Mason Yang Represents USYS ODP at Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup

Connecticut ODP player Mason Yang takes a photo with two US Youth Soccer ODP teammates in las Vegas.

Mason Yang, who plays for Windsor Soccer Club and the Connecticut Olympic Development Program (ODP), recently represented the US Youth Soccer ODP National Select Team at the Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup in February. The USYS ODP 2010 Boys played up a year at the competition, going on an impressive run to the quarterfinals in the U14 2009 Chapman Auto Group.

In their opening match of group play, the 2010 Boys blanked Tuzos Academy 09 (AZ), 3-0. They carried that momentum into their next match where they shut out top-ranked Albion SC Merced B09 MLS NEXT (CA-N) just hours later, again by a scoreline of 3-0. On the second day of competition, the 2010 Boys recorded another clean slate en route to defeating Heat FC ECNL B09 (LV) by a tally of 2-0. Those stellar results in group play booked their ticket to the quarterfinal round, where they came up just short in a match against a CASA Inter Sandoval 2009 (CO) team that fielded three full-time MLS NEXT players.

The Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup is a competitive tournament where teams are presented with the opportunity to play in front of college coaches and recruiters that represent various programs throughout the country. The matches are played on top-notch fields that were constructed for soccer by the City of Las Vegas, and the tournament also utilizes soccer complexes built exclusively for soccer.

Connecticut ODP also has a second player who was selected to the USYS ODP National Select Team for her age group, with Madelyn Walsh soon to join the 2006 USYS ODP Girls at Dallas Cup this April. 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.

“Congratulations to Mason and his team on their run to the quarterfinal of the Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup,” said Josh Krusewski, CJSA Executive Director. “On behalf of the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association, we want to wish the best of luck to Madelyn as she prepares to compete next month at Dallas Cup.”

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.

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