U.S. Paralympic National Team heads to cerebral palsy football world championships

By U.S. Soccer | June 16, 2015, 3:43 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Paralympic National Team head coach Stuart Sharp has named the 14-player roster that will compete at the 2015 Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships from June 16-28 in Staffordshire, England.

“It goes without saying that the U.S. squad is looking forward to stepping off the plane in England and getting the games underway at the World Championships,” Sharp said. “I am delighted with the assembled squad of players who will be representing America. However, I would also like to recognize the players who just missed out on being selected as they are as much part of the team as anyone else. I would also like to give a special mention to the USPNT staff that has been working wonders during the build up to the competition, ensuring the players are in the best physical and mental condition for the Championships.”

The USA will be one of 16 teams set to participate at the CPF World Championships. The PNT was drawn into Group C alongside Brazil, Scotland and Venezuela. The U.S. will face Venezuela on June 17 at 6 a.m. ET, Scotland on June 19 at 2 p.m. ET,, and wrap up group play on June 21 against Brazil at 12 p.m. ET. All matches will be played at the iconic St. George’s Park in Staffordshire.

“We are in a tough group and are seeded behind two nations that have constantly finished in the top eight in the world (Brazil and Scotland), not to mention the unknown quantity of Venezuela, but we have set up to win games no matter who the opponents are,” Sharp continued. “I am confident that with all of their hard work, the squad is ready and focused on translating the months of preparation into results at the World Championships.”

The tournament also serves as the main qualifier for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and the USA will need to secure six points during its three first games in order to ensure its ticket to next year’s event.

Following group play, the competition will continue into the second and third rounds before advancing to a placement match. There is no knockout round and all teams will advance to a final placement game. The championship game of the World Championships is set for June 28. All matches will be streamed live on the official tournament website at cp2015.com.

Seven players on the U.S. roster have never played at a World Championship before: Mason Abbiate, David Garza, Kevin Hensley, Seth Jahn, Michael Moore, Jarrett Razon and Jordan Weise.

Earlier in the year, the PNT competed at the FOOTIE 7-Povoa Tournament in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, where it closed the tournament with a 5-3 victory over host Portugal in its last game to earn the bronze medal. Thirteen players that competed in Portugal are a part of this World Championships roster.

For in-game updates, results, news and more insight on the U.S. PNT, like them on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter @ussoccer_PNT.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (1): Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (2): Bryce Boarman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Kevin Hensley (Memphis, Tenn.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Mason Abbiate (San Diego, Calif.), Adam Ballou (Virginia Beach, Va.), Tyler Bennett (Wadsworth, Ohio), David Garza (Chula Vista, Calif.), Seth Jahn (Tampa, Fla.), Jarrett Razon (Mililani, Hawaii.), Gavin Sibayan (Colorado Spring, Colo.), Marthell Vazquez (Long Beach, Calif.), Jordan Weise (Jacksonville, Fla.)
FORWARDS (2): Michael Moore (Plano, Texas), Rene Renteria (San Fernando, Calif.)