“This doesn’t happen with Faribault soccer very often.”
Faribault boys U14 soccer coach Jim Johnson had some high praise for two of his players.
Cristian Escobar Pearson and Carter Johnson were two of 18 players selected to a team representing Minnesota in the Olympic Development Program Midwest Region Showcase June 27-30 in Dayton, Ohio.
Escobar Pearson and Johnson started out by taking part in practices and tryouts in the north suburbs in efforts to make the team.
The sessions included passing drills, scrimmages and various drills to test players’ abilities.
While the two were able to show off their individual skills, Johnson said “talking and communicating with each other,” was what helped set him a part.
Evaluators were looking partially at how players fit into a team dynamic, which the two Faribaultians have in spades.
They were part of a 2018 U13 team that won the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association state title in the C3 division. The team went undefeated and has since moved up to C2. The U14 team comprised of much of the same roster is off to a 6-0 start after Wednesday’s 2-1 win over MN Rush.
Top players from the Midwest are invited to the boys ODP Midwest ID Camp July 6-10 in Saginaw, Michigan.
Escobar Pearson and Johnson will hold two fundraisers to help offset travel costs.
The first is serving food at Faribault American Legion Post 43 on Friday, June 21. The second is selling hot dogs and hamburgers at a stand outside Fareway 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22.
The Olympic Development Program (ODP) began in 1977. It was introduced to help identify potential national team youth players through an organized series of trials which begins at the district level, progresses through the state, region and national level.
The higher up the ladder a player advances, the more intense training and playing become.
According to the MYSA, the Minnesota US Youth Soccer ODP currently has identified a select pool of players with birth years from 2002 to 2007. Tryouts consist of 100-150 players being evaluated based on skill and knowledge of the game. Out of those 100-150, 30-50 will be selected into the pools. Each pool trains together for four to six weeks and the Regional teams to represent Minnesota were selected from there.