USA Blind Soccer Kicks Off First-Ever International Friendlies


Chula Vista hosts historic matches vs. Canada, March 19-20

USA Blind Soccer Men's National Team

USA Blind Soccer Men's National Team member Noah Beckman (Columbus, Ohio) dribbles around teammate Cody Kirchner (Columbia, S.C.) during a 2022 training camp in Chula Vista, Calif. (photo by Brian Hernandez)

History will be made this weekend in Chula Vista, California, as the USA Blind Soccer Men's National Team makes its debut on the pitch with two international friendlies against Canada. The matches will take place Sunday, March 19, and Monday, March 20, at the Salt Creek Soccer Arena (2710 Otay Lakes Rd.). Both matches begin at 5:00 p.m. local time. The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), the national governing body (NGB) for the sport of blind soccer in the United States, named the first-ever USA Blind Soccer Men's National Team roster last November after a four-day selection camp in Chula Vista. 

The sport of blind soccer has been part of the Paralympic Games since 2004, but the U.S. has never fielded a team. That will all change in 2028 when Los Angeles plays host to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the U.S. will receive an automatic entry into the blind soccer competition as the host country. Like the U.S., Canada has never competed in blind soccer at a Paralympic Games.

"We are incredibly excited that this historic day has arrived," said USABA CEO Molly Quinn. "Just 14 months after being named the NGB for blind soccer, we are fielding a team in an international friendly. This is a major achievement and milestone on the road to our team's Paralympic Games debut in Los Angeles in 2028."

The U.S. Men's National Team roster features eight athletes with visual impairments along with two sighted goalkeepers and two alternates. The eight athletes with visual impairments are Noah Beckman (Columbus, Ohio), Cody Kirchner (Columbia, S.C.), Ahmed Shareef (Staten Island, N.Y.), Ricardo Castaneda (Fort Worth, Texas), Kevin Brown (Falls Church, Va.), Antoine Craig (Richmond, Va.), David Brown (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Alvaro Mora Arellano (Phoenix, Ariz.). The two sighted goalkeepers are Brandt Herron (Palm Coast, Fla.) and Kyle Knott (Brevard, N.C.). Alternates are Charles Catherine (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and John Marquez (Fort Worth, Texas).

Both matches are open to the public and admission is free. The March 19 match will be live-streamed on the USABA Facebook and YouTube channels. For more information on the sport of blind soccer, visit the USABA website.

USA Blind Soccer Men's National Team Roster

Noah Beckman (Columbus, Ohio)
David Brown (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Kevin Brown (Falls Church, Va.)
Ricardo Castaneda (Fort Worth, Texas)
Antoine Craig (Richmond, Va.)
Cody Kirchner (Columbia, S.C.)
Alvaro Mora Arellano (Phoenix, Ariz.)
Ahmed Shareef (Staten Island, N.Y.)

Charles Catherine (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
John Marquez (Fort Worth, Texas)

Sighted Goalkeepers
Brandt Herron (Palm Coast, Fla.)
Kyle Knott (Brevard, N.C.)

Coaching Staff
Katie Smith (Columbus, Ohio), Head Coach
Ryan Lazaroