U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team Learns Opponents for CPISRA 7-a-Side World Championships in the Netherlands
CHICAGO (May 4, 2011) â€“ The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team will face Ireland, Iran and Japan at the CPISRA 7-a-side World Championships this June in the Netherlands. The top seven teams at the tournament will qualify for the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London.
â€œThe goal is to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games, and there are seven places available, making the first round of games really important,â€ said head coach Jay Hoffman. â€œThe preparation has stepped up and the intensity has been super. We feel we have a good opportunity here, and we feel the momentum from Copa America will carry over.â€
The USA opens the 16-team tournament against Japan on June 19 in Assen before facing Iran on June 21 in Emmen, Netherlands. The USA rounds out Group D play against Ireland on June 23 in Hoogeveen. The tournament continues throughout June with a winners and losers bracket competing to determine the top 16 teams.
The USA earned a spot at the World Championships with aHoffman Prepares for World Championships earning impressive results against Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela.
The top seven teams in the tournament will join the United Kingdom at the 2012 Paralympic games in London. Both England and Scotland are participating in the World Championships but at the Paralympics both nations will play as part of the UK host team. As such, the top seven teams at the World Championships, excluding England and Scotland, will qualify for the London games.
Paralympic soccer is played seven-a-side on a smaller field and with smaller goals than non-disabled soccer. Each team plays with seven men using the International Federation of Associated Football (FIFA) rules which have been slightly modified to accommodate the disabilities of the athletes.
To be eligible for Paralympic soccer, athletes must be ambulatory and have a diagnosis of non-progressive brain damage that is associated with motor control dysfunction such as Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain Injury or stroke. More information about eligibility and the classification of athletes is available at Hoffman Prepares for World Championships
CPRISA 7-a-Side World Championships
Group D Schedule
|June 19||Iran vs. Ireland||11 a.m.||Achilles Stadion; Assen, Netherlands|
|June 19||USA vs. Japan||1:30 p.m.||Achilles Stadion; Assen, Netherlands|
|June 21||Iran vs. USA||11 a.m.||Stadio SC Angelslo; Emmen, Netherlands|
|June 21||Ireland vs. Japan||1:30 p.m.||Stadio SC Angelslo; Emmen, Netherlands|
|June 23||Japan vs. Iran||1:30 p.m.||Achilles Stadion; Assen, Netherlands|
|June 23||Ireland vs. USA||1:30 p.m.||Stadion VV De Weide; Hoogeveen, Netherlands|