Florida Fire Juniors Soccer Club's Phillip Hajjar (U14 Premier) knows there are a lot of ways talented soccer players are identified in southwest Florida.
He knows because he's one of them. And the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) has taken notice.
Hajjar, along with four other Florida players, has been asked to join the South Region roster of U14s and compete in December at the 2018 USYS ODP Boys Winter Interregional in Bradenton, FL. They'll square off against U14 teams from the other three regions in the United States (see region map below, right).
US National Team coaches and staff will be on hand to assess all of the talent in an effort to populate the US Youth National Team player pool.
Hajjar's ODP journey began like thousands of others across the country. Male and female players attend open trials in each state. That group is narrowed over several training sessions as the best from each state are named to a regional pool and invited to the region camp.
Hajjar was one of 334 '05 boys invited to the U14 camp last summer in Alabama. His performance at camp earned him the call-up to the South Region team.
Florida Fire Juniors Coach Ari Rasidovic said he's not surprised by his U14 team captain's success. No doubt Hajjar will have plenty of stories to share with his teammates on his return from the tournament in mid-December.
Region Map For The USYS Olympic Development Program
Tag(s): Press Room