Cal South Almost Sweeps ODP Championships
Soccer News from US Youth Soccer – The 2016 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program Championships took place Feb. 26-28 at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix, Arizona. Elite teams qualified by winning their respective age group at the US Youth Soccer ODP Regional Championships. The US Youth Soccer ODP Championships featured Boys and Girls teams in the 1999 and 2000 age groups. Cal South took home three national titles, while Eastern New York claimed its first boys title in the 1999 age group with both wins coming from kicks from the mark.
2016 ODP Champions
1999 Boys: Eastern New York
1999 Girls: California South (*Two-time ODP Champion)
2000 Boys: California South
2000 Girls: California South
Players try out for the high-level US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program through a series of trials at their US Youth Soccer State Association. Those selected are exposed to some of the nation’s best coaches, trainers and facilities.
It’s not very often a team wins a tournament without scoring a goal in regulation or extra time, but that is exactly how Eastern New York 99 claimed its first ODP Championship title on the boys side by overcoming Minnesota 99 via kicks from the mark. Eastern New York followed a very similar formula to its semifinals win over North Carolina 99. In both matches Eastern New York played significant time a man down, held it’s a opponents scoreless, received game winning kicks from Pablo Napoli Borrero and had game winning saves by Tyler McElhinney.
Cal South 99 won its second straight ODP Championship with a 5-0 win over Michigan 99. Cal South got goals from Sydney Carr, Viviana Villacorta, Ashley Johnson, Samantha Fisher and two-time US Youth Soccer National Champion with Legends FC 99 (CA-S) Denae Antoine, to secure the title in the team’s final match.
Cal South 00 would win the 2000 Boys title by the same score as their female counterparts as they defeated Michigan 00 1-0. Christian Zavala, who was named to the 2016 ODP Region IV Championships Tournament Team, broke the scoreless stalemate 15 minutes into the match after receiving a cross on the left side of the box and burying his shot. Michigan would earn a myriad of opportunities in the second half, but were unable to find the back of the net as Cal South completed a sweep of the 2000 age group.
A second half goal from Annabella Folino was the difference for Cal South 00 as the Region IV side defeated North Carolina 00 1-0 in the finals. After a scoreless first half, the 2012 US Youth Soccer Region IV Champion with West Coast FC (CA-S), broke the draw with a goal in the 60th minute, and the Cal South defense would hold off North Carolina to claim the national title.