New Jersey Youth Soccer celebrated its Young Olympians Festival this past May, with 2008-09 players par- ticipating in an event that was hosted at Rider University. The youth in attendance, both boys and girls, com- peted in a small-sided game format with top talent from all over the state. The special guests gave them tips to further their soccer knowledge.
One key highlight in particular was an appearance by New Jersey native and former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Tab Ramos, who is a member of both the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the New Jersey Youth Soccer Hall of Fame. Currently, he serves as the head coach of the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team.
“Many dreams begin on those fields,” tweeted Ramos after the event. “I am always ready and willing to help local soccer and NJ Youth Soccer. Thank you for having me.” Ramos was Olympic Development Program standout who went on to succeed at the highest levels, and he referenced those experiences in his talk with parents and players.
In addition to Ramos, other special guests included New York Red Bulls II defender, Roy Boateng, New York Red Bulls II midfielder, Chris Lema, and Sky Blue FC defender, Mandy Freeman. Each of those professional athletes took the time to speak with the young players in a group setting, and they also interacted with them throughout the event as a whole.
“We were thrilled with the soccer experience those boys and girls received,” said Evan Dabby, NJYS Executive Director. “They had an opportunity to compete with players from around the state and hear from a soccer legend as well as professionals playing locally.”
The NJYS Young Olympians Program, designed specifically for players born in 2008 and 2009, is an introductory stage for players who aspire to play at a high level and provides a path to participate in the New Jersey Olympic Development Program (ODP).
For more information about Young Olympians and New Jersey ODP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (609) 490-0725. Additionally, make sure to like the official New Jersey ODP Facebook Page.