Several North Texas ODP Players Have Been Identifien and Selected to Participate in Inter-Regional and National Training Events
The fall season is when the first Inter-Regional events take place. It is also the time when we learn of which North Texas Olympic Development Program (ODP) players are among the first call-ups for National Team Training. The following is a list of our NTX ODP players who have been selected for these events:
BOYS INTER-REGIONAL THANKSGIVING COMPETITION – CASA GRANDE, ARIZ., NOV. 27 – DEC. 1, 2014
‘00s Juan Lerma (Fort Worth)
GIRLS INTER-REGIONAL THANKSGIVING COMPETITION – ORLANDO, FLA., NOV. 27 – DEC. 1, 2014
‘99s Trinity Thomas (Dallas)
GIRLS NATIONAL TRAINING EVENT– ORLANDO, FLA., JAN. 22-27, 2015
‘99s Lauren Hinton (Parker)
‘99 GIRLS 2015 INTERNATIONAL TRIP – COSTA RICA, FEB. 12-19, 2015
Kimya Raietparvar (Denton, TX)
Congratulations to all of these NTX ODP players for their outstanding accomplishments.
ODP 97, 99, 00 Boys Attend 2014 Copa Rayados Internacional
North Texas sent three teams to the second Copa Rayados Internacional College Showcase in San Antonio over the Thanksgiving weekend. The competitive format was unique for a showcase of this nature. Teams were matched on competitive ability as a result of the outcome of each match, and advanced or dropped accordingly.
Here are the coach reports on each team:
SAMUEL “SAMMY” EKEME, NTX ODP 97 Boys
The NTX ODP 97 Boys were comprised of ODP players born in 1997 and 1998. We arrived in San Antonio on Wednesday, Nov. 26, to participate in the Copa Rayados Internacional Tournament. I, Sammy Ekeme, was the head coach of the NTX ODP 97 Boys, with Beatrice Candice attending as the team chaperone.
Our first game was scheduled on Nov. 27 at 1:30 p.m. at Culebra Creek Park, and our opponent was Prepa Tec Azul, from Mexico. The boys proved they were ready for the tournament right from the start of the game by controlling the possession and putting pressure on their opponents every time they lost possession. The NTX ODP 97 Boys played in a 4-3-3 formation. In the early going, they had great deal of the ball, kept possession, controlled the tempo of the game and played as a unit, creating goal opportunities, but were unable to find the back of the net. At the halfway mark, after making two substitutions, the goal finally came from a brilliant corner kick executed by Nicolas Taylor that their keeper fumbled, allowing Wesley Kohler to slot home for a go-ahead goal. However, we conceded a goal five minutes before halftime against the run of play, as a result of a defensive mix-up. The boys held their own until the end, though, going down swinging. Final score: NTX ODP 97 Boys 1, Prepa Tec Azul 2. Following the game, we returned to the hotel to dine on a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and ended the day with a team meeting before the boys went to bed.
The next day, we had a tactical session at the hotel to go over offensive and defensive strategies, along with positional responsibilities and roles we needed to address before heading out to play game two. Our second game was against Spring Branch MYFC, a team that lost to NTX ODP in last year’s showcase. It was a very well-balanced game between two good teams trying to avoid a loss. The game went down to the last minutes before Alexander Van Holle broke the deadlock with a beautiful volley from a brilliant move off a cross from Nicolas Taylor. The MYFC team were left a little dazed, because they knew they had run out of time to equalize as the final whistle blew. NTX 97 Boys picked up their first win. Final score: NTX ODP 97 Boys 1, Spring Branch MYFC 0.
At this showcase there was no re-entry into the game, playing under FIFA rules. This was good for the individual players' development, as they had to learn to manage and pace themselves for the full duration of a 90-minute game. However, as a team, we ran out of effort and energy as we had a small roster of just 15 players. Substitutions and yellow card infractions had to be managed carefully. All of our players had to adjust to playing under these conditions. After 180 minutes of playing with a thin roster, it was evident that we would pay the price sooner or later. As the boys were cramping up, their sore bodies and injuries began taking a toll. The boys were physically and mentally drained. We could tell before the third game that the boys needed to be motivated; some were ready to go, but not all. The team played well in patches, but lacked consistent focus and unity, and we lost as a result. Final score: NTX ODP 97 Boys 0, Eclipse 97 Premier 4. Despite the loss, I was still very proud of the boys, knowing the roster was thin for such a big tournament. We recognize that it is very tough to play three games in three days. The fourth, and final, game of the Showcase was forfeited by our opponents.
SEAN WORLEY, NTX ODP 99 Boys
The NTX ODP 99 Boys was a team comprised of ODP players born in 1999 and 2000. We arrived in San Antonio on Wednesday, Nov. 26 to participate in the Copa Rayados Internacional Tournament. I, Sean Worley, was the head coach of the NTX ODP 99 Boys, with Tracey Lynn McElhone attending as the team chaperone.
