Players are selected on the basis of open tryouts. These tryouts are conducted by AYSA State coaches and experienced college and club coaches, who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills. AYSA combines scouting techniques and invitations to certain players with the open tryouts.
Selection of Olympic Development players is not an easy task. Players are evaluated on the four components that make up a soccer player:
3. Fitness and Athletic Ability
4. Psychological Component (attitude)
What is the player selection process at the state level in Alabama?
In Alabama, the main vehicle for player selection is the open tryouts. The open tryouts are held in early August and State Pools of 30-40 players are selected. After Mini-Camp, State Teams are selected from the pools and these State Teams go to Region Camp in July.
Can players be cut from the State Pool after the tryouts are over?
No. In all the age groups, once a player is selected in the fall to the State Pool, he/she is eligible to participate in all the training and events through Mini-Camp of the following year.
Can players be added to the State Pool after the tryouts are over?
Players can be added under the following circumstances: Immediately after the State Tryouts, once the State Pools are announced, club coaches who feel very strongly that the Evaluators missed a quality player can contact the State Director of Coaching. If the State DOC is satisfied that the club coach is familiar with the ODP level and has a legitimate case, the player in question might be invited to an ODP practice for a second evaluation or a staff coach might be sent to watch the player play a club game. If the player is good enough, he/she might be added to the pool. Club Coaches are encouraged to contact the State DOC immediately after the tryouts. The longer they wait, the less likelihood of player being added. Once the fall season is over and the pool has settled down, it is much harder to add more players and it happens only on rare occasions. Other typical scenarios that might warrant a player added to the pool are:
- Quality player moving into Alabama after the tryouts.
- Quality player missing the tryouts due to injury.
- Quality player identified by State, Regional, or National staff coach after the tryouts through the scouting network.
Players identified after the tryouts are added to the State Pool only if they are in the top half of the pool and only with approval by the State Director of Coaching. The ODP at the state level has an obligation to identify the best players and put them in front of the regional staff. This is the most important mission of the program.