FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Oregon Premier League is pleased to announce the coaching staff for the launch of the OPL Player Academy, a specialized training opportunity for players who are selected by their clubs for participation.
“We feel we have a assembled an outstanding and diverse group of coaches,” said OPL President and OPL PA Director Paul Slover. “We’re excited and honored to bring such highly qualified coaches together to collaborate on this new program to benefit these players, and in turn, their clubs. The players are going to be well looked after by this group.”
Demonstrating a significant commitment from the clubs to continue to develop, nurture, and ultimately raise the talent level of players in Oregon, 15 of the 24 coaches are club directors in some form or another, as coaching/technical directors and youth development directors. The staff also represents the broad range of clubs involved in the OPL, with ten clubs putting forth their top coaches to work with the selected players. All have achieved USSF certification at multiple levels.
“In order for this program to succeed, and to provide these kids with a high-quality, competitive, fun training environment, it is imperative as clubs we ask our top coaches to be involved,” said Tom Atencio, Tualatin Hills United SC’s Director of Coaching and Player Development. “We cannot identify and ask players to earn this opportunity to participate without giving them access to our best coaches.”
The OPL Player Academy will focus on individual player development with training sessions once per month, along with an open-play futsal session once per month. The OPL PA kicks off February 9. A no-tryout program, players are selected by their clubs and will receive their invitations via email by February 2. Age groups can be divided into two tiers, based on ability level, with flexible movement between the groups. The OPL will underwrite program costs to allow every player who earned this opportunity to participate without the burden of additional program fees.
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. Aditionally, 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.
Christopher Cramer - TFA Barcelona
Johnny Bunn - Southside SC/Crossfire Oregon
Travis Feltner - TFA Barcelona
Facundo Dipascuale - FC Portland Academy
Stephen Kiss - Tualatin Hills United SC
Erik Miller - NorthEast United
Rob Baarts - FC Portland Academy
Sean Monaghan - TFA Barcelona
Bernie Fagan - Oregon Soccer Academy
Brandon McNeil - NorthEast United
Jim Brazeau - Willamette United SC/Crossfire Oregon
Michael Jamieson - FC Portland Academy
Adam “Gaff” Leyland - Clackamas United SC/Crossfire Oregon
Angela Harrison - Lake Oswego SC/Crossfire Oregon
Melanie Langley - Tualatin Hills United SC
Mike dePinna - FC Portland Academy
Brian Gant - FC Portland Academy
Rochelle Hearns - Tualatin Hills United SC
Travis Schoonover - Lake Oswego SC/Crossfire Oregon
Tina Ellertson - Salmon Creek Soccer Club
Miguel Guante - FC Portland Academy
Tom Atencio - Tualatin Hills United SC
Fraser Morrison - Lake Oswego SC/Crossfire Oregon
Paul Slover - Southside SC/Crossfire Oregon