BRADENTON, Fla. (Via US Youth Soccer) — The annual US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Florida Interregional continued games Saturday at Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton, Fla. The three-day event will conclude Sunday, December 3.
Featuring teams in the 2000, 2001 and 2002 age groups, the event includes more than 210 of the nation’s top players selected from US Youth Soccer State Association and Regional level evaluations. In each age group, players will attend scheduled training sessions and also compete in matches against each of the other regional teams.
The US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Florida Interregional annually attracts many college coaches, as well as several U.S. Soccer scouts. The talent on display from each team allows coaches and scouts to evaluate players in an environment similar to what they will face at the next level of play.
Loren Altman, who plays for the 2000 Midwest Region, has experience as an ODP player and enjoys the environment where players can showcase their skills and continuously learn.
Altman enjoys “being able to walk onto the field and seeing multiple college coaches,” he said. “It gives you a little more of an idea having college coaches as your region coaches, getting the advice and tips that they give to their own college kids. It prepares you better for the next level, and it’s just a good experience overall.”
Not only does he enjoy it, but Altman also understands what it means to be a player at an ODP interregional event.
“I like to be able to say that I represent not only Minnesota for the state (ODP) team but then Minnesota on the region (ODP) team, and then the Midwest for the region team when we play these other kids,” Altman said. “I think it’s a big honor.”
Highlights from Day 2:
2000s | South 1-0 West
A close back-and-forth match between the South and West Regions led to a 1-0 win for the South. The South displayed high energy and pressed forward, while the West kept up, but neither team could score in the first half. In the second half, both teams picked up the pace, and the West had the majority of the play with numerous shots, looking for its first goal of the event after a scoreless tie on Friday. While the West’s shots barely missed the goal, the South took one opportunity on the other end of the field when Alec Palanjian sent a low shot to the bottom right corner of the goal in the 70th minute. Luis Mora nearly had another for the South, but the West keeper kept the ball out of the net. The West continued to push forward, but it was the South who took the win in the end.
2000s | Midwest 1-2 East
The East Region came back from a one-goal deficit to defeat the Midwest, 2-1. In the beginning, the East seemed to maintain more possession, but the Midwest was able to turn the ball in the other direction for a slight second to convert a goal. Paolo Gratton sent a long ball into the 18-yard box to create a 50/50 challenge between the Midwest offense and the East goalkeeper, yet it was the Midwest’s Evan Williams who got to the ball first and knocked it in. The East was able to tie up the match in the 44th minute with a goal from Sebastian Rojek. Just as the game was about to end, Tate Mohney scored the game winner for the East in the 80th minute.
2001s | South 0-3 West
The West claimed a 3-0 victory over the South Region. In the first half, the West kept the ball in its offensive end and had several combination plays, but the team could not convert as the half remained scoreless. The West took the second half to a different level, however, as Nicholas Bourgeois immediately scored in the 42nd minute when he picked up the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and drove a low shot on the ground into the left corner. One minute later, Edwin Aquino made it a 2-0 game when he received a cross at the back post from the right flank and placed the ball in the goal. Drew Rizk topped off the win for the West with a goal in the 52nd minute.
2001s | Midwest 2-2 East
A battle between the Midwest and East Regions resulted in a 2-2 draw. The East was the first to get on the board as Thomas Hoy took a long, driven shot, and although the Midwest goalkeeper got the tips of his fingers on the ball, it wasn’t enough to keep the ball out of the net. The Midwest went into the second half with determination and was rewarded when it earned a penalty kick. Ezau Millan stepped up to the mark and placed the ball in the bottom left corner. Just three minutes later, Keaton Woods played the ball across the goal from the right flank to find Mason Leeth at the back post, who earned the go-ahead goal. As the Midwest was about to walk away with the win, the East gained a late corner kick. The ball bounced off of an East player’s head before finding Nathan Dragisich, who headed the ball into the goal for the equalizer.
2002s | South 0-5 West
The West Region picked up its second significant win, this time over the South. After 20 minutes of play, the flood gates opened as the West’s Kalani Kossa-Rienzi sent a through ball for Adrian Galindo, who was nearly stopped by the South goalkeeper, but Galindo quickly got up and poked the ball into the net. Galindo proceeded to complete a hat trick within the next four minutes as he converted a penalty kick and scored another off of a follow-up shot. The West added two more goals to finish off the victory with one from Bereket Getachew as well as one from Kossa-Rienzi.
2002s | Midwest 1-1 East
The Midwest and East finished in a 1-1 draw during Saturday’s match. Solomon Clark put the East ahead in the 18th minute, but the Midwest worked to tie up the game. The equalizer came as Clarence Weah had the ball outside the 18-yard box and found a window to shoot despite being surrounded by three East defenders. In the second half, the East picked up the pressure, but the Midwest soon adjusted and gained a rhythm. While both teams had its chances, the East nearly stole the game as a free kick was dropped back for Jack Seitz, who sent a low shot just wide left of the goal. In the end, the score remained tied at 1-1.