BARCELONA, Spain (June 8, 2014) - The U.S. Paralympic National Team claimed second place at the 9th International Trophy of 7-a-Side Football with a 1-1 tie against England on Sunday.
The U.S. went 2-0-1 at the competition – the first time in 10 years the team has gone unbeaten at a tournament – and only lost out on first place to England due to goal differential. Overall the PNT scored nine goals while allowing only one in its first international tournament under the guidance of head coach Stuart Sharp, who took over the Paralympic Program in January.
“Today's game was a tough battle against a hard working England side,” Sharp said. “We were obviously disappointed not to win, but it was encouraging to leave the competition unbeaten and having only conceded one goal. The results from this competition will hopefully serve as a launch pad for further success at the Americas Cup this September.”
After two one-goal defeats to England at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California this past February, the U.S. PNT once again found itself in a tough spot against the Three Lions when Alex Mullin – voted the tournament’s best player – gave England the lead in the first half. However, a spirited fight back from the U.S. led to Marthell Vazquez striking a second-half equalizer.
Earlier in the tournament, 19-year veteran of the U.S. Paralympic Program Josh McKinney announced his retirement from the U.S. team. McKinney scored 81 goals in 124 games over the course of his career with the U.S. PNT. For the game against Portugal, the entire U.S. team taped their wrists in support of McKinney as this has been his custom for every game since he began playing soccer.
"It was quite an emotional game for many of the players and staff with such a U.S. Soccer legend retiring,” Sharp said. "It was a special moment for him to score a 30-yard volley in his final game. It was extremely fitting. I have known him for over 11 years as an opponent, his coach and also as a friend. Josh can deservedly be referred to as a legend of the game, and I hope he can stay involved, in some capacity, to help to inspire the next generation.”
- U.S. Paralympic National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Paralympic NT vs. England
Date: Sunday, June 8, 2014
Competition: 9th International Trophy of 7-a-Side Football
Venue: Agapito Fernández Stadium; Barcelona, Spain
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. local (6:30 a.m. ET)
Weather: 71 degrees; sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
ENG 1 0 1
USA - Marthell Vazquez 41
USA: 4-Tyler Bennett 7, 6-Chris Ahrens 7, 7-Adam Ballou 7, 10-Kevin Hensley 8 (capt.) (11-Rene Renteria 8, 42), 13-Marthell Vasquez 5 (2-Gavin Sibayan 7, 56), 14-David Garza 6, 18-Alex Hendricks 7
Subs not used: 1-Keith Johnson 7, 5-Bryce Boarman 5, 8 Shea Cassidy 8, 17-Michael Moore 7
Head Coach: Stuart Sharp
ENG: 1-Giles Moore 5, 3-Martin Sinclair 7 (capt.), 4-Alex Mullin 5, 5-Alistair Patrick-Heselton 8, 8-Emyle Rudder 7, 9-George Fletcher 5, James Blackwell 7
Subs not used: 2- Richard Kay 8, 6-Jake Brown 7, 7-Martin Fletcher 8, 11-Richard Fox 7, 13-Ryan Kay 5
Head Coach: Jeff Davis
ENG - Emyle Rudder 7 Caution 29th minute
USA - Kevin Hensley 8 Caution 29
Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Corners: 7 / 4
Fouls: 8 / 8