PHOENIX (Jan. 10, 2016) — Champions were crowned at the 2016 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) Region IV Championships at Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix. The four-day tournament featured teams of elite players in the 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 age groups, from Region IV, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California North, California South, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Cal South claimed five of the 10 titles today, including the three (1999 Girls, 2000 Boys, 2000 Girls) of the four spots at the ODP Championships at the end of February. Washington, which claimed four titles today, will send the fourth team to the ODP Championships in the 1999 Boys group. Arizona claimed the final championships in the 2003 Boys group.
With programs in all 55 US Youth Soccer State Associations, US Youth Soccer ODP, the original Olympic development program, is available to any player. US Youth Soccer ODP is the only elite player development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer, the National Women’s Soccer League, and the majority of current and past national and youth national team members, as alumni.
Washington 99 defeated Cal South 99 3-2 in a back-and-forth match to claim the 1999 Boys title. After defeating the defending Region IV and National Champions Utah 99 in the semifinals, Cal South was looking to punch a ticket to the ODP Championships, but Washington had other intentions. 2015 ODP Region IV Championships Tournament team player RJ Stretch struck firts for Washington in the 13th minute, but the 2014 champs would respond in the 48th minute with a Spencer Hines goal. Lucas Meek gave Washington its second lead in the 60th minute, only for 2014 and 2015 ODP Region IV Tournament team member Chad Morgan to equalize just a minute later. Mario Vukic was the hero for Washington as his goal in the 78th minute gave Washington its third and final lead.
Washington 01 claimed the 2001 Boys regional title thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over Arizona 01. After a scoreless first half, Alec Diaz finally broke through in the 57th minute when he slipped past the keeper at the top of the box and calmly finished to give Washington the 1-0 lead, and ultimately a finals victory.
Goals from Katherine O’Kane and Zoe Burns gave Washington 02 the 2-0 win over Cal North 02. O’Kane scored five minutes into the match, and midway into the second half Burns doubled Washington’s lead. Cal North was unable to break Washington’s back line as the match ended 2-0.
Washington 03 defeated Colorado 03 in a match that featured nine goals. Lily Paulson began the scoring in the 12th minute, but just three minutes later Ava Samuelson responded for Colorado. Abigail Arnold, Palmira Scarsella and Kait Raffensperger would find the back of the net for Washington, and Paulson would complete her hat trick before the final whistle, while Colorado’s final two goals came from Stephanie Gwilliam and Gabrielle Clutter.