USA to Host Amputee Soccer Copa America 2017
The Board of Directors of the World Amputee Football (Soccer) Federation (WAFF) has granted the American Amputee Soccer Association the authority to host the 2017 Amputee Soccer Copa America.
The Copa, one of the most prestigious events in the world of amputee soccer, will determine the championship team of the western hemisphere.
In addition to Team USA, national squads competing for the hemispheric title include Columbia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti and powerhouse Mexico.
The event is tentatively scheduled for July 28 - 30 in Los Angeles, California. Several venues are being considered, including a new stadium currently under construction in Irvine, CA.
Training sessions and open tryouts are being scheduled and will be published here in the coming weeks.
Team USA Wins Bronze in Costa Rica
Back row, from left: Dr. James Pierre-Glaude, Trainer, NY; Dr. Eric Lamberg, Head Coach, NY; Josh Sundquist, CA; Nico Calabria, Offensive Team Captain, MA; Foday Dumbuya, TX; Keith Mann, Defensive Team Captain, NJ; Dan Broome, CA
Front row, from left: Rich Ramsay, OR; Craig Till, TX; Ignacio Medrano, CA; Noah Grove, MD; Alvenso Honore, MA.
Rookie Goalkeeper Alvenso Honore, of Boston, MA, scored the Bronze Medal shut-out in his very first international competition.
Nico Calabria, heading the ball, Cambridge, MA, led all US scorers with five in the three match set.
Costa Rica Tournament Live Stream Draws "Largest" World-Wide Amp Soccer Audience|
Reception of the professional, broadcast quality live stream from the Ernesto Rohrmoser Stadium in San Jose has been confirmed in Brazil, throughout Central America and the United States, Ireland and Poland.
Match coverage was produced in this van just outside the tournament field and broadcast live, with professional commentators and commercial breaks, throughout the world.
The Costa Rican tournament may have had the largest viewing audience in the history of amputee soccer.
Amp Soccer Kicks Rank with Professionals
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.
Top Shots, from left: Nico Calabria, USA; Jonathan Mendoza, El Salvador; and Diego Pezoa, Argentina.
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.
But the real heroes of the story are the goalkeepers. They have to stop those professional grade shots with only one arm.
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Rick Hofmann, President of the American Amputee Soccer Association, has been re-elected President of the World Amputee Football (Soccer) Federation (WAFF). The election was held during the recent WAFF Congress of Members in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Photos on this page © Carl Calabria.
USA's Hofmann Re-Elected
World Federation President
Amputee soccer is now played in 55 countries around the world.
Also elected to leadership positions were Dr. Jan Gauna, Mexico, as 1st VP; and Mateusz Widlak, Poland, as 2nd VP. Mawuli Viwotor, Ghana, Federation Secretary General, and Chief Referee Thomas Goubeaux, USA, will be eligible for re-election in 2018.
Team USA returned home from the First Costa Rican Cup for Amputees wearing Bronze Medals after defeating Costa Rica's National Team, 6-0 in its final match.
In that match rookie Goalkeeper Avelso Honore, Boston, MA, notched the shutout while Nico Calabria, of Cambridge, MA, scored a hat trick. Noah Grove, of Frederick, MD scored twice and Foday Dumbuya, Houston, TX, once.
Team USA beat the Costa Rican Team Heredia in its first match 3-0. Calabria 2 goals, Grove 1; but lost 0-2 to Mexico's Los Tigres de Monterrey, the eventual Gold Medal winners, in the semi-finals.
The Bronze was even more meaningful since Team USA was competing against teams who had played together, sometimes on a weekly basis, for years. Team USA, which includes players literally from all corners of the country, had not played or practiced together as a team since the World Cup in 2014.
Full reports are not in yet, but we do know that matches were seen via broadcast quality Internet live-stream in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, throughout the United States, in Brazil, Ireland and Poland.
Team USA's Facebook page alone gathered more than 59,000 responses.
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