CHICAGO (Wednesday, December 11, 2002) – More than 60 girls in the Under-13 to Under-15 age groups (players born from 1987 - 1989) attended U.S. Soccer’s first-ever “Play-In Days”, an event geared toward players who are playing outside of the traditional scouting networks. In an effort to reach out and create more identification and development opportunities for youth female soccer players, U.S. Soccer hosted its first "Play-In Days" at Tropical Park in Miami, Fla., from November 23-24.
The two-day sessions involved the participants playing in an informal setting and receiving help from some of the nation's top coaches. U.S. Soccer's National Staff Coaches worked with FYSA ODP coaches and local club coaches to instruct and evaluate players.
“The Play In Days demonstrated a great deal of cooperation between U.S. Soccer and many local groups from FYSA to clubs,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs. “Together we were able to create an opportunity for young women who play soccer. This event was a great beginning. Eventually we hope that we'll identify players that will be successful in the U.S. Women's National Team Program.”
The girls played small-sided games on Saturday, and Sunday’s session consisted of 9 v 9 and full 11 v 11 matches. After watching the players for two days, a select group was invited into the FYSA ODP program. All the participating girls born in 1989 were invited into Florida’s “Center of Excellence" program.
The "Play-In Days" event, which are being considered in other cities across the U.S. in the future, allows coaches to evaluate players from outside the traditional scouting network and at the same time expose these young players to a new level of play. Girls who attend these events are considered for involvement in the U.S. Youth National Team programs.
For more information on the event, please contact Mike Strickler (email@example.com), Florida's Director of Coaching, or Dave Simeone (firstname.lastname@example.org), one of U.S. Soccer’s National Staff Coaches.