CHICAGO (Oct. 21, 2018) – U.S. Paralympic National Team head coach Stuart Sharp has named the 14 players who will represent the United States at the 2018 IFCPF Americas Championships in Quito, Ecuador from Oct. 23 – Nov. 4. The North and South American championship represents the PNT’s most important competition of the year and is the USA’s first major international tournament since last summer’s 2017 IFCPF CP Football World Championships. There, the PNT’s fifth-place finish marked the team’s best in the modern era. It also represents the USA’s first major competition since the International Federation for Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) introduced its new classification rules for players in March.
Drawn into Group B for the eight-team tournament, the USA kicks things off on Saturday, Oct. 27 against Venezuela at 3:00 p.m. ET in the one of the competition’s opening match, takes on host Ecuador on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 3:00 p.m. ET and closes out pool play against Argentina on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 5:00 p.m. ET. The PNT will play two additional matches in the classification round, depending on their finish in the group.
2018 IFCPF Americas Championships Roster by Position (Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (1): Marc Estrella (Bakersfield, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Adam Ballou (Virginia Beach, Va.), Gregory Brigman (Harrisburg, N.C.), Josh Brunais (Stafford, Va.), Jacob Crumbley (Fortson, Ga.), David Garza (San Diego, Calif.), Jake Kaplan (Morganville, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (3): Tyler Bennett (Wadsworth, Ohio), Andrew Bremer (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Nicholas Mayhugh (Manassas, Va.)
FORWARDS (4): Cameron DeLillo (Blandon, Pa.), Shea Hammond (Upper Montclaire, N.J.), Seth Jahn (Lakeland, Fla.), John Sullivan (Tucson, Ariz.)
Five players join the squad from last summer’s World Championships roster: defenders Josh Brunais, Jacob Crumbley and Jake Kaplan as well as forwards Shea Hammond and John Sullivan. Brunais represented the USA with the PNT at the 2016 Paralympic Games, while the remaining trio will be competing in their first major international competition with the team.
After its stellar showing last summer, the USA enters the tournament ranked No. 4 in the world, its highest-ever mark. The tournament field is headlined by world No. 2 Brazil, who the USA defeated in a thrilling comeback placement match last summer, 3-2. Argentina, Canada and Venezuela also return from the 2017 World Championships.
The tournament features seven of the top eight teams in the IFCPF Regional Rankings for the Americas: No. 1 Brazil, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Argentina, No. 4 Canada, No. 5 Venezuela, No. 6 Chile, No. 8 Colombia and host Ecuador. After kicking off a new four-year cycle last summer in Argentina, the international Paralympic soccer calendar turns to continental competitions this year. The 2018 IFCPF African Championships and European Championships took place earlier this year, while the Asia-Oceania Championships are slated for Nov. of this year.
The Paralympic National Team is made up of players that have a neurological condition such as a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or cerebral palsy (CP). The Paralympic National Team is made up of players that have a neurological condition such as a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or cerebral palsy (CP).