The 1996 Region I Boys Team in Bradenton, FL at the December Interregional (Joe Castano of Vermont ODP, bottom row far right)
(Jan 2013) to Argentina (Feb 2013), New Jersey (June 2013), and now Florida (Dec 2013). The well-traveled midfielder has been selected to several Region I Pool Camps, and is now wrapping up his final season with the Vermont ODP program in his senior year of high school.
Joe Castano (Nordic SC) has made several trips out of state as a representative for Vermont ODP during 2013, taking him from Penn State
This past weekend (December 13-15) in Bradenton, Florida, Castano was the lone Vermonter to be named to the Region I 1996 Boys squad as he competed for them against the other 3 US Regional teams during the December Interregional Event. “This is the 4th event where I have been the only Vermonter. It's definitely an honor. During my first event, I brought a sense of gratitude to the team that other kids didn’t, as I was just happy to be selected…other kids weren't satisfied with this recognition and wanted to compete, play, and find themselves in the starting 11. After the first game of my first event my sense of gratitude disappeared…It took time and effort, but eventually I’ve earned minutes, and a spot in the starting 11,” Castano explained.
Not only has Castano earned his way onto the starting 11 for the Region I 1996 Boys, he was also selected as captain of Region I, “Returning to Interregionals as a veteran this year, I was able to build upon the reputation I have given myself and was honored with being named captain of Region I.” Region I finished tied for first place during the Interregional event this weekend in Florida, with a 2-0-1 record. The lone tie came against Region IV, which consists of the Western United States.
As a veteran at these events, Castano is able to absorb knowledge from the US National and Regional team staff during training that he can use to grow as a player, and help his teammates back in Vermont. “When selected for these events I always come back a better player being surrounded by top notch coaches. (After the December Interregional) I felt I was able to grow as a leader. Being named captain of Region I is different than doing so with my high school team…these players know the game very well, and often don't need guidance as far as game knowledge or technique, but more so guiding with attitude and work ethic.”
Overall, for Castano, competing at the highest level possible is this most rewarding part of being selected to ODP Events. “My favorite part of the trip was without question being out on the field with my teammates. This is one of the highest levels in the country that I am honored to be a part of. I love being in this environment.”
With several ODP and local honors on his resume, the future of Joe Castano’s soccer career looks bright as he progresses to the next level as he is committed to play at the University of Vermont next year. “I can't wait to move to the Division I college level, where I will be in a similar, if not more intense environment 24/7.”
To read more about the December Interregional Event and view rosters click here - http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/2013_us_youth_soccer_odp_boys_ncaa_interregional_kicks_off_in_florida/
To read more about the Vermont ODP Program click here - http://www.vermontsoccer.org/odp/about.aspx