Soccer National Team Named for 2009 CPISRA 7-a Side International Championships
CHICAGO - The U.S. Paralympics Soccer National Team is set to attend the 2009 CPISRA Football 7-a-Side International Championships with head coach Jay Hoffman naming a squad of 12 players for the tournament in Arnhem, Netherlands. The competition, which serves as the 2009 World Championships in Paralympic soccer, will take place from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1 and feature 14 teams from around the world.
"It's a great opportunity for us," said Hoffman. "We have a very young group and we're looking forward to the international competition."
The draw for the tournament will take place once all of the teams' participation is confirmed. Teams from Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Iran, Japan, Russia, Scotland and Ukraine are scheduled to compete, along with the United States.
The tournament will serve as an important tune-up for Hoffman's team ahead of the 2011 World Championship, which will determine a majority of the spots in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Hoffman noted the importance of the team gaining experience against other international sides from around the world.
"We don't have a lot of opportunities to test ourselves in situations where there is a tournament setup or outcomes are needed," said Hoffman. "It is critical for our guys to be put in situations where you have to get a result and you have to figure out how to win."
The U.S. Paralympics Soccer Team will bring together different groups of players, with young guys taking the field with established veterans. It's a combination Hoffman hopes brings out the best in the team.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing how these young guys react," said Hoffman. "Adam Ballou, Chad Jones, and Nike Creasey are three guys who, I certainly think for us to be successful down the road, have to make a very quick transition to the international game."
Hoffman also spoke about the veteran presence on the team, noting that players who have experience with the squad will be counted on to help move the team in the right direction.
"Tom Latsch and Jason Slemons are in a situation now where their role requires them to be counted on all the time. They're now in a position where they can play a very important part in our success."
The team leaves for the Netherlands in mid-October and ussoccer.com will have more information on opponents, game times and venues as they become available.
U.S. Paralympics Soccer National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPER (1): Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (4): Chris Ahrens (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), Bryce Boarman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Chad Jones (Virginia Beach, Va.), Jason Slemons (Seattle, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Adam Ballou (Virginia Beach, Va.), Nick Creasey (Richmond, Va.), Tom Latsch (Euclid, Ohio), Josh McKinney (Cary, N.C.), Moises Morales (Chula Vista, Calif.), Tyler Penn (Manchester, N.H.)
FORWARD (1): Marthell Vazquez (Long Beach, Calif.)
U.S. Paralympic National Soccer Team Staff
Head Coach: Jay Hoffman (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Assistant Coach: Michael Haas (Aurora, Colo.)
Trainer: John Lock (Avon, Ind.)
Doctor: Liz Matzkin (Boston, Mass.)
Equipment Manager: Gabe Vogler (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Team Manager: Dana Schoenwetter (Denver, Colo.)