Fresh off a fourth-place finish at last year’s IFCPF World Cup, the U.S. Men’s Cerebral Palsy (CP) National Team tackles its next major competition when it kicks off the 2023 Parapan American Games on Saturday, Nov. 18 against hosts Chile in Santiago. The USA will seek its second-straight medal at the competition after claiming Bronze at the 2019 edition in Lima, Peru.
The Parapan American Games are a 17-sport event for North, Central and South American Olympic Committees in the vein of the Paralympic Games. The six 7-a-side CP teams will compete in a round-robin format, with the top two finishers meeting for the gold medal and the teams placed third and fourth playing for bronze on Nov. 25.
The 2023 field consists of host Chile and the region’s top five ranked teams from International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) tournaments held in 2022. Four teams are ranked top-10 worldwide: No. 2 Brazil, No. 4 USA, No. 7 Argentina and No. 9 Canada, with Venezuela ranked No. 16 and Chile ranked No. 21.
All games will be played at the 10,000-seat Estadio Bicentennial de la Florida, home to Chilean first division side Audax Italiano. It previously was a venue for the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.
|2023 PARAPAN AMERICAN GAMES SCHEDULE|
|Saturday, Nov. 18||Chile||12:30 p.m.|
|Sunday, Nov. 19||Argentina||12:30 p.m.|
|Monday, Nov. 20||Brazil||5:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, Nov. 22||Venezuela||3 p.m.|
|Thursday, Nov. 23||Canada||3 p.m.|
|Saturday, Nov. 25||Medal Round||TBD|
Most matches are expected to be streamed live via the Pan Am Sports Channel, with the exact schedule to be confirmed closer to each matchday. Fans can follow along on X @ussoccer_ENT and Instagram @ussoccer_ENT.
-TOURNAMENT NOTES -
WHAT IS CP SOCCER?
To be eligible for CP Soccer, athletes must be ambulatory and have a diagnosis of non-progressive brain damage that is associated with motor control dysfunction such as Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury or stroke. While these impairments may not be immediately visible, they can impact balance, coordination and muscle function.
The U.S. CP Men’s National Team program has also been referred to as the Paralympic National Team in the past.
2023 PARAPAN AMERICAN GAMES ROSTER BY POSITION (HOMETOWN)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Sean Boyle*^ (Minneapolis, Minn.), 12-Marc Estrella*^ (Bakersfield, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (4): 8-Drew Bremer*^ (East Grand Rapids, Mich.), 13-Josh Brunais*^ (Stafford, Va.), 6-Jacob Kaplan*^ (Morganville, N.J.), 2-Frankie Lowery* (Fort Collins, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): 7-Adam Ballou*^ (Virginia Beach, Va.), 10-Ben Lindau*^ (Chicago, Ill.), 11-Kevin McCandlish^ (Chesapeake, Va.), 4-Wesley Pincince (Dunbarton, N.H.)
FORWARDS (4): 3-Jacob Crumbley*^ (Fortson, Ga.), 9-Cameron DeLillo*^ (Blandon, Pa.), 14-Shea Hammond*^ (Montclair, N.J.), 5-John Sullivan^ (Tucson, Ariz.)
*-Part of 2019 Parapan Roster; ^-Part of 2022 IFCPF World Cup roster
ROSTER AND OPPONENT NOTES:
- Twelve players were part of the USA team that finished fourth at the 2022 IFCPF World Cup in Salou, Spain and 11 players were part of the squad that earned Bronze at the 2019 Parapan Am Games in Lima, Peru.
- Twelve of 14 players have previously represented the U.S. at World Cups or the Parapan Am Games, with defender Frankie Lowery and midfielder Wesley Pincince set to make their tournament debuts this month.
- The roster is comprised of players from 11 different states: Virginia (3), New Jersey (2), Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
- Goalkeeper Sean Boyle won the Golden Glove as Best Goalkeeper at the 2022 IFCPF World Cup.
- The matches mark the USCPMNT’s first since two matches at Australia in February. The USA used goals from Jacob Crumbley and Shea Hammond to earn a 2-0 win on Feb. 3 before playing to a 0-0 draw on Feb. 5.
- The USA has faced all five opponents numerous times over the years. In the last two meetings against each, the USA
- Split with Brazil (W 2019 Parapan; L 2022 WC 3rd Place)
- Split with Argentina (W in 2019 WC; L in 2019 Parapan)
- Won both games vs. Canada (2018 and 2017 friendlies),
- Won both games vs. Venezuela (2019 Parapan Group and Bronze Medal)
- Won both games vs. Chile (2017 friendlies)
HISTORY OF U.S. PARTICIPATION AT PARAPAN AM GAMES
- The USA will participate in its fourth Parapan Am Games, having previously placed fourth at Rio de Janeiro 2007, fifth at Toronto 2015, before winning the Bronze Medal at Lima 2019.
- CP Soccer was not part of the program at the 2011 Games in Guadalajara.
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT 7-a-SIDE SOCCER:
The concept is the same as the traditional game, and it’s played under the International FA Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game, with approved modifications and amendments. Aside from a maximum of seven players (which include a goalkeeper), rather than 11, the basic differences are:
- A match is played in two 30-minute halves on a 70x50 meter pitch and 2x5m goal. In comparison to an 11v11 field: the top of the box is 11m from the goalposts (not 18), and the goal area is four meters out. The penalty kick mark is at 9m.
- Teams may dress all 14 players and are allotted five substitutions, which may be made within three opportunities during a match.
- The offside rule does not apply, and players may choose to throw or roll a ball into play on traditional ‘throw-ins.’
- Before the competition, players are classified by the degree their impairment impacts their on-field performance (FT1, FT2, FT3).
- Teams are required to have one of the most-impaired players (FT1) on the field at all times (or play a man short), and a maximum of one least-impaired (FT3).
- Futher evaluations occur during the group stages, which may result in a change of classification between the placement rounds.
- All players are required to play a minimum of 30 consecutive minutes during the group stage.
The tie-breakers for the group stage standing are: most points, goal-differential, goals scored and drawing of lots. However, a maximum of 10 goals scored will be allowed to be counted for the purposes of goal difference, (IE, a ‘mercy rule’).