EAST WINDSOR, N.J. – New Jersey Youth Soccer recently completed its first round of Olympic Development Program tryouts for the 2020-2021 season.

Almost 1,300 boys and girls participated for the opportunity to represent their ODP teams in the Under-12 to U-17 age groups.

“It has been another great showing from aspiring players around the state,” NJYS director of technical operations James Galanis said in a statement. “The initial feeling from our coaches is that the level of players has been increasing over the years, and this year we believe it has been the best yet.”

To address COVID-19 safety considerations and provide a safer environment for the players, ODP tryouts were spread out over three locations.

“It was important that we change the structure of our tryouts,” Galanis said. “Thanks to Howell SC, Wall SC and Millstone United, we were able to create smaller groups that allowed us to not only evaluate, but also work in safe conditions.”

NJ Youth Soccer will host its final round of tryouts, at which players will become eligible for selection onto a New Jersey ODP state team for their respective age groups.