Island Trees’ Kevin Butler Named To U.S. National Soccer Team

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(Photo courtesy of the Island Trees School District)

Island Trees High School sophomore Kevin Butler was just selected to the United States Soccer Olympic Development boys (2004) national team.

The U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development program is comprised of 55 state associations across the nation. The program starts at the state level where players compete against other state teams within their region. Players are selected from the state competitions to attend the next level as participants on a Regional team. (

Typically, two or three players from each state might make it to the regional level selection. The next level of competition occurs with the national pool selection in which a group of national coaches select the best players from each region to compete in Florida for a spot on the U.S. National Team.

It is the highest level of selection a U.S. soccer player can be awarded as an amateur. There is a 1 percent chance for a player from a New York State team making the selection for the U.S. National Team.

Butler is among the 1 percent. He is the first player from Island Trees and part of a very few select players from New York to ever be chosen to be a member of the U.S. National Team.

Current NYS ODP coach and Island Trees Guidance Counselor Graham Radcliffe is stoked.

“Kevin is an elite player who possesses a high level of technical, physical and mental skills necessary to compete at the highest level,” Radcliffe said. “It is a pleasure to work with such a dedicated respectful young man.”

This April, Butler will represent our country when he competes against top European soccer clubs in Spain.

-Submitted by the Island Trees School District

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