MONDAY, JUNE 05, 2006
Chris Kouns named to the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program-Region III coaching staff

June 5, 2006

Some soccer coaches could use their off-season to go on a vacation and relax before the season, but not JU women's soccer head coach Chris Kouns.

Kouns will spend his off-season coaching after being named to the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program-Region III coaching staff.

"I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Region III Olympic Development Program," said Kouns. "Anytime a coach gets to work with the caliber players that have been selected to the Olympic Development Program it is a great thing and I am fortunate to have been asked to be a part of this program."

Kouns holds the two highest coaching licenses in the nation, the United States Soccer Federation "A" License and the Nation Soccer Coaches Association of America "Premier" Diploma, and will be transferring his region coaching status to Region III from his past position with the Region I ODP staff.

His first assignment representing the Region III ODP coaching staff will be a state mini camp in Arkansas in June. Kouns will be conducting a mini camp for the Arkansas girls ODP program starting on June 11th to help prepare them for the Region III Regional camp held in Montevallo, Ala., in July. In July, he will represent the Region III ODP program as a staff coach at the Montevallo event.

Kouns has a long history of work within the US Youth Soccer ODP program. He has been a state ODP team coach in Alabama, Georgia and Pennsylvania. During that time, he has taken ODP teams on European tours of Germany and Italy, losing in the finals of the Rovereto Friendship Cup. Two of his state teams have earned semifinal appearances in the ODP Regional Championships with the last being in Pennsylvania when he lost to the eventual national ODP champion, New York.

For the past three years, Kouns served as a regional staff coach for the 12 states in Region I. His work with Region I included coaching teams from New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Maine. He also ran the Region I ODP "Street Soccer Tournament" for the under-16 age group and ran a state mini camp for the youngest ODP age groups in Region I.

The ODP was formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a national team will be selected for international competition; to provide high-level training to benefit and enhance the development of players at all levels; and, through the use of carefully selected and licensed coaches, develop a mechanism for the exchange of ideas and curriculum to improve all levels of coaching. The primary mission of the ODP Program is to identify elite level players and facilitate their selection to the US national team programs. The players are first identified within their individual states and then all of the states come together in four separate regional camps where their abilities are compared to other players in their age groups. From those regional camps the four region teams will be selected and national team members will be drawn.

For more information on the Olympic Development Program, you can check out their website at http://www.region3odp.org/Home.htm