Richmond Kickers U17 Girls Elite player Payton Cook recently returned from the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program Girls 1996 National Team Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. Cook was one of 18 players selected by U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director April Heinrichs, based on her performance at the 2012 US Youth Soccer ODP Thanksgiving Interregional and was evaluated for possible participation in U.S. National Team events.
Players collaborated and scrimmaged with the U-18 U.S. Women’s National Team and also had the opportunity to receive counsel from U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Tom Sermanni, and U.S. Women’s Under-20 Head Coach Michelle French, who also trained the girls in a session.
“I would like to congratulate all the players chosen to participate in the US Youth Soccer ODP National Training Camp,” said Heinrichs. “We were excited to see these players compete alongside the Under-18 Women’s National Team for evaluation and possible inclusion in future U.S. National Team activities.”
Santa Clara University Head Coach Jerry Smith and former U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Mike Dickey led the US Youth Soccer ODP National Camp.
“Not many athletes get a chance to get invited to the Olympic Training Center,” said Dickey. “To have the opportunity…it’s once in a lifetime for some. It was great to see these players closer to achieving their ambitions of potentially being World Cup players.”
An added opportunity that the US Youth Soccer ODP girls exclusively received was the chance to be one of the first groups to go through a training regimen with Athletes’ Performance and SKLZ - US Youth Soccer’s official player performance training partner - at their new facility in San Diego. The players received education on strength, conditioning, recovery and nutrition.
Other testing during the week included the exact physical and technical assessments which the U-18 U.S. National Team players also completed.
US Youth Soccer ODP is the original Olympic development program and with programs in all 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations, is available to any player regardless of hometown or club affiliation. US Youth Soccer ODP is the only elite player development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, as well as the majority of current and past national and youth national team members, as alumni.
US Youth Soccer ODP Girls 1996 National Camp Roster:
Region Name Position Club
I Elysse Branton DF BRYC 95 Elite
I Payton Cook DF/MF Richmond Kickers
I Eva Gordon FW Empire Revolution-Syracuse
I Abigail Pyne GK Soccer Plus
II Shannon Hendricks DF/MF Junior Irish
II Kaitlyn Keen MF Carmel United Soccer Club
II Samantha Kokoska DF/MF Carmel United Soccer Club
II Megan McCashland DF Gretna Soccer Club
II Cassie Phillips MF Michigan Hawks
III Sydney Lurie MF Concorde Fire
III Marnie Merritt GK Lake Norman SC
IV Sarina Bolden FW De Anza Force
IV Madison Gonzalez FW/MF Santa Rosa United
IV Hailey Harbison MF Del Mar Sharks Carmel Valley
IV Mariah Lee FW Washington Premiere FC
IV Stephanie Malherbe MF SoCal Blues
IV Christina Settles MF West Coast F.C.
IV Pilar Torres FW San Diego Surf
US Youth Soccer ODP, established in 1977, is the original Olympic development program in the United States. Formed to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team could be selected for international competition, selected players are exposed to the nation's top coaches from collegiate institutions, U.S. Soccer and the professional leagues. Programs exist in each state and with competitions such as the US Youth Soccer ODP Championships, Interregional Training/Competition, Regional Camps and International play. US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way in elite player identification and development. US Youth Soccer ODP is an approved program of the U.S. Soccer Federation.