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Fifth season of Ontario Soccer’s Ontario Player Development League kicks off this weekend

By Staff, 05/01/18, 10:30AM EDT


With 25 OPDL organizations now across the province, matches showcasing Ontario’s top male and female athletes will be on display May 5 and 6

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

Ontario Soccer’s Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) will officially enter its fifth season this weekend, as games kick off across the province at nine centralized venues.

Twenty-four Clubs and one Private Academy are confirmed for the upcoming season as the OPDL has expanded to new areas of the province that previously did not have representation.

“The OPDL program is the top training and competition environment for our province’s youth athletes that provides them the development opportunities and exposure so they can meet their future goals in the game,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer Chief Executive Officer. “OPDL organizations prepare these talented athletes for opportunities at the provincial team, national program and Toronto FC Academy levels by showcasing their skills to scouts from across North America.”

Launched in 2014 at the provinces’ top standards based youth program, with the 2001 male and female age groups, the OPDL now phases-in the fifth and final age group for the organizations to continue to refine their program, according to the Ontario Soccer Talented Pathway.

“Now that the OPDL age group roll-out is complete, the next steps are continuing to align the Provincial programming with the National program and ensure our athletes are future national team players,” said Gary Miller, Ontario Soccer Technical Director. “We’re excited to see Ontario’s athletes graduate beyond the U-17 age group and into our Senior standards based league, League1 Ontario, an additional platform for them to continue to showcase and refine their skills.”

New in 2018, will be the opportunity for U-15 OPDL athletes to compete at the Ontario Summer Games, held this year in London.

“Following the lead and direction by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ontario Soccer has re-calibrated entry eligibility into the Ontario Summer Games program to ensure that athletes attending the Ontario Summer Games are the top athletes within a specified age group,” said Gabriel Assis, Ontario Soccer Manager of Player Development.

The event will also serve as the final stage for the 2018 U-15 OPDL Cup and in addition to the competition, a series of workshops and practical sessions are scheduled for players, coaches and match officials attending the games.

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