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USA Deaf Soccer to Compete in Belgium

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U.S. Men's and Women's Deaf National Teams Rosters Announced for Two-Day Tournament with More Than Eight Competing Nations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, April 17, 2003) – USA Deaf Soccer Association’s (USADSA) U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team head coach Peter R. Cornell and assistant head coach Kyle Cornell announced their 18-man roster this week for the Kortrijk, Belgium International Invitational Soccer Tournament that will take place April 19 and 20 in Europe.  The U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams departed for Beligum on April 16.

The U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team is led by Josh Reiher, a three-year starter at Indiana University, midfielder/forward Mike Higgins and midfielder Mike Lawson, freshmen at the George Washington University and the Rochester Institute of Technology.  The Women's National Team is lead by two talented co-captains, forwards Allison Gibbons and Austra Bloms, in addition to promising newcomer young Lauren Searls, who is looking to utilize her versality to make a tremendous impact on both sides of the ball.

The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams are preparing for the Melbourne, Australia 2005 Deaflympics (  The U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team has been unbeaten since May 1999, and will put their unbeaten streak on the line with a roster made up predominantly of rookies.  The women's competition will be played indoor, while the men's tournament will be outdoors.  The event in Kortrijk marks the first time the USA has sent both National Teams to participate in the same tournament.

The Men’s Deaf National Team is preparing for the Third Pan-Am Games for the Deaf (PANAMDES) in Buenos Aires, Argentina from September 19-28, 2003 (, where the team will face Argentina (8th place at 2001 Deaflympics, Canada and Chile).  Only the top two finishers in the four-team group will qualify for the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia.

USADSA’s objectives in preparing for the 2005 Deaflympics are to participate in a number of international tournament and training camps to help create cohesion between the large number of rookies and veterans on the squad.

USADSA became an affiliate member of U.S. Soccer in October 2001, and works closely with the USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF) and U.S. Soccer to promote the sport of soccer, as well as the activities of their deaf athletes. The goals of the United States of America Deaf Soccer Association are stated directly in the opening objective of the group's bylaws:

"The purpose of USADSA is to foster national and/or international amateur sports competition, particularly in the field of soccer; to elevate and sustain the professional character of its members, to disseminate knowledge pertaining to the advancement of soccer among the deaf and hearing impaired population of the United States.", said Christos Nicholas, President of USA Deaf Soccer Association.

U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team Roster
Kortrijk, Belgium
April 19-20, 2003

Name                     Pos.       Age       Hometown
Nicole Banks              M/F         25        West Jordan, Utah
Kelli Beechy               M/F         21        Portland, Ore.
Austra Bloms             F             30        Minneapolis, Minn.
Christine del Pozzo     M/F         19        Oceanside, N.Y.
Allison Gibbons          M            20        Irvine, Calif.
Courtney Graham       M            27        Monrovia, Calif.
Rebecca Larson          D/F          22        Des Moines, Iowa
Jennifer Rogers          F             27        N/A
Lauren Searls             D/M/F      16        Rochester, N.Y.
Lizzie Sorkin              GK           21        Jackson, Wy.
Tracy Walker              F             28        Orange Country, Calif.
Mary Wallenfenz         M/F          45       San Antonio, Texas

U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team Roster
Kortrijk, Belgium
April 19-20, 2003

Name                  Pos.      Age      Hometown
Auckland, Jordan     M         19        Ellensburg, Wash.
Gross, Joel             M/F       22        Carlisle, Ohio
Hallermann, Ryan    GK       20         Sunset Hills, Mo.
Hamstra, Chris        GK       24         Cape Coral, Fla.
Higgins, Mike          M/F      19         Potomac, Md.
Holtgrave, Trevor    D         25         Fort Wayne, Ind.
Lawson, Mike          M         19         Wall, N.J.
Michel, Robert         D         24         Baltimore, Md.
Nicholas, Christos    M         38        Boyds, Md.
Pickering, Shaun     M         23         Middlefield, Conn.
Pisano, Dominic      M/F      19         Granville, Ohio
Reiher, Josh            D/F      20        Milwaukee, Wisc.
Richards, Thomas    M/F      16        Atlanta, Ga.
Rowse, DJ              M/F      19         Seattle, Wash.
Sanchez, John         D         38        Baltimore, Md.
Sipek, Brian            MF/F     23        Jacksonville, Ill.
Sorokin, Mark         F          20         West Hartford, Conn.
Wood, Chris           F          16         Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

National Team Staff
Men’s Head Coach:  Peter R. Cornell (Atlanta, Ga.)
Assistant Coach:  Kyle Cornell (Atlanta, Ga.)
Trainer:  Barry W. Deuel (Winchester, Va.)
Team Interpreter:  Holly Maniatty (Rochester, N.Y.)
Team Coordinator:  Sara Beth Weiner, (Washington, D.C.)

United States of America Deaf Soccer Association: