Medford, OR - In early July, the Oregon Premier League selected two groups of players to travel to Medford to participate in the inaugural Northwest Training Camp, which was developed and coordinated in conjunction with the NorCal and Puget Sound Premier Leagues,. 15 boys and girls from Oregon's top clubs were nominated by their coaches, attended two days of try outs, and were selected for the Camp, which was free of charge for the players, and held in Medford in late July.
"I thought it was a really great event and a wonderful opportunity for our players," said Kevin Primerano, who was selected to coach the Oregon boys. The Rogue Valley Timbers Director added, "the level of players we have in Oregon proved they can compete among the best, and I am really pleased with how the week turned out for them."
The camp, which was conducted over a 3-day period in Medford, at the US Cellular Community Sports Park, saw each league sent their respective PDPs to participate in the program, which included training, games, and in class lectures regarding tactical development and play. The Oregon boys, all selected from the 2000 (U13/14) age group, trained with Primerano during the day, and attended lectures from US Soccer Scout Benjamin Ziemer in their off hours. The Oregon girls, all selected from the 1999 (U14/15) age group, trained with OPL Director of Operations Angela Harrison, attending lectures with NorCal PDP Director Paolo Bonini in their off hours.
"This was a great opportunity for me to see what the other leagues are doing with their PDPs, and how we can adopt some of their curriculum while also looking at what works best for our players in our league and creating our own unique PDP," Harrison said. "But the level of the play for our girls, especially with many of them just coming back from the US Club Soccer National Championships and NPL Champions Cup, was of a very high quality. I think our program is going to be very, very good with some additional time together."
While this was the first ever event for Oregon, NorCal has had their PDP operating for nearly two years, while the Puget Sound Premier League were at the tail end of their first year.
The Oregon boys were able to beat Puget Sound 3-1 and had a cracking 2-2 draw with NorCal on the last day in triple digit heat; the girls lost to NorCal based in large part on their fatigue level, but came back and beat Puget Sound the next day. Ziemer was very excited about the level of play from both the boys and the girls and expects Oregon to be well represented at the next US Club Soccer id2 camps.