United Football Alliance (UFA)
The Elite Player Pathway at PSC
Pickering Soccer Club (PSC), one of the leading youth soccer clubs in Durham, and the only club in the region to hold licenses to operate in the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) two standards based leagues for both men and women, are proud to announce an evolution of their Elite Player Pathway (EPP) with support from a newly formed alliance with Oshawa Kicks Soccer Club (OKSC) and West Rouge Soccer Club (WRSC). The beginning of which will be the official re-branding of both their League1 Ontario (L1O) and Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) entries.
In our continuing efforts to be inclusive of the region and to provide development opportunities for players and coaches alike, PSC is now streamlining our Elite Player Pathway. Having received permission from L1O and the OSA, we have rebranded our OPDL program as “United FA” (UFA) and the PSC entry in the L1O program is now known as “Durham United Football Alliance” (DUFA), maintaining continuity and recognizing the cumulative efforts within the EPP alliance.
All Durham United Football Alliance clubs will work with the license holder, Pickering Soccer Club, with a focus on Long Term ELITE Player Development. Annually, the alliance clubs will come together to run joint development evaluation camps, supporting United FA OPDL teams through coaching/facility needs and build a strong core L1O men’s and women’s Durham United FA program.
What is OPDL
The Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) is the highest level of competition in Ontario for players U13 and up. Visit the OSA’s OPDL pages for stats, standings, and more!
OPDL isn’t just a league. In fact, competition is a relatively small part of it. The league moves the focus from solely trying to win a trophy or avoid relegation, to developing players through a structured blend of high performance training and age appropriate play. In the OPDL, you’ll see mandatory heightened training with sport science and sport medicine components, complimenting regular weekly game play against other top players, from May to November.
Not every club is an OPDL club. The OPDL is a standard based league and Clubs apply every two years, and have to meet specific standards (Technical, Financial, Facilities, and Operations) in order to be granted an OPDL license. The Pickering Soccer Club, is one of only 20 clubs in Ontario that have met these standards.
The OPDL is not for everyone. As the Elite Pathway for players in Ontario, it requires a high level of commitment.
- A full time commitment to training and games.
- A commitment to excellence and growth
- Financial and time investment
Why should my child play OPDL?
Why should your child consider the OPDL rather than other alternative development programs in Ontario?
- Highest level and best competition league in Ontario for U13 and up
- A professional approach to soccer development based on specific standards
- Highly qualified coaches accountable to coaching development standards and regular assessments by the league
- Training based on a specific development curriculum set by the CSA and OSA technical depart
- Medical and Fitness support staff
- Indoor and outdoor turf facilities
- Player’s development is monitored and evaluated through the year, based on specific Provincial and National standards
- PDL players are scouted regularly and provided with the opportunity to be selected for Provincial and National programs
- OPDL Parent Handbook (Aug. 2016)
- The league runs from May to November for a total of 20 games
- East and West Divisions / Home and Away Competition
- Games are played on the week-ends / Most long weekends are off
- 2 week break in the summer
- As a provincial league, there is an expectation of travel
- In 2016, teams will play the ‘home and away’ format with much less travel, more local play.
- From January to April players train indoor at the Pickering Soccer Centre
- Each age group has a specific curriculum for coaches to follow
- Strikers, Defenders, Midfielders school is a component in the winter
- Player’s assessment (done 3 times per year)
- The Head Coach of each team must have a National B as their minimum accreditation
- Each team has a designated Fitness Trainer and Sport Medicine provider
Like other high quality development programs, there are costs associated with the delivery of the program. Costs are only slightly higher than a regular competitive program given all the components:
- 20 league games
- Professional coaches
- 3-4 weekly training sessions
- Quality facilities, sport medicine, fitness trainers
The average PSC cost per player, from January to November, is between $3300 to $3600** for the year, plus travel expenses (approximately $400).
** Can vary by team/age and is subject to change
Our club provides OPDL families with a monthly payment plan as well as the opportunity to reduce registration costs through a variety of fundraising programs designed to offset the cost.
Players in the OPDL program are going to have different opportunities along their development pathway:
Provincial/National Program Identification
- Starting on their first year players could be identified by OSA scouts and selected to be part of the Provincial and National Program stream at U14
- Scouts from our professional franchise in Ontario, Toronto FC, use the OPDL League as a way to monitor and eventually select players with professional potential.
Durham United FA
- The Pickering Soccer Club, as a full service club to the community, has also obtained the license to operate teams of both genders in the League 1.
- Going forward this can be a great opportunity for Pickering OPDL player to be called up to train and play with our semi pro– teams.
University Scholarship US /Canada
- It is well known that coaches in the US love Canadian players. The OPDL training regimen is a guarantee to these coaches that players selected from the OPDL program will be ready to face the training expectations that University level soccer demands
- As a part of our program, we will provide our players with opportunities to be showcased and get a scholarship
- OPDL players will be provided with opportunities to be showcased for the purpose of University or Collage scholarships