The Northern Nevada Olympic Development (ODP) team, in just four years of operating as a separate organization from Las Vegas, had its crowning success at the ODP West Region Championship in Mesa, Arizona, in January. Players from Reno-Sparks, Truckee, Elko, and Tahoe contributed to the success.
After posting a combined record of 6-29-1 (.181 winning percentage) in 2022, the 10 teams in the same age group combined for 17-20-3 (.463) in 2023. Two teams won their respective age groups. (U13 girls and U17 boys). For the U13 girls, he beat Utah 2-1 in the finals on Monday, January 9, and for the U17 boys, he beat Utah 4-1 in the championship game.
Two teams from Northern Nevada (U13 Men and U16 Men) finished second in their age groups, and two more teams (U12 Men and U12 Women) advanced to the semi-finals.
“Despite the number of weather-related start delays and practice cancellations, the Northern Nevada team put in an incredible effort to win the state’s only women’s championship. It was made up of college and licensed coaches who have coached or played in. I hope we have shown what more can happen with the support of more clubs and the participation of athletes.”
In 2019, due to geographic issues, Northern Nevada formed its own state team and Southern Nevada formed its own team. Teams from each state will play against other states in their region (Northern Nevada is part of Region IV/West Region). His other three regions are (Region I/East, Region II/South, and Region III/Midwest). The Western Region consists of teams from Hawaii, Alaska, Karnose, CalSouth, Washington, Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, New Mexico, Northern Nevada, Southern Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Colorado.
ODP is a national identification program that provides quality coaching and provides U.S. youth soccer players with a pathway to regional and Olympic and national team selection. Northern Nevada players had to play against other football players in the region to earn a spot on the state team.
The best performing players from the January event in Arizona will receive invitations to the Region IV/West Region camp, where they will compete against the tournament’s other top performers. In that regional event, the top player from the regional IV team will be selected to play against his three other regions, ultimately creating a national ODP team to compete internationally.
Attending this year’s event came from several competitive youth soccer clubs in Northern Nevada, but mostly comprised players from Battleborn FC, Sierra Surf and South Tahoe FC . DeLeon hopes that all clubs in the region will support the program in the future so Northern Nevada can build on this year’s success.
“ODP provides a great opportunity for athletes who want to play more, be seen by evaluators, and provide a path to being selected by regional teams,” said DeLeon. “I am excited to see how many of our athletes get calls for their regional pools and hopefully we get more support up north from clubs, coaches and athletes. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my staff, my family, and my athletes for believing in me.”