The New Jersey Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) has remained a common fixture for many New Jersey athletes who eventually earned their way onto clubs in both the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and Major League Soccer (MLS). The impact of New Jersey ODP still remains strong on the current Sky Blue FC roster, with Carli Lloyd and Madison Tiernan both being alumnae of the program.
NJ Youth Soccer has officially set the dates for its 2019 ODP tryouts, with sessions planned for July 27-28 and August 3-4. Each day will feature tryouts in a different location (Rider University, Rowan University, Morris Plains, Wall Township) to create accessibility for players throughout the state.
Carli Lloyd grew up in Delran, N.J., representing New Jersey ODP as a youth player before heading to Rutgers University. She made her debut for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2005, and she has since accumulated 113 goals and 52 assists over 281 international appearances. Historically, Lloyd has been known to rise tallest on the grandest of stages, scoring the game-winning goal in the Gold Medal Match of both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She was also responsible for one of the most phenomenal performances in FIFA World Cup history when she registered a hat trick in the opening 16 minutes of the 2015 Final against Japan. She finished the competition with six goals and received the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament, which was the first FIFA World Cup championship for the U.S. Women’s National Team since 1999. She capped off 2015 by being voted the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, again winning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year accolades in 2016. She was also voted the runner-up to the award in 2017. Most recently, Lloyd helped captain the U.S. Women’s National Team to its second consecutive FIFA World Cup championship this summer in France, recording three goals during the overall competition.
“Representing my state through the ODP helped kick start my dream of playing for the National Team,” said Lloyd, who recently became an NJYS Ambassador.
During the time she represented New Jersey ODP, Madison Tiernan was also a standout player at Eastern Regional High School in Vorhees, N.J. After graduating from high school, she then attended Rutgers University, recording 25 goals and 16 assists in 88 matches. After her senior season at Rutgers, the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association (SJSCA) College Player of the Year became the 24th overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, selected by Sky Blue FC. Currently sidelined by an injury, Tiernan scored five goals over 42 appearances during her first two seasons with the New Jersey club.
“The first year I participated in ODP was my freshman year of high school, and my coach (Glenn Crooks) ended up being my head coach in college,” Tiernan recalled. “With that exposure, I got to play with a bunch of different players who I didn’t play against in club soccer. The relationships I established through ODP and going to regional camps put me on the national stage, and I got called into youth national camp. ODP added another element to my game that I did not get with my club team or in high school. Not to mention, I got to win two national titles, which was awesome!”
Additional New Jersey ODP alumnae who competed with Sky Blue FC over the years include Cassidy Benintente, Daphne Corboz and former U.S. Women’s National Team players Yael Averbuch, Jill Loyden and Heather O’Reilly.
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