The Johnson County youth soccer players who have been selected for the Kansas Olympic Development (ODP) teams are busy getting ready for the Region II ODP tournament and camps July 5-13 in Illinois.
The Kansas ODP teams were picked based on birth year. They range from ages 13 through 17 in both boys and girls divisions.
“The process for selecting ODP teams begins with local area player combines and tryouts,” Kansas Youth Soccer Association director of coaching Mark Shelton said. “Then players are selected to be part of the state pool to continue with training and competitions before a final state team roster is selected.”
Shelton is a former girls soccer coach at Shawnee Mission West and boys and girls soccer coach at Olathe Northwest.
“This is my fifth year as director of coaching,” he said. “I have the responsibility for supervising programs like coaching education, ODP program, state tournaments, junior state championships, player development camps and clinics. Plus anything for the betterment of the sport in the state and the region.”
Region II is comprised of 14 state associations in the Midwest that stretches from Ohio to the Dakotas. At the regional camps, a regional pool of players are named. From these regional pools, the national pools and teams are formed.
The selection at all levels, state, regional and national, is generally based on four components: technique, tactics, fitness and athletic ability plus a psychological item — attitude.
This is a busy summer for the Kansas Youth Soccer Association, which has its office in Olathe. Johnson County club soccer teams that won at the Kansas State Cup are busy preparing to compete in the Midwest Regional Championships June 22-26 in Des Moines.
The KSYA will be hosting the Region II Presidents Cup competition Thursday through Sunday at the Overland Park Soccer Complex. Then the organization will serve as the host of the United States Youth National Championships July 22-28 at the Overland Park Complex.