Even with all of the major successes of the Cal South Olympic Development Program (ODP) over the years, it seems there are still some firsts at hand. For the 1996 Girls' team that attended the 2009 US Youth Soccer ODP Region IV camps in Moscow, Idaho in July, this meant becoming the first Cal South ODP girls' team to have all 18 of its attending players selected for the Region IV ODP pool. While a handful of boys' teams have seen this happen (included the 1994 Boys just last
summer), this is the first time it has happened for a girls' squad.
Richard Boon, head coach for the '96 Girls, was ecstatic: "I've been coaching for ODP for a while now, and without taking anything away from the kids who came before, this is one of the most talented age groups I have ever seen. Because of the reputation of our program, it was interesting to see how the girls reacted to the fact that every team they face wants to act like a 'giant-killer.' It gave my girls something to prove to the other teams, and they succeeded
wildly." After three solid victories over Cal North, Washington and Colorado (5-1, 5-1, 4-1), Cal South's Pilar Torres emerged as the top goal-scorer of the week.
144 Cal South ODP players spread across eight Cal South ODP teams attended the camps which began late in June and carried through most of July. 103 of those 144 players were selected to continue on with the Region IV pool teams, with 50 of the 72 girls carried over (69%) and 53 of the 72 boys (73%). Five other Cal South girls that did not attend camp due to injury or had already gained selection to the National squads were also named to the Regional rosters, giving Cal South a total of 55 girls
(23% of the total players on the Regional rosters). With fewer pool spots available on the boys' side, the 53 Cal South players named there make up an impressive 29% of the Region IV pool total.
Cal South wishes to congratulate all of its ODP players and Regional and National selectees on their hard-earned success.
CAL SOUTH PLAYERS NAMED TO US YOUTH SOCCER REGION IV POOLS: