PREVIEW: U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team to Face Australia in First Game of Historic Doubleheader with USWNT on June 1 in Denver

USA-Australia, presented by Volkswagen will air Saturday, June 1 at 2 p.m. ET (truTV, Max, Telemundo App, YouTube) in Commerce City, Colorado
11 Deaf WNT players huddle on the field in white kits, shorts and sox with trees in background
11 Deaf WNT players huddle on the field in white kits, shorts and sox with trees in background

CHICAGO (May 30, 2024) - The three-time World Deaf Football champion and four-time Deaflympic gold medalist U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team will face Australia in the first game of a historic double header with the U.S. Women’s National Team at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. on June 1 at 2 p.m. ET (truTV, Max, Telemundo App, YouTube). USA-Australia, presented by Volkswagen, will mark the team’s first match since claiming the 2023 World Deaf Football Championships in Malaysia last fall.

Along with the historic broadcast, fans will also be able to follow the match via @ussoccer_ENT on X, @ussoccer_ENT on Instagram and U.S. Soccer Extended National Teams on Facebook.

In the day’s second match, the USA will face Korea Republic in head coach Emma Hayes’ managerial debut with the USWNT (5 p.m. ET; TNT, Universo, truTV, Max and Peacock)


GOALKEEPER (1): 1-Taegan Frandsen*^ (Centerville, Utah; 8/0)

DEFENDERS (6): 11-Sydney Andrews*^ (Wichita, Kan.; 27/1), 15-Beth Barbiers*^ (Atlanta, Ga.; 3/0), 3-Paige Beaudry*^ (Riverview, Mich.; 11/0), 6-Mia McMurry* (Asheville, N.C.; 4/0), 17-Mia White*^ (Littleton, Colo.; 11/1), 18-Faith Wylie*^ (Decatur, Texas; 10/6)

MIDFIELDERS (8): 8-Erin Cembrale*^ (Oyster Bay, N.Y.; 10/5), 5-Gracie Fitzgerald*^ (Georgetown, Ind.; 17/4), 24-Holly Hunter (Temecula, Calif.; 5/5), 9-Ani Khachadourian*^ (Cary, N.C.; 9/7),16-Emma Neff* (Oakwood, Ohio; 5/1), 14-Paris Price*^ (Fall City, Wash.; 11/1), 7-Sabina Shysh* (Tucson, Ariz.; 1/0), 2-Kate Ward*^ (Atlanta, Ga.; 30/8

FORWARDS (3): 12-Sophie Post*^ (Murry, Utah; 11/6), 20-Hannah Romero (Rialto, Calif.; 0/0), 10-Emily Spreeman*^ (Fountain Valley, Calif.; 23/27)

*Part of squad at 2023 DIFA World Deaf Football Championships
^Part of squad at 2022 Deaflympics


Launched under the USA Deaf Soccer Association, the Deaf WNT took its initial steps in 1999, when the first U.S. side won the St. John’s Tournament, a small-sided competition played in London, England. Two years later, the team was again victorious at the 2001 De Hearne Kortrijk Indoor Tournament in Belgium. Those two competitions laid the groundwork for the modern U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team which began competing in 11-a-side competition at the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia.

Since that time, the Deaf WNT has gone a remarkable 37-0-1 in 38 all-time matches, outscoring its opponents 177-15 en route to winning four Deaflympics (2005, 2009, 2013 and 2022) and three World Deaf Football Championships (2012, 2016 and 2023). And what about that one draw in their record? That came in the 2022 Deaflympics Final, when the USA tied Poland 2-2, claiming its fourth gold medal by winning 4-2 on penalty kicks.

In 2022, the U.S. Women’s and Men’s Deaf National Teams joined U.S. Soccer’s Extended National Teams program. The following year, both teams held their first training camps and competed under the Federation for the first time, with the Deaf WNT going a perfect 6-0-0 at the 2023 World Deaf Football Championships in Malaysia.


The team is led by two experienced world champions in head coach Amy Griffin and assistant coach Joy Fawcett. The pair, who have coached the Deaf WNT since 2016, 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.

Griffin and Fawcett are supported on the coaching staff by goalkeeper coach Meghan Maiwald, who backstopped the Deaf WNT to two World Deaf Football Championship titles in 2012 and 2016, as well as the gold medal at the 2013 Deaflympics, and whose 13 caps are the most among goalkeepers in team history.

Team administrators Laura Carlson and Allie Galoob are also former members of the team. Both represented the USA at the 2012 World Championships and 2009 and 2013 Deaflympics, while Galoob also played at the 2016 World Championships.


As part of U.S. Soccer’s mission to celebrate the game in all of its forms, the Deaf WNT’s match against Australia on June 1 will mark several historic firsts for the team as well as U.S. Soccer’s Extended National Teams program. Among them, it’s the first time an Extended National Team (ENT) will participate in a doubleheader with one of U.S. Soccer’s senior national teams, while the match broadcast on truTV, Max, and Telemundo digital platforms will mark the first time an ENT has played on television in a U.S. Soccer-controlled match, and Volkswagen’s title sponsorship of USA-Australia also marks the first time an ENT has had a presenting partner for one of its games.

Meanwhile, since the Deaf WNT’s 38 previous international matches have all been played in tournaments abroad, USA-Australia will also be the team’s first full-international on U.S. soil.


The historic match will also be hugely accessible to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

On both broadcasts, sign language interpreters will appear on-screen throughout the match, with an American Sign Language (ASL) translator on truTV and Max, while a Spanish to ASL interpreter will appear on the Telemundo App, YouTube and Social Media platforms.

During the in-stadium pre-game festivities, both teams will be escorted onto the field by students from the XXX. ASL interpreters will sign for the performers of the U.S. and Australia National Anthems, as well as the U.S. National Anthem ahead of the USWNT-Korea Republic match that follows.

Additionally, both the U.S. Deaf WNT and USWNT will wear special warm-up tops, adorned with “CHAMPS” in sign-language.

The day after the match, the U.S. Deaf WNT will hold a Youth Clinic at Rocky Mountain School of the Deaf (10300 Nassau Ave; Denver, Colo.) from 9-11 a.m. MT. The clinic costs $25 and is open to players of all ages and abilities. Interested players can register here.


Out of the five disciplines that make up U.S. Soccer’s ENT programming, Deaf Soccer holds the closest resemblance to the standard game, with only two main rules that differentiate it. First, the sport is contested by Deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes, with qualifying players needing to have a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels in their “better ear”. All players competing in Deaf matches must remove all hearing aids before playing.

Secondly, referees have a flag which they raise along with blowing their whistle to provide a visual cue for players to know when play has stopped. Aside from those two adaptations, Deaf Soccer follows the standard 11-a-side Laws of the Game governed by the International Football Association Board.


  • As of June 1, the roster will have an average age of 25 years, 351 days.
  • The squad also averages 11 international caps.
  • Seventeen of the 18 players were part of the squad that claimed the 2023 World Deaf Football Championship in Malaysia, while 13 players also helped the USA claim the gold medal at the 2022 Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil.
  • The team ranges in age from 18-year-old Mia McMurry to 44-year-old Beth Barbiers.
  • Eleven of the 18 players are age 22 and younger: Erin Cembrale, Hannah Romero (22); Paige Beaudry, Holly Hunter, Ani Khachadourian (21), Taegen Frandsen, Sophie Post, Faith Wylie (20); Emma Neff, Paris Price (19); Mia McMurry (18).
  • Along with being the leading cap-winners on this roster, co-captains Kate Ward (30) and Sydney Andrews (27), and with Emily Spreeman (23) are the three all-time appearance leaders in Deaf WNT history.
  • Spreeman, who won U.S. Soccer’s 2023 Female Deaf Player of the Year on the strength of 13 goals and five assists at the Deaf World Championships, is also the USA’s all-time leading scorer with 27 goals in 23 caps. A two-time Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner at the 2016and 2023 World Deaf Football Championships, Spreeman is the only player on the roster that was part of the USA’s inaugural Deaflympics squad in 2005 where she started all six matches as a 15-year-old.
  • A veteran of each of the last three Deaf World Championships and three Deaflympics squads, Ward has appeared in 30 of the team’s last 31 matches dating back to her debut, also as a 15-year-old at the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei.
  • Andrews has played in each of the team’s last 27 matches, dating back to her debut at the 2012 DIFA World Deaf Football Championships in Ankara, Turkey.
  • Winner of the Golden Glove at the 2023 World Championships, Taegan Frandsen’s eight career caps rank her second all-time among goalkeepers behind current goalkeeping coach Meghan Maiwald.
  • Three players currently compete professionally abroad: hometown hero Mia White (Littleton, Colo.) playing for FC KTP in the Finnish second division, while Erin Cembrale features for Grifone Gialloverde and Paris Price players for AS Roma in the Italian Serie C.
  • Midfielder Holly Hunter played two years of collegiate soccer at the University of Colorado (2021-2022) before transferring to Northern Arizona University. She scored five goals in as many appearances during her debut tournament with the Deaf WNT in 2023, including the game-winning goal in the 3-0 win against Turkey in the tournament final.
  • Forward Hannah Romero is the only player on the roster who was not part of the 2023 World Championship team, and will hope to earn her first cap versus Australia.



Saturday’s match will mark just the second meeting between the Women’s Deaf National Teams of the USA and Australia, and the first since Jan. 11, 2005 at the Deaflympics in Melbourne. In that match, the USA’s Erin Coppedge set a team record with five goals to go along with another from substitute Austra Blooms in helping the Deaf WNT claim a 6-0 victory. Coppedge’s five-spot was only recently equaled by current USA midfielder Ani Khachadourian in a 13-0 win against Kenya on May 9, 2022 at the Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil.


The Australia Women’s Deaf National Team has been led by James Lambert since 2019, having previously served as an assistant coach under his predecessor Robbie Stanton. Holder of the AFC/FFA Professional diploma, Lambert previously worked as the technical director and in senior coaching positions at Hills United, Blacktown City and Marconi football clubs in Australia. Hailing from England, Lambert’s uncle played for the England and Great Britain Deaf National Teams, and comes from a large family of Deaf and hard-of-hearing people.


GOALKEEPERS (2): 20-Diana Ciuffetelli (Leeton United; 5/0), 1-Justeen Kruger (Northern Tigers FC; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (5): 2-Isla Custovic (Kellyville Colts FC; 0/0), 4-Jayde Dickerson (Norewest FC; 0/0), 19-Rona Lazo (Maitland FC; 0/0), 5-Ruby Miller (Dickson FC; 0/0), 15-Tahlia Zanardi (Bonnet Bay FC; 0/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 17-Tegan Blanch (Toowoomba FC; 0/0),21-Ella Kirby (East Lismore FC; 0/0), 12-Mikaela Magro (Spring Gully FC; 0/0),8-Saskia Newman (Dickson FC; 0/0), 16-Jessica Waters (South Ettalong FC; 0/0), 6-Rylee Woods (St. Mary’s Eagle Vale FC; 0/0)

FORWARDS (5): 11-Kirsten Campton (North Brisbane FC; 0/0), 7-Henrika New (Shoalhaven Heads FC; 0/0), 10-Omelia Odell (Williamtown FC; 0/0), 14-Christabell Webber (Football NSW Institute; 0/0), 9-Adelaide Wyrzynski (Mullumbimby Brunswick Valley FC; 0/0)