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ODP Boys Region I Teams with Five LIJSL Players Complete Successful 2015 International Trip

LIJSL

The 1999 and 2000 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) Boys Region I teams just returned from successful tournament play in Spain and Italy respectively.  

Players were selected after being evaluated in an ODP tournament and ID camp last summer as well as at the US Youth Soccer ODP Thanksgiving and Winter Interregionals. Five LIJSL players were selected and made the trip.

The 1999 team reached the quarterfinals of the Mediterranean International Cup (MIC) in Barcelona, which featured a field of 52 from all over the world. After losing their opening match against Girona (Spain), Region I won four straight against Club Atletico Almafuerte (Argentina), Volendam FC (Netherlands), UE Llagostera (Spain) and Kitchee SC (Hong Kong) before the quarterfinal defeat. The Region I side went 4-2 overall.

“The MIC is a huge tournament that features national teams from Brazil, Mexico, Spain like Barcelona and Real Madrid, and the team showed great skill and cohesion in getting to the quarterfinals,” said Keith Tabatznik, US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Region I Head Coach. “Overall it was a fantastic experience playing against these quality teams and the international game first-hand.”

In the quarterfinals, Region I received a rough draw as the squad had to face off against the eventual champion Aspire Academy. Aspire is part of the academy system being funded to develop and find players for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.  Bora Milutinovic, former U.S. National Coach, was in Barcelona as a consultant to Aspire. 

“It’s definitely a challenge for us being a select team because we have very little time to get everyone on the same page,” Tabatznik said. “It was a fabulous experience, and the growth of the players over the week was definitely noticeable. The players were able to experience the challenge of being called into a team and compete at their highest level. ”

The 2000 team claimed third place in the “Citta Di Porino Tourino” with a 1-0 win over Gothenburg (Sweden).  The team narrowly missed playing in the final as they tied Toronto FC Academy 1-1 in the semis, but lost 4-3 on penalty kicks.  

“One of the big reasons why we do these international trips is to bring kids out of their comfort zone. These trips are the diamond of US Youth Soccer ODP and for eight or nine days players are exposed to a different level of play, soccer culture, food and traveling conditions,” Tabatznik said. “It also gives them an experience beyond soccer, and they will come back and make their club, high school and state teams better.”

US Youth Soccer ODP Boys 1999 Region I Roster

State Association

First Name

Last Name

Club Name

Eastern New York

Blake

Aronson

South Huntington Lightning

Eastern New York

Samuel

Steinberg

Dix Hills Hurricanes

US Youth Soccer ODP Boys 2000 Region I Roster

State Association

First Name

Last Name

Club Name

Eastern New York

Matthew

Barresi

Dix Hills Hurricanes

Eastern New York

Nicholas

Gaviria

Dix Hills Hurricanes

Eastern New York

Leo

Musacchia

Dix Hills Hurricanes

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