is currently the Assistant Coach at University of North Texas. Before UNT, she was the head girls' coach at Hockaday. She has also served as an ODP Staff Coach since 2007, coaching the '95 age group from 2008-10, and the '98s in the two years since.
Cassidy was asked to share her thoughts about ODP and her experience in being involved with the program.
"I started coaching with ODP after completing my 'D' license here in town. It provided me a chance to work with the top players in the North Texas area and continue to gain knowledge of the game working under Gary Williamson, Director of Coaching/Playing Development. Since taking my D, I have found a new passion for what I do and have been working my way up the licensing ladder, striving to climb my way to the top.
"Part of the fuel for that journey is working with these talented young women at ODP. These young women have a thirst for knowledge and I want to help them take their game to the next level. I have watched as fiercely competitive players who were once at each other's throats become strong advocates of one another on the field. The competition remains when they play each other, but once the final whistle blows, they have a profound respect and love for each other.
"That is one of the beautiful things about ODP. It gives the top players in North Texas a chance to get to know one another to compete together for North Texas and themselves to one day become that girl that gets to play on the National Team while continuing to develop their own individual playing."
Midland's Wes Blue, meanwhile, is one of our West Texas players that has made the '93 age group State team. Wes has goals both on and off the soccer field. Some of his goals include to graduate from high school in the top 10-percent of his class, to earn a degree in engineering, to play for a Division-I college soccer team and, ultimately, to play professional soccer.
Wes attends Midland High School, where is has a 3.53 grade-point average and takes honors, pre-AP and AP courses. He is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and the National Honor Society. He was also on the National Junior Honors Society in 2007 and 2008.
Prior to joining the North Texas ODP, he was offered a position on the New Mexico State Team before his parents moved back to Texas. He has been a member of the North Texas State Team since 2007. During that time, Wes has attended Regional Camp each year and was selected to the Regional Pool in 2010.
Wes is also involved with many activities outside of school and ODP, including training young athletes in soccer and supporting various community services.
Amanda Tabone is a member of our '94 ODP team, and currently plays club for Solar '94 Girls White in the Lake Highlands Girls Classic League (Division 1). She also plays on the varsity team at Grapevine High School, where she will graduate in 2012. She is currently carrying a 5.05 GPA on a 5.0 scale, and ranks 73rd in a class of 603. Amanda is planning on majoring in marketing and management in college. Amanda's other playing experience includes: