North Texas Boys ODP Players Chosen to Travel
with Region III for International Play

The following North Texas ODP players have been selected to the Region III pool to travel internationally for training and competition:

  • 99 Boys – Mexico: Eric Secor
  • 98 Boys – Mexico: Benjamin Hale & David Martinez
  • 95 Boys – Costa Rica: Shawn Miltner

North Texas Girls ODP Players Selected to Participate
in 2013 ODP National Training Camp

Five North Texas players — 1998s Ciara Donnelly and Mariah Ruelas, and 1999s Jenna Wilt, Julia Laskaris and Lauren Hinton — participated in the 2013 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) Girls National Training Camp, which took place Jan. 31-Feb. 2, at Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Ariz. Girls from the 1997, 1998, and 1999 age groups represented all four regions.

Invitation-only players had the opportunity to work with some of the nation’s top coaches to improve their playing abilities. The developmental camp focused on highlighting players’ individual talents, as well as providing them with new tools and ideas through challenging daytime training and small-sided games. The camp aims to enhance players’ problem solving skills within the game, and better their technical and tactical abilities so they leave feeling confident in their performance.

Congratulations to each of the players selected!

We’re not in Texas any more, Toto…A Parent’s Perspective

I was grateful not to be the team mom this go-around, but a little saddened at the same time. I love listening to their constant comical chatter after the games, wincing at some of the crazy things they will ask and floored at how much they eat!

Since this was my first out-of-Texas ODP experience, it was a little odd not seeing many familiar faces or teams, and not knowing the competition the boys would be facing at the North Carolina Sub-Regional this last weekend.

My son had told me about the tough teams from the southeast United States that he had encountered during his experiences attending the Region III camps. He had also said they were big (and he was almost 6-foot last summer, and was barely 14 years old). I have to admit, he was right. Some of them were big and athletic, though in my opinion, they were not as skilled. It was great to see all of our boys as outstanding individual players, but at the same time total team players!

As I wandered through an unfamiliar soccer complex, I noticed license plates from all over the east coast, all kinds of accents, plus a lot of unfamiliar college logos. It was amazing, overwhelming and rewarding at the same time to realize how great of an opportunity this was for the boys to be seen by an expanded audience, win or lose.

Even though I have been to a lot of tournaments, it was a little overwhelming to see that there is another level of competition out there, AGAIN. Then again, at the same time, it was refreshing — something else for the boys to work towards, something else for them to achieve and aspire to! It is true we have a lot of soccer in Texas, but competing against unknown, like-minded players and teams builds character and strength. After all, soccer is HUGE outside of the U.S., and I believe our boys who love soccer and want to continue competing at higher and higher levels need to be aware of what is out there for them.

Even though most of the teams did not do very well this go-around, they never gave up! I was proud to see the determination, dedication and desire of these young men. They all played hard until the final whistle. They learned a lot and will be better prepared in the future, thus preparing them for college, too!

Our players are growing up. The time we have with them is precious. I wish I could have taken more pictures to share with the parents who couldn’t be there!


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