Maryland ODP Teams Return from Europe
The Maryland State ODP teams traveled to Europe over Spring Break 2013 for some top quality soccer matchups and an enriching cultural experience. The 1996 Boys travelled to Barcelona, Spain; the 2000 Boys to Stirling, Scotland; and the 2000 Girls to London, England. The 1996 Boys enjoyed a week of top quality soccer and got the chance to attend the FC Barcelona vs. Mallorca game. They also toured Camp Nou Stadium, home to FC Barcelona and saw the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s unfinished temple. The 2000 Boys played seven games against Glasgow Celtic Academy, Glasgow Rangers Academy, Partick Thistle FC, Livingston FC, Hamilton Accies FC, Stenhousemuir FC and Alloa Athletic. They also attended the Glasgow Celtic v Hibernian game and toured Edinburgh Castle and Celtic Stadium. Lastly, two 2000 Girls teams travelled and played four games each against teams like Reading FC, Crystal Palace Ladies FC, Charlton Athletic LFC, and Tottenham Hotspur. They also attended a professional game, Crystal Palace FC vs. Barnsley, and visited the Tower of London.
The trip was made possible by the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association and Excel International Sports, European Soccer Tour Specialists. 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:
Staff Members -
"Glasgow Celtic is proud to have participated in games against the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association ODP 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. recruits. As a result of these games, two Maryland ODP players have returned to train with our academy and reserve teams".
--Brian Meehan, Glasgow Celtic Football Club
“I would highly recommend Excel International Sports as the travel company for this event. Their organization and personal contacts have made our ODP trip’s highly successful over the last ten years. Their ability to set up top quality games and tours at facilities like Glasgow Ranger’s training facility and Glasgow Celtic’s stadium were special events.”
-- Bill Stara, Director of Coaching, Maryland State Youth Soccer Association
“We have taken our Boys ODP team to Scotland with Excel International Sports for the last 10 years, all of which have been excellent training, competitive, and cultural experiences for the teams. The quality of the product and the service provided by Excel International Sports continues to be exceptional every year.”
-- Benjamin Neil, President, Maryland State Youth Soccer Association
“We had an outstanding experience traveling with Excel. It was a wonderful week of soccer, English culture and team bonding. We are looking forward to the next one! Thank you!!” Teresa Heitzmann, Chaperone, Maryland Boys ODP, England 2012
“It was a wonderful trip. You and your team clearly have this business nailed down. You
made what could have easily been a stressful process run very smoothly. I can’t think of
one thing that wasn’t perfect.”
-- Todd Rowe, Chaperone, Maryland Boys ODP, Scotland 2011
“Scotland is an amazing country. The Stirling Management Center could not have been a better place for the boys to call home for the week. Their staff was fabulous and did everything possible to make it a super trip for the boys. The boys got to see what real football was all about. Woody did a great job of coordinating games and fields - regardless of how much rain they got over there. The kids were great troopers - and I think that they thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
-- Richard Kaiser, Chaperone, Maryland Boys ODP, Scotland, 2009
“I had a fantastic time and the trip far exceeded my expectations. As a chaperone, it was a pleasure getting to know the girls and their personalities on and off the field. For the girls, the trip was a great introduction to international travel, adapting to other cultures and customs as well a terrific soccer experience. I would recommend the experience to anyone interested in advancing the intellectual and athletic education of their child. Thank you Excel International Sports for a job well done.”
-- Kenneth Stipcak, Chaperone, Maryland Girls ODP, Denmark, 2008