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New Partnership with Cal South A Big Win for Washington Youth Soccer EPD Players

Partnership will create specialized and professional environment to prepare players for highest levels

In May, two of the nation’s largest and most successful youth soccer associations — Washington Youth Soccer and Cal South — announced a new partnership with the goal of increasing the training and identification opportunities for each state’s elite players.

The new program will bring together players in Washington Youth Soccer’s Elite Player Development (EPD) program and those in Cal South’s Pro+ for a structured training and identification camp. In addition, there will be a new annual invitational to be hosted by Cal South.

Over the last three years, Washington Youth Soccer EPD teams and Cal South’s Pro+ teams have dominated the US Youth Soccer Region IV ODP (Olympic Development Program) Championships, combining to win Region IV titles in 8 of 10 age groups in 2012 alone.

So what will this mean for Washington Youth Soccer’s EPD players?

Significantly enhanced competitive and developmental opportunities, in the form of an annual camp held at Concordia University in Irvine, Calif., and an annual invitational hosted by Cal South. There will also be significant exposure to college coaches and U.S. Soccer staff, who will not only staff the events, but will use them as a one-stop shop to personally evaluate and identify the most promising young players from two of the nation’s leading youth soccer associations.

“This partnership between two of the most modern and forward-thinking youth soccer associations marks a new era in elite player development,” says Gary White, Technical Advisor for Washington Youth Soccer. “This is a bold and brave step. The initiative will afford our players the best opportunities available to receive the needed education, exposure and excellence they deserve.”

Steve Hoffman, who oversees Cal South’s Pro+ program as the state association’s Director of Player Development, agrees.

“EPD is a great player growth and development program,” Hoffman says. “Incorporating their players brings more competition to our camp, and it gives their EPD kids another opportunity to be identified by U.S. Soccer.”

The annual camp will include curriculum designed jointly by the technical staffs of both state associations. On-field training and off-field lectures will be conducted by staff from U.S. Soccer, Cal South and Washington Youth Soccer, as well as selected Division-I college coaches.

Washington Youth Soccer EPD players will also have the chance to participate in the Pro+ Invitational — an identification tournament for selected age groups — run annually by Cal South. With U.S. Soccer Regional and National scouts in attendance, the tournament will provide players with premier identification opportunities and scouting exposure, serving as a comprehensive learning opportunity for playing at the highest level.

Cal South and Washington Youth Soccer will work together to develop an in-depth player and staff assessment methodology to consistently elevate the quality of both events.

“Working with our fellow State Association, Cal South, to enhance the training, competition and exposure opportunities for our elite players will bring great benefit to all,” says Doug Andreassen, Washington Youth Soccer President. “It is a great honor to partner with such a prestigious organization as Cal South, and I know the collaboration between our Technical Departments will lead to great things for our youth and the sport of soccer.”

The programs created through the partnership with Cal South will be seamlessly integrated in the current inventory in Washington Youth Soccer’s EPD program and selected age groups will participate in both the Pro+ Invitational and training camp.

Want to learn more about how you can become involved in EPD? Click the “Programs” tab at Washington Youth Soccer!


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