Central Alliance Soccer Association (CASA) hosted 200 total athletes at the first US Club Soccer Player Development Program (PDP), sponsored by Verizon, of 2021, held February 13-14, at Caps Fieldhouse in Valley View, Ohio. The PDP targeted 2004-2008-born boys and girls across both days with 100 boys participating on Saturday and 100 girls in attendance on Sunday. This is the first-ever PDP hosted by CASA.
The 200 total athletes were represented by over 25 total clubs across the state, who were nominated and invited by regional coaches and scouts to participate in the PDP. All the players were coached by some of the top collegiate coaches in Ohio. The athletes participated in various tactical and technical exercises, before moving to 11v11 matches on a full field.
CASA Executive Director Ed Bernstein was pleased that CASA was able to host its first-ever PDP.
“We were thrilled to bring so many of our talented players together for this US Club Soccer PDP”, said Bernstein. “It was certainly a challenge to execute this event and do it safely during a global pandemic but watching the athletes train and play made it all worthwhile. It was something very special to watch. Hosting a US Club Soccer PDP is something that we will want to become an annual event in the future.”
The PDP hosted by CASA marks the return of US Club Soccer's PDP and id2 programming following a brief pause in 2020 due to COVID-19.
"We are excited to have CASA help kick off our 2021 id2 programming by hosting its first-ever PDP," said US Club Soccer Director of Events Alexandra Rieben. "As we look to safely resume the id2 program in 2021, we will work with groups like CASA, who did an excellent job executing a safe and competitive environment for players. We are looking forward to continuing talent identification in 2021 and adding new programming to the id2 platform."
PDPs, sponsored by Verizon, are identification and development opportunities conducted within the id2 Program umbrella. Consistent with US Club Soccer's philosophy that identification and development should be free to players, there is no cost to players. PDPs are approved as an Olympic Development Program by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation.
Players are invited to participate in a PDP after being recommended by scouts and coaching staff in the region. Top performers from a PDP will then be in consideration for inclusion in an id2 National Training Camp, where they will play in front of id2 Directors and U.S. Soccer Youth National Team scouts.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.
Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.
US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.