Maryland State ODP Teams Return from Europe
The Maryland State ODP teams traveled to Europe over Spring Break 2015 for some top quality soccer matchups and an enriching cultural experience. The 1998 Boys travelled to Venice, Italy; the 2000 Boys to Barcelona, Spain; the 2002 Boys to Stirling, Scotland; and the 2002 Girls to London, England. The 1998 Boys enjoyed a two-hour guided walking tour of Venice. The sightseeing walk included St. Mark’s Square and its very expensive “Cafés”, St. Mark’s Abbey, the Duke’s Palace, the “Sospiri” Bridge, the Duke’s Palace Prisons and much more. The 2000 Boys enjoyed a week of top quality soccer and got the chance to attend the FC Barcelona vs. Bilbao game. They also toured Camp Nou Stadium, home to FC Barcelona and saw the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s unfinished temple. The 2002 Boys enjoyed a week of top quality soccer and took a visit to the Glasgow Celtic stadium and museum, followed by a visit to the Celtic Superstore. They also visited the world famous Edinburgh Castle. The 2002 Girls took a tour of White Hart Lane, home to Tottenham Hotspur. They also played games against teams like Tottenham Hotspur Ladies FC, Crystal Palace Ladies FC, Swindon Town FC, and Reading FC.
Click here to watch a video from the 1996 Boys trip to Barcelona, Spain
Click here to watch a highlight video from ODP teams that traveled to England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Holland.
Click here to watch a video from the 2000 Boys trip to Scotland
Click here to watch a video from the 2000 Girls trip to London, England
Click here to watch a MSYSA highlight video
The trip was made possible by the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association and Excel International Sports, European Soccer Tour Specialist. For more information on the teams and/or the organizations visit their websites at www.msysa.org and www.eurosoccertours.net
Below are testimonials from staff and participants on previous ODP International Trips provided by Excel International Sports:
“Glasgow Celtic is proud to have participated in games against the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association since 1999 and our players and staff look forward to this excellent opportunity each year. With the high level of players in the U.S. and Region 1, we feel this tests our players well and also allows us to scout possible future U.S. recruit. As a result of these games, two Maryland ODP players have returned to train with our academy and reserve teams.”
--Brian Meehan, Coach, Glasgow Celtic Football Club
“Simply outstanding. The entire experience. From pre-trip planning, Excel International Sports did a fantastic job covering all the details, to the trip itself – was truly exceptional.”
--Rich Ruiz, Board Member, Maryland ODP, Spain
“Our England trip with Excel was a top quality experience for our program. The training facilities we used were excellent and four our players to face the reserve teams of three top EPL teams was a great opportunity for them. Our players also toured Old Trafford Stadium and attended the Manchester United v Liverpool and Spurs v Arsenal games. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our players.”
--Sasho Cirovski, Coach, University of Maryland Head Men’s Soccer
“Amazing!!! The food was unreal, our tour guide is the best, I saw the greatest player in the world score (Messi) and the boys played extremely well. We’ve had no issues at all!! Thanks for everything.
--Frank DiLeonardi, Parent MSYSA Boys ODP, Spain
“This trip far surpassed my expectations. The tour guide, Leonardo Calabretta, should be commended! He did a fantastic job with both the players and the parents. He was very accommodating and went over and above to make sure we were all happy. The places we visited were great and having the time to stop and learn the history of the area was fantastic. But for me the best part was being able to watch my son play soccer in Italy! Thank you for all of your hard work and efforts that went into planning this trip!”
--Jim Hott, Parent MSYSA Boys ODP, Italy
“Excel Sports made the task of planning a trip for 20 plus people a breeze. Our Scotland trip was one of the best sporting trips I’ve ever taken. The schedule was well thought out which allowed us to have quality practices and friendlies while still enjoying what the country had to offer. The staff were all professional and made us feel safe at all times. The kids had a ball and even with the large number of players my work as a coach was not very complicated thank to the Excel Sports staff.”
--Ben Ossei, Coach MSYSA Boys ODP, Scotland
“Just want to drop you a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed the London trip. Our tour managers was an outstanding guide who showed us the heart of the city and kept us organized and on schedule for training and matches. I had a black with everyone! Thank you Excel Sports for a memorable experience. You guys run a top-notch program!”
--Michelle Rodriguez-Smith, Coach, Maryland Girls ODP, England