The NTX ODP 99 Boys had their first game against Rayados Waller 11 on Thanksgiving. Playing the 8 o’clock morning game proved to be a good start. The boys beat Rayados Waller 1-0 on a second-half goal by Aldo Quevedo with an assist from Mason Bratton. An ’00 BODP player from Stillwater, Okla., Bratton had an excellent tournament and created numerous chances with his speed on the right side. The defense was the MVP of the game, led by a shutout from goalkeeper Micheal McElhone. Defenders Grant Lange, Zach Moore, Adrian Vazquez, Ian Ralph, William Evans, and Sergio Alvarado all played solid in the back.
The second day was a huge challenge. The boys played the CFM Rayados Pte. from Monterrey, Mexico. The Rayados ended up taking second in the Under-16 Blue division. The boys fought hard and the game could have gone either way. By the end, the Rayados pulled out a 2-1 victory. The boys had an excellent experience playing an international team, and learned some valuable lessons. The midfield battled all game, and was led by Bishesh Manandhar, Mauricio Jimenez, and David Velazquez.
The NTX ODP 99 Boys finished group play 1-1 with three points. They qualified for the Silver semi-final and drew the San Antonio Texans SC 99B 8. The Texans scored first and controlled the game early. However, the boys worked hard and scored a scrappy goal on a corner kick before halftime to tie it up,-1-1. Eventually, we got the momentum and created several chances in the second half. Finally, we were awarded a penalty kick which Aldo Quevedo converted to give us the lead, 2-1. The team held on strongly to finish the game, and advanced to the Silver final. It was another strong game from Michael McElhone and the defense. Also, William Evans stepped up at midfield and had a huge game. Forwards Jamie Dominguez, Trevor Stovall, and Eric Cuajunco all had good games and worked extremely hard.
The boys qualified for the final and played a seasoned TUFC Barcelona 99 4 team from Houston. We played hard, and were down just 3-2 in the second half. Fatigue finally caught up with us, though, and we ended up giving up some soft goals at the end. The boys never gave up and everybody worked hard and were always trying to get back into the game. The final game score was NTX ODP 99 Boys 2, TUFC Barcelona 5.
John “JT” Thomas, NTX ODP 00 Boys
The NTX ODP 00 Boys was a team comprised of ODP players born in 2000 and 2001. We arrived in San Antonio on Wednesday, Nov. 26 to participate in the Copa Rayados Internacional Tournament 2014. I, JT Thomas, was the head coach of the NTX ODP 00 Boys, with Brandi Houston attending as the team chaperone.
The Copa Rayados International in San Antonio was a very competitive experience for the NTX ODP 00 boys. The ‘00 BODP players took on some very experienced teams from Mexico and Houston. Congrats to all players that played the North Texas style of soccer. Our teams showed teams how to play the beautiful game, and not just kick and run. First, let me say my hat is off to the three goal keepers. If I had to name an MVP, I would have to name all three goal keepers: Raul Torrez, Jacob Tagert and Giovanni Lomeli. All the keepers played under pressure and performed at a high level, making some outstanding saves and initiating our attacks.
Our defense was made up of two experienced defenders, Dawson Baker and Ivan Cabrera. A special thanks to Logan Moore and Fabian Sarabia, who stepped in to play in the back when they normally play in the attack. The back line did not allow the team to outscore us in any of the games.
We had two players from Oklahoma, Adolfo-Angel Bustos of Tulsa, and Alejandro Garica of Broken Arrow, who linked our attacking and defense into a solid group as we came up against some very physical players in the midfield third. Our midfielders managed to play lots of combinations and penetrating balls as we worked to keep possession. Christopher Campos, Azriel, Ryan Houston, Michael Dinger, Fernando Perez and Keenan all played well, and showed why they should be playing at the top level. The goal of the tournament was scored by Adan Barajas; Adan was served a ball from outside of the 18-yard box, where he received it on his chest, then took a one-time shot into the back of the net! It was a fantastic goal; one to remember not only for him, but for the entire group.
Game 1: NTX ODP 00 Boys vs Sugarland Falcons – Tied 0-0, Lost in PKs
Game 2: NTX ODP 00 Boys vs West Houston Galaxy 00 – Won 4-3
Game 3: SBYSA – Spring Branch MyFC U15 vs NTX ODP 00 Boys – Won 2-1
Game 4: Lamar Lobos vs NTX ODP 00 Boys – Lost 1-2
Overall, it was a great experience for all the boys. This competitive experience gained in NTX ODP will help prepare the boys as they graduate and go on to play at the collegiate level, provided they continue to work hard to improve their game further.