CHICAGO (Sept. 7, 2023) – U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team head coach David Kunitz has selected 22 players to represent the United States at the 2023 World Deaf Football Championships from Sept. 20-Oct. 8 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The U.S. will find out its opponents for the tournament when the draw is held on Sept. 18.
The U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team’s best finish at a world championship event came at the inaugural World Deaf Football Championships in 2008, a fourth-place showing, and it will aim for similar success in Southeast Asia. The USA also took home the 2019 PanAmerican Deaf Games title in Chile, the last time the regional championship was held.
At last spring’s Deaflympics, the USA finished third in its five-team group and just shy of a quarterfinal berth. Nine players return from that tournament: goalkeeper Erik Jasper, defenders Kevin Fitzpatrick, Will Frentz, Eddie Perry, midfielders Braden Anderson, Dawson Anderson, Trip Neil, Raul Silva, Tristan Torbett, forwards Chad Johnson, JP Kanashiro, Michael Schmid. In preparation for next month’s World Championships, last October, the squad split two matches with England, winning 2-1 before falling 2-0.
The roster hails from 12 states, led by eight players from California. Two brothers from Idaho will take the field for the U.S. in Malaysia: midfielders Braden and Dawson Anderson. Neil is the program’s all-time appearance leader with 42 caps, while forwards Michael Schmid and Chad Johnson lead the team in scoring with 11 career goals each. The roster is led in the back by the veteran presence of Will Frentz.
U.S. MEN’S DEAF NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER - 2023 WORLD DEAF FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS (HOMETOWN)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Erik Jaspers (Saratoga Springs, Utah), 21-Samuel Lang (Fort Thomas, Ky.), 1-Eric Setzer (Ontario, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-David Dircio (San Diego, Calif.), 16-Kevin Fitzpatrick (Hopatcong, N.J.), 5-William Frentz (Pewee Valley, Ky.), 19-Arthur Goncalves (San Carlos, Calif.), 18-Luke Haubruge (San Marcos, Calif.), 15-Jullian Mitchell (Miami, Fla.), 3-Edwin Perry (Dellwood, Minn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 8-Braden Anderson (Boise, Idaho), 14-Dawson Anderson (Boise, Idaho), 11-JP Kanashiro (Lorton, Va.), 17-Tate Lancaster (Overland Park, Kan.), 6-Trip Neil (Dallas, Texas), 10-Raul Silva (San Diego, Calif.)
FORWARDS (6): 7-Christopher Bourdon (San Diego, Calif.), 20-Kelly Grant (St. Louis, Mo.), 13-Chad Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif.), 9-Thomas Salvi (Fairfax, Va.), 22-Michael Schmid (Cleveland, Ohio), 4-Tristan Torbett (Asheville, N.C.)
History of the U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team
The USA made its deaf soccer world championship debut on home soil at the 1965 Deaflympics in Washington, D.C. The fourth-place finish at the 2008 World Deaf Football Championships is its best world championship finish, while the squad won the 2019 Deaf PanAm Games.
The 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 last year 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.
About Deaf Soccer
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.