FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland, OR – The Oregon Premier League is pleased to announce the formation of the OPL Player Academy, a regionally-based identification and Player Developmental Program (PDP) sanctioned by US Club Soccer and open to players in the Oregon and Southwest Washington region. The OPL Player Academy will be conducted within US Club Soccer’s id2 and PDP umbrellas. There will be no cost for players to participate in the OPL Player Academy, as player participation costs will be fully subsidized by the Oregon Premier League.
“It is important to the Oregon Premier League to provide top-level development opportunities for players, but providing more opportunity should not mean more cost for these players,” said Angela Harrison, the OPL’s Director of Operations. “The OPL Player Academy gives players a chance to improve on a regular basis without asking their families to pay more money to do so. “
The OPL Player Academy will be based in Portland, and players will be selected for participation based on both scouting and recommendations from club Directors of Coaching and other key coaches in the area. The OPL Player Academy will include players in the 1999, 2000, 2001 birth years for girls and 2000, 2001, 2002 for boys. The first session will begin in January.
The OPL is currently in the process of hiring a director of the Player Academy to oversee program operations, player scouting and selection, curriculum, and staffing.
“This is something we have needed in this area for a long time,” said Tom Atencio, Director of Coaching at THUSC and US Club Soccer Board Member. “Elite soccer opportunities beyond club programming should not cost our families more money to participate in. We have needed an organization to support our players and remove some of the financial burden of participation, and now we have two groups in US Club Soccer and the Oregon Premier League willing to take the first step forward in our area to do so. We are extremely excited about this program.”
As a component of the OPL Player Academy, US Club Soccer will send coaches and scouts from the US Club Soccer id2 program to selected OPL Player Academy PDP events. Additionally, US Club Soccer will operate an annual PDP event in Portland, featuring players from the OPL Player Academy, beginning with the first such event on March 2nd, 2014.
The US Club Soccer PDP events are based around the National Premier Leagues platform, with the OPL one of just 18 NPLs nationwide. One of the primary purposes of the PDP events is to identify players for potential inclusion in id2 Training Camps, and for potential inclusion in various U.S. Soccer national team programming. Both the id2 Program and PDP have been granted Olympic Development Program (ODP) status by the US Soccer Federation and the US Olympic Committee.
About US Club Soccer:
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer is an organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs in the United States.
Through US Club Soccer, all of a club’s programs – rec, youth competitive and adult – are able to be united under one organizational umbrella, creating a “members for life” culture within each club. US Club Soccer’s programming has all been developed with strong input from clubs around the country and with a minimum of rules and restrictions to allow efficient and innovative operations.
About Oregon Premier League:
Since its inception in 2006, the Oregon Premier League’s goal has been to make youth soccer a better experience for all players at all levels. Operated by the Oregon Premier Council, the OPL has two primary goals - The first goal is to provide the best possible environment for learning and developing, at all levels of youth soccer - including competitive soccer, recreational soccer, and everything in between. The second OPC goal is to achieve the first goal, while operating as efficiently as possible, while managing and minimizing costs.
All Oregon Premier League programming, from leagues, to cups, to player development programming, are operated under the jurisdiction and sanctioning of US Club Soccer. The two groups are united in the common goal of club independence, and the freedom to operate innovatively and efficiently as best suits each individual club.