CHICAGO (May 29, 2014) – U.S. Paralympic National Team head coach Stuart Sharp has called up 14 players for the 9th International 7-a-side Football Tournament in Barcelona.
The team will gather in Newark, New Jersey on May 31 to travel to Spain for the competition, which runs from June 5-8. At the tournament, the U.S. will face Tunisia on June 5, Portugal on June 7 and England on June 8. Fans can watch tournament matches online at fecpcinternational.org and also follow games via Twitter @ussoccer_PNT.
“This invitational competition will serve as an excellent opportunity for some of the newer players to gain international experience and for the entire squad to prepare for the forthcoming America’s Cup in September,” said Sharp. “We do not know a great deal with regards to the abilities of Portugal and Tunisia, but the game against England should provide us with a stern test. Overall things are progressing well with the players becoming stronger with each training camp. I am seeing individuals growing in confidence which will I am sure help us realize our long term ambitions for the Paralympic National Team.”
The roster includes 2013 U.S. Soccer Disabled Athlete of the Year Rene Renteria, who, along with Kevin Hensley and Marthell Vazquez, scored against England in a pair of friendlies this past February during training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.
The majority of the roster has attended three or four events with the Paralympic National Team in the five months since Sharp took over stewardship of the program. Only Adam Ballou, Tyler Bennett, Shea Cassidy and Michael Moore have participated in two or fewer events. Ballou, Bryce Boarman, Cassidy and Moore are the only players not to have seen action in the friendlies against England earlier in the year.
Players who have Cerebral Palsy, suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury and are ambulatory may be eligible to play for the U.S. Paralympic National Team. Interested players should contact U.S. PNT head coach Stuart Sharp (firstname.lastname@example.org) or team manager Pam Perkins (email@example.com).
Paralympic National Team 9th International 7-a-side Tournament Schedule:
Date Opponent Time (Local)
June 5 vs. Tunisia 12 p.m.
June 7 vs. Portugal 12 p.m.
June 8 vs. England 12:30 p.m.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alex Hendricks (Columbus, Ohio), Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (5): Chris Ahrens (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), Bryce Boarman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Shea Cassidy (Buena Park, Calif.), Kevin Hensley (Memphis, Tenn.), Josh McKinney (Cary, N.C.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Adam Ballou (Virginia Beach, Va.), Tyler Bennett (Wadsworth, Ohio), David Garza (Chula Vista, Calif.), Gavin Sibayan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Marthell Vazquez (Long Beach, Calif.)
FORWARDS (2): Michael Moore (Plano, Texas), Rene Renteria (San Fernando, Calif.)