MIAMI, FL, UNITED STATES, July 5, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Team USA will take on Haiti in an exhibition match on Saturday, July 9 as both teams continue their preparations for this fall’s Amputee Soccer World Cup in Istanbul, Turkey.
Saturday’s match, at Emmanuel Sanon Park in Little Haiti, will kick off at 6 p.m. The friendly is an opportunity for both teams to gather momentum as they begin their final months of training for the 24-team World Cup, to be held Sept. 30-Oct. 9.
The American and the Haitian sides qualified for the World Cup at a North and Central American qualifying tournament in Jalisco, Mexico in March. That competition — the region’s first-ever Amputee Soccer World Cup qualifying event — also included national teams from Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico, with only three spots available in Turkey. Playing four games in as many days, Team USA secured a 2-1-1 record to finish behind Haiti and ahead of Mexico, which placed fourth at the 2018 World Cup. Team captain Nico Calabria, of Boston, Mass., was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Team USA includes players from California, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. With such a geographically diverse roster, the U.S. is holding training camps in five locations before the World Cup, including in Houston and Dallas in recent months.
Codified in 1980 by Seattle native Don Bennett, amputee soccer is played on a ¾-size pitch with seven players to a side. Field players use forearm crutches and may play the ball with only one leg. Goalkeepers defend a 7’x16’ net and may use only one arm.
The AASA believes everyone should have access to play soccer. Our mission is to 1) promote, develop and provide access to the sport of amputee soccer for all people living with limb difference and 2) to develop and train elite amputee soccer athletes to represent the United States in international competition. Amputee soccer is growing quickly in the U.S., with regional teams in New York, New England, Texas, southern California, Seattle/Portland, Chicago and the Delaware/Philadelphia areas.
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The AASA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Learn more about us at www.usampsoccer.org.