Three SRYA Soccer Players Selected for Olympic Development Program

Three U12 players will be improving skills in the Olympic Development Program.

SRYA soccer coach Mike Grisby emailed that three SRYA U12 soccer players will be going to the Maryland Olympic Development Program (ODP) in spring 2013.

The three boys are:

  • Drew Peterson
  • Michael Grigsby
  • Michael Daily

Grigsby said that the boys were selected for Project 100+ U12, an initiative of Maryland State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA) to identify and train top players in the state of Maryland.

The goal of the ODP is to find players with the skill-set to advance to a higher level of play with the right coaching. The MSYSA looks at both boys and girls. We don’t have any information on the girls who tried out and/or made it through. Please email if you know the female players from our area who will be working out in the spring with the ODP.

Nearly 200 boys tried out. In the end, there will be 100 making the cut from around the state.

We already know that they have three great players from the Edgewater area.

Player Skills

The skills of the players were tested in a variety of challenges at the tryouts. Each player wore a number on a colored shirt so that players were not identified by name. That anonymity is one of the reasons we can’t identify others players in the area that made it through.

The MSYSA coaches looked for players with a variety of technical, tactical, physical and psychological traits.

In offense, they wanted to see a total commitment to maintaining and regaining possession of the ball. According to information posted online, they want to make sure a player could:

“collect a ball safely, initiate a pass, a run, a turn, a feint, carryout some surprising unpredictable moves in order to help themselves or a teammate score a goal.”

On defense, they re looking for players who can:

“read and anticipate attacking methods, pursuing and chasing the ball immediately, closing down the attacking space, smothering the attacker’s reaction time, intercept passes, steal the ball back, and quickly initiate the attack.”

They are also looking for players with good, technical ball skills, including control, passing, dribbling, heading and finishing and of course all-around athleticism, including endurance, speed, agility and strength.

And they want all of this out of 11-year-olds?

Yes. And 12-year-olds, and 13-, 14-, 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds. Each age group has an Olympic Development Program.

Grigsby said that the three SRYA boys are from the U11 Soccer Academy.

“I’m proud of these boys for their hard work,” he said.

Practice with the ODP will begin in Spring 2013. As the players move up through each age bracket, their participation can also help to facilitate participation in U.S. Youth Soccer, a regional camp for state soccer associations.

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About Mitchelle Stephenson

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