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Paralympic Soccer Announces National Team Roster for First 2002 International Competition

As part of our continuing effort to service and educate our membership, each Thursday the U.S. Soccer Communications Center will send out an informative article from one of its departments. Once a week, we will post an article/paper/essay that will hopefully enhance your enjoyment and knowledge of the game of soccer - on and off the field.

This week, learn more about the United States Paralympic Soccer team as the squad prepares for the Invitation Disability Soccer Tournament in Holland. 

Team to Take on 11 Other Nations in Dutch Tournament from April 28 to May 5

NEW YORK (Thursday, April 25, 2002) - The United States Paralympic Soccer team has confirmed the names of the players who will be competing in the team's first 2002 international competition at the Invitation Disability Soccer Tournament, to be held in Holland from April 28 - May 5, 2002.

After this month's U.S. Paralympic Soccer National Trials in Washington D.C., six new players were added to the player pool.

"We've got a great group of guys this year," said head coach Rick Moss (Austin, Texas) of his 18-man player pool. "And we're starting to see our goal of having some depth on the team."

Although the Holland competition is not a qualifier for the 2004 Athens Paralympics, it will be the first time that the team has played together since the trials and the first time that new players will officially represent the U.S. Paralympic Soccer team. Accompanied by coach Moss and team manager Jim Grier (Atlanta, Ga.), the 12-player U.S. roster will suit up to compete against eight teams, separated into two rounds. Eleven teams are schedule to compete (Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Korea, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, USA), with final tournament entries and groupings to be determined the week prior to the event.

Hosted by NEBAS/NSG, the Dutch Sports Association for people with disabilities in a dual role as the Netherlands Paralympic Committee, the tournament will pitch the Americans against many of the teams they beat last year in the 2001 Disability Soccer World Championships in Nottingham, England.

"We beat the Dutch 5-1 last year, which should rank us pretty high in this tournament," said Moss. "I feel that we're pretty fit to play and compete against any of the teams we're going to be facing in the Netherlands."

Disabled soccer is played on a smaller field with goals smaller than regulation goals. Each team plays with seven men and is guided by FIFA rules that have been modified slightly to accommodate the athletes’ disabilities. Currently, the men’s event is a Paralympic sport.

The players on the U.S. team competing in the Dutch tournament are:

  • Adolfo Aguilar (Dallas, Texas)
  • Josh Blue (Denver, Colo.)
  • Roman Grier (Atlanta, Ga.)
  • Tom Latsch (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Jon McCullough (Washington, D.C.)
  • Josh McKinney (Princeton, W. Va.)
  • Aaron Myers (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
  • Colin Ryan (Massapequa, N.Y.)
  • George Sansonetis (Fraser, Colo.)
  • John Theobald (Syracuse, N.Y.)
  • Eli Abarbanel-Wolff (Boston, Mass.)
  • Dave Woosnam (Dunwoody, G.A.)

Contact: Paul Meznarich - U.S. Paralympics - (719) 471-0387