CHICAGO (Sept. 7, 2023) – U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team head coach Amy Griffin has selected 22 players to represent the United States as the team goes for its seventh world title at the 2023 World Deaf Football Championships from Sept. 20-Oct. 8 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team is remarkably dominant, going undefeated in international play since its inception in 2005 and winning all six world championship events it has entered, including last spring’s postponed 2021 Deaflympics in Brazil. The U.S. will find out its path at this year’s World Championships at the official tournament draw on Sept. 18.
The USA didn’t field a team in the inaugural five-team World Championships in 2008 in Greece, however the Women’s Deaf NT competed and won the two most recent Deaf World Football Championship titles in 2012 (Turkey) and 2016 (Italy). The 2020 World Championships were postponed to 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The team has also won the Deaflympics in 2009 (Taiwan), 2013 (Bulgaria), 2017 (Turkey) and 2021 (delayed to 2022, Brazil).
Sixteen players return from the team’s most recent championship run, including midfielder Kate Ward, who was nominated for Best Athlete with a Disability, Women’s Sports at the 2022 ESPYs. Ward captained the squad in Brazil as she won an unprecedented fifth world championship gold medal.
The other returners are goalkeeper Taegan Frandsen, defenders Sydney Andrews, Beth Barbiers, Paige Beaudry, McCall Madriago, Mia White and Faith Wylie, midfielders Erin Cembrale, Ashely Derrington, Gracie Fitzgerald, Ani Kachadourian and Paris Price, plus forwards Emily Cressy and Sophie Post. The roster draws from 14 states, led by four players from California and three each from Georgia and Utah.
The team is also led by two world champions: head coach Griffin and assistant coach Joy Fawcett. The pair helped the U.S. Women’s National Team take home the first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991, while Fawcett also represented the U.S. at the 1995, 1999 and 2003 tournaments, winning another World Cup in 1999. Fawcett also won gold medals with the USWNT at the 1996 and 2004 Summer Olympics.
U.S. WOMEN’S DEAF NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER - 2023 WORLD DEAF FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS (HOMETOWN)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 21-Payton DeGraw (Salt Lake City, Utah), 1-Taegan Frandsen (Centerville, Utah)
DEFENDERS (7): 11-Sydney Andrews (Wichita, Kan.), 15-Beth Barbiers (Atlanta, Ga.), 3-Paige Beaudry (Riverview, Mich.), 4-McCall Madriago (Sacramento, Calif.), 6-Mia McMurry (Asheville, N.C.), 17-Mia White (Littleton, Colo.), 18-Faith Wylie (Decatur, Texas)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 8-Erin Cembrale (Oyster Bay, N.Y.), 13-Ashley Derrington (Alpharetta, Ga.), 5-Gracie Fitzgerald (Georgetown, Ind.), 24-Holly Hunter (Temecula, Calif.), 9-Ani Khachadourian (Cary, N.C.), 16-Emma Neff (Oakwood, Ohio), 14-Paris Price (Fall City, Wash.), 7-Sabina Shysh (Tucson, Ariz.), 2-Kate Ward (Atlanta, Ga.)
FORWARDS (4): 10-Emily Cressy (Fountain Valley, Calif.), 12-Sophie Post (Murray, Utah), 22-Nikki Koehn (Fremont, Calif.), 23-Casey King (Bexley, Ohio)
The 2023 World Deaf Football Championships mark the first world championship event for the Men’s and Women’s Deaf National Teams under U.S. Soccer supervision. The two teams officially became a part of the Extended National Teams program in 2022 and held their first training camps under U.S. Soccer in the past 12 months as the Federation builds out programming for soccer in all its forms.
Deaf soccer is contested by deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes. Under international criteria, players must have a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels in their better ear. Hearing loss below this level has been shown to negatively impact hearing. All players competing in deaf matches must remove all hearing aids before playing.
For more information on the sport or to inquire about athlete eligibility, please contact U.S. Soccer's Extended National Teams Department via email at email@example.com.