CHICAGO (Nov. 19, 2007) - U.S. Men's Paralympic Team midfielder Marthell Vazquez was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Vazquez was the leading scorer for the U.S. team, notching four goals in the tournament and having multiple assists. He was also the team's leading scorer at the 2007 ParaPan American Games with three goals.
The team finished in 10th place after kicking off the tournament with losses to the Netherlands and Iran, but then going on to win against Spain and Australia before bowing out with a 1-0 loss to Argentina. The 10th place finish leaves the U.S. out of the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, and the focus will now be qualifying for the 2009 CPISRA World Championships.
The U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team is compiled of soccer players with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and stroke survivors. 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.
U.S. Paralympic Team 2007 CPISRA World Championships Results
Date Opponent Result U.S. Goal Scorer(s)
Nov. 5 Netherlands 0-3 L
Nov. 7 Iran 1-3 L Marthell Vazquez
Nov. 9 Spain 3-0 W Derek Arneaud, Josh McKinney, Shaun Schetka
Nov. 12 China 2-1 W Marthell Vazquez, Shaun Schetka
Nov. 14 Australia 2-1 W Marthell Vazquez (2)
Nov. 16 Argentina 0-1 L