Connecticut Olympic Development Program (ODP) player Madelyn Walsh, who competes at the club level for Chelsea Piers Soccer Club, recently helped the US Youth Soccer 2006 ODP National Select Team reach the Dallas Cup Final earlier this month in Texas. The team went unbeaten in group play before earning a semifinal win over FC Dallas Youth RL G06 to meet Solar U17G ECNL in the championship.
In its opening match of the competition, the 2006 ODP Girls battled FC Dallas Youth ECNL G06 to a scoreless draw. The team returned to the pitch the following day with huge offensive firepower, defeating Surf Select Girls 2006 by a tally of 5-1. The 2006 ODP Girls then completed group play with a shutout victory over Solar ECRL 06G Grado, 1-0, making them the only unbeaten team in their group and concluding that stage at the top of the table.
In semifinal action, Madelyn Walsh and the 2006 ODP Girls secured their second consecutive clean sheet when they blanked FC Dallas Youth RL G06, 1-0, which advanced them into the 17U Championship Match. Unfortunately, their run would come up short in the final when they met an explosive Solar SC ECNL 06G side that won its third straight Dallas Cup Championship.
Dallas Cup was founded by the Texas Longhorns Soccer Club in 1980 after they returned home from a trip to Europe. Held every spring, the invitation-only tournament is comprised of nine age groups in the Boys category (12U to 19U) and four age divisions on the Girls side (16U to 19U). Dallas Cup consists of international, national and Dallas area teams that compete for the coveted Boot and Ball Trophy, which is awarded to champions in each age group.
The Olympic Development Program is an identification system linked to the United States Soccer Federation and US Youth Soccer. The program offers its players a pathway that could lead to representing Regional and U.S. Youth National Teams. Originally established in 1977, ODP was the first program in the country designed to identify potential youth national team players. ODP players begin initially at the local sector before progressing to the state, regional and possibly national levels. By playing with like-talented athletes, ODP offers the opportunity for players to advance in their personal development and to be scouted by college coaches.