Collaborative Program with Timbers & Thorns
OYSA has partnered with the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns to identify and develop the top players in Oregon and SW Washington to prepare them as student/athletes for exposure to regional and national ODP programs, as well as collegiate and potentially professional soccer settings.
Both OYSA and the Portland Timbers and Thorns share the same objectives for elite player development in our state and we are working together to achieve this mission.
The principal Portland Timbers/PortlandThorns FC/OYSA ODP mission is to identify, evaluate, and provide more consistent training opportunities for the elite youth soccer players in Oregon. As part of the national effort, the Portland Timbers/Portland Thorns FC/OYSA ODP program is dedicated to developing the highest level of youth soccer in the state and Portland Timbers homegrown territory. This objective will be achieved in an atmosphere of integrity, fairness, and impartiality. The player’s talent with a ball, their physical and cognitive skills, together with their attitude will be the criteria for entry into the program. In developing this collaborative program, both entities will ensure that the procedures will not conflict with any current US Youth Soccer, US Soccer Federation (USSF) policies or any NCAA eligibility rules for college entry.
There are inherent secondary objectives too:
- To evaluate and select players regionally in each ODP/Pre Academy age group that will train and then be evaluated to select a state pool of players from which state team players are then identified and state Timbers / Thorns ODP teams formed.
- To advance the soccer skills and knowledge of players and coaches in each Timbers / Thorns ODP age group, to send back to their club teams to share and develop.
- To provide appropriate competition for state Timbers/Thorns ODP teams in each age group.
While individual leagues or districts may have additional objectives for their local programs, those objectives will not adversely affect the success of the Timbers/Thorns ODP Academy. In fact, they will complement one another.
ODP participation does not mean that the players cannot participate on their club team. On the contrary, Timbers/Thorns ODP participation, whether at the pool, state, regional, or national level, is concurrent with club team participation. A mutually agreed upon training calendar is implemented. Participation at this elite level provides many advantages for the clubs too, such as exposure. The advantages of player development outweigh any conflicts this might pose and indeed criteria will be produced to protect the club from poaching or recruiting within the soccer year.