What is ODP Soccer? All You Need to Know

What is ODP Soccer? All You Need to Know

What is ODP soccer? The U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) is a national identification and development program for youth soccer players.

Its purpose is to identify players of the highest caliber on a continuing and consistent basis, which will lead to increased success for the U.S. National Teams in the international arena.

The program identifies and develops youth players throughout the country to represent their state association, region, and the United States in soccer competition.

In this article, we will provide an overview of the U.S. Youth Soccer ODP. We will explain what the program is, how it works, and what players can expect if they participate in the program.

We will also discuss the benefits of participating in ODP, as well as some of the challenges that players may face!

ODP Soccer Overview

ODP Soccer is a program developed by US Youth Soccer in 1977 to identify and develop young soccer players.

It is a national program that provides high-level training and competition opportunities for players in the United States.

The program is designed to help players in the U13-U17 age groups reach their full potential by exposing them to quality coaching, quality competition, and the opportunity to play with and against the best players in their age group.

History of ODP Soccer

ODP Soccer was developed by US Youth Soccer in 1977 to help facilitate growth and development among young soccer players and to help identify the best players in the country.

The program has since grown to become one of the most respected youth soccer programs in the country.

The program has produced many top-level players who have gone on to play at the highest levels of the sport which includes the USMNT and USWNT.

The program has helped to create a culture of excellence in youth soccer and has helped to develop some of the best players in the world.

ODP Soccer Programs

The program is divided into three levels: youth, regional, and national.

odp pathway 2023

State ODP Soccer Programs

The state ODP soccer programs are designed to identify and develop talented youth soccer players in each state and provide them with the opportunity to compete at a higher level.

State ODP soccer programs are run by each state association and are open to players aged 13-17.

These programs provide players with the opportunity to train and compete with other talented players in their state as well as play in various ODP events.

Regional ODP Soccer Programs

Regional ODP soccer programs are the next level up from state programs.

Regional ODP programs are run by US Youth Soccer and are divided into four regions: East, Midwest, South, and West.

Players who excel in the ODP program are selected to attend regional camps, where they have the opportunity to showcase their skills. From there, the most talented players are identified for participation in the national camp, pool, or team.

Additionally, the top players from each region are chosen to represent their region at USYS-sponsored events, where they compete against players from other regions with sometimes college and national coaches in attendance.

National ODP Soccer Programs

By taking part in regional ODP tournaments and camps, players may receive an invitation to the National Camp, where they can compete for a spot on their age group’s ODP National Team.

Those selected for the team in the older age groups are given the chance to travel and compete against some of the world’s top youth teams.

ODP Tournaments and Events

ODP Soccer hosts a variety of tournaments and events throughout the year at the regional, national, and international levels. These events provide players with opportunities to showcase their skills, compete against top players from other regions, and potentially earn a spot on their respective national team.

Regional Tournaments

ODP Soccer Regional Tournaments are held annually in each region of the United States.

These tournaments bring together the top players from each state in the region to compete against each other.

Regional tournaments are typically held in the summer and fall months and serve as a way for players to be scouted by college coaches and national team scouts.

National Tournaments

ODP Soccer National Tournaments are held annually in January and February.

These tournaments bring together the top players from each region in the United States to compete against each other.

National tournaments are highly competitive and serve as a way for players to be scouted by national team coaches and scouts.

International Tournaments

ODP Soccer International Tournaments are held annually in various countries around the world.

These tournaments bring together the top players from each region in the United States to compete against top players from other countries.

International tournaments provide elite players with a unique opportunity to experience different cultures and play against different styles of play.

Can MLS Next Players Play ODP?

Not really. In almost all cases, MLS NEXT players and teams cannot play in any outside competitions without written permission from MLS NEXT Administrators. This includes other leagues like ODP.

For the boy’s side, MLS NEXT is a relatively new league and offers better competition but more travel. MLS NEXT, as a league, has a lot of room to expand and continually get stronger.

Honestly typing, ODP isn’t what it used to be but still serves a purpose in the club soccer landscape.


In conclusion, the Olympic Development Program (ODP) is a competitive and effective soccer program designed to improve the overall level of soccer in the United States.

With reputable youth leagues like MLS NEXT, ECNL, and Girls Academy, the need for ODP has fizzled a bit but it still holds a place in U.S. youth soccer.

Close to 100,000 players participate in ODP every year, and the program is essentially broken down into brackets based on age and skill level.

ODP offers a clear pathway from state -> regional -> national levels.

Overall, ODP is a great way for young soccer players to develop their skills, gain exposure, and compete at a high level.

It is a program that has produced many successful players who have gone on to play at the college and professional levels.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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