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US National Amputee Soccer Team 2016

TEAM USA. Back row, from left: Keith Mann, New Jersey; Noah Grove, Maryland; Emmanuel Yeboah, California; Josh Sundquist, Virginia; Ignacio Medrano, California; Henry Sunday, Washington State; Team Trainer James Pierre-Glaude and Coach Dr. Eric Lamberg, New York.
Front row from left: Craig Till, Texas; Nicolai Calabria, Massachusetts; Jesus Larios, California; Richard Ramsay, Washington State; Matt Eichler, Delaware; Dan Broome, California

USA Rookie Noah Grove splits the Japanese defense.

The United States National Amputee Soccer team entered the 2014 World Cup unranked.

Of a roster of 12, the team included five players who had never kicked a ball in international competition before - never mind in a World Cup.

Those five included both rookie goal keepers, a 15-year-old that needed special permission from the sport's governing body to be allowed to play and two other field players who had never before played in international competition. And yet...

And yet this team played extremely well against some of the toughest, most skilled teams in the world. They held Turkey, the hard-nosed Bronze Medalists from the 2012 World Cup, to only two goals.

Team USA also played Argentina, the fourth ranked team in the world, held that team 1-1 for most of the game, only to lose 2-1 in the last minutes of the match.

But Germany fell to Team USA 5-1; as did host nation Mexico, 4-1.

In all, it was a quite respectable outing for a team finding itself in the World Cup for the first time in more than a decade. Team USA came home with a ranking of 12th out of 30 teams in the world; with their heads held high, and with a thirst for the next competition - The Americas Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, next fall.

Congratulations gentlemen. Well done. More to come.

Myth Busted!
Amp Soccer Kicks Rank with Professionals

Top Shots, from left: Nico Calabria, USA; Jonathan Mendoza, El Salvador; and Diego Pezoa, Argentina.

Culiacan, Mexico - It was "obvious." The myth was that because they play on only one leg, shots from amputee soccer players had to be softer and slower than those of "regular" players.

But those close to the game, especially goalkeepers, knew just the opposite was true - that the body mechanics of the amputee player yielded kicks that were as hard or harder than traditionally configured players.

In the recent Culiacan World Cup the myth was put to the test - and was thoroughly debunked. World Wide. Now it's a documented fact. Amputee soccer players kicks rank with the professionals'.

World Amputee Football Federation President Richard Hofmann instituted a new "Power Shot" competition in Mexico to test the myth.

Twenty-five of the best players from around the world kicked the ball from the penalty spot during a break from World Cup competition.

Each athlete took three shots. Each kick was measured by a certified, calibrated radar gun provided by the Culiacan Municipal Police. The results averaged.

The results were shocking to some, expected by others. The amateur, teen and 20-something amputee soccer players kicked the ball 58-59 miles per hour.

According to several Internet sources the average professional kicks the ball at 60 mph.

Myth busted.

But the real heroes of the story are the goalkeepers.

They have to stop those professional grade shots with only one arm.


Photos on this page © Carl Calabria.

Team USA Heads For Costa Rica
Live Streaming Planned

The American Amputee Soccer Team is headed for Costa Rica to play in that nation's First International Football Cup for Amputees July 29 - 31.

All eight teams in the tournament will field a blend of veterans and players in development. They'll represent Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico and the USA.

Arrangements are being made to live stream the matches. We'll keep you updated as to the days and broadcast schedule.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Team USA

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Top World Cup Honors

Keith Mann, left, Plainfield, NJ, was voted TEAM USA's Most Valuable Player for his outstanding defensive play. Nico Calabria, Cambridge, MA, was high scorer with 7.

Coaches Confirmed for 2016

The AASA Board of Directors has confirmed Dr. Eric Lamberg, left and Ignacio Medrano as Head Coach and Assistant Coach, respectively, for the next two years.

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