“To create an elite training and competition environment for boys and girls that strives to reach the highest level of success through first achieving excellence: providing a life enriching experience in an academy atmosphere that seeks to develop the complete player on and off the field of competition.”
In the spring of 2002, a small group of people came together with an idea for a new youth soccer club in Cincinnati. Jeff Beckham, Jerry Chambers, Doug Conway, Doug Bracken and Tim Lesiak had a series of discussions about the state of the game at the youth level in Cincinnati. Those conversations brought about the common agreement that they desired to start a youth soccer club that would rely not only on parent volunteers, but rather on business and soccer professionals. The business professionals would oversee the business aspects and the soccer professionals would oversee the soccer aspects. Jeff Beckham, along with his father Tom and sister Amy Barnett, in particular provided the business knowledge and financial support to make this youth soccer club a reality.
The group continued to meet and settled on the name Ohio Elite Soccer Academy with the colors of Gold, Navy and Red. In June of 2002, Ohio Elite Soccer Academy held their first tryout at Wall-to-Wall Soccer. Tim Lesiak and Doug Bracken were the initial Directors of Coaching and Doug Conway was the Director of Operations. Shortly after Roby Stahl left his post as OSYSA Director of Coaching to join the Ohio Elite staff as Boy’s Director of Coaching. The staff was now complete.
The first seasonal year featured 7 teams and some early successes. The first ever tournament that featured an Ohio Elite team was in the fall of 2002 at the Bolt Cup. The U13 girls stormed through the tournament winning the championship and Ohio Elite was off and running. Later that year the U12 girls brought home the clubs first ever OSYSA State Cup Championship beating Blast FC 2-1 in the final. The year ended on an incredible high as the the U16 girls won the USCS National Championship in Blaine, MN.
In 2005, more milestones were reached as the U14 boys captured these first OSYSA State Cup Championship and the U14 girls won their third OSYSA State Cup Championship and their first Region II Regional Championship. The team finished third at the USYS National Championship.
In 2006, after much searching, planning and fundraising Ohio Elite purchased a 30-acre property in West Chester, OH. This property was the future home of the Ohio Elite Training Center. After the purchase further fundraising continued and in the Fall of 2007 the development began. A generous donation was made by the Olberding Family and the facility was named the David L. Olberding Ohio Elite Soccer Academy Training Center. In August of 2008 the facility opened and Ohio Elite teams had a permanent home.
In 2007, the club captured their second national championship when the U17 girls won the SYL North American Championship. The team was led by Tori Huster and Beth Perry who, as 13 year olds had helped the 2003 U16 team win the club first national championship. They are the only players in Ohio Elite history to take part in both national championships.
In 2008, Ohio Elite was admitted into the boy’s US Soccer Development Academy in it’s inaugural year. Mike Cullina was also named the clubs second Boys Director of Coaching during the year. The club was entering a new era.
In 2009, the U18 girls captured their seventh OSYSA State Cup Championship and second Region II Championship. They advanced to the USYS national championship game before falling to FC Bucks 1-0 in a tightly contested match. The team went on to win their eighth consecutive OSYSA State Cup Championship the next year. As the most decorated team in the clubs history, the team won eight OSYSA State Cup Championships, two Region II Championships, five-time Region II finalists, two-time USCS regional champions and many of the team members played on the 2007 SYL North American Championship team.
During the 2009 campaign the Ohio Elite girls were invited to join the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) in it’s inaugural year. Much like the US Soccer Development Academy the ECNL identified the top clubs in the country to compete. During the first season the U17 girls finished an impressive third at the inaugural ECNL National Championship.
In 2010 and 2011, the club added seven more OSYSA State Cup Championships bringing the total to 20 in the short history of the club.
To date Ohio Elite Soccer Academy has helped more than 200 players on to play college soccer at evey level. The club boasts 10 players that have participated in US Youth National Teams. The club has produced two professional players, five high school players of the year, 14 youth all-americans, and an NCAA Division I National Champion.
The Ohio Elite Soccer Academy is a non-profit organization under the laws of the State of Ohio formed to provide elite level soccer players with professional coaching, state-of-the-art facilities and the optimum competition environment.
The word academy refers to a higher standard of training and facilities. The players are provided the best and most experienced coaching in Region II. The professional coaching staff members have extensive playing and coaching backgrounds. Each team will be provided a professional coach that will conduct training sessions and oversee game/player management. The professional coaching staff has developed a detailed curriculum and developmental process that is geared towards the development of the individual player at younger ages leading to team tactical knowledge at the older age groups.
The Ohio Elite Soccer Academy will offer teams U9-U18 age groups for both boys and girls. The Academy will offer a U8 program for boys and girls that will be structured as a non-result based, fun, learning environment. This program will focus on developing a love of the game and individual skill.
The Ohio Elite Soccer Academy will seek to participate in the highest-level leagues, competitions, and tournaments, available in the Cincinnati area. It is a goal to achieve success at the state, regional, and national levels. Academy teams will participate in age appropriate tournaments. The academy will seek to provide U15-U18 teams with the opportunity to attend tournaments that will provide the highest level of competition and exposure to college coaches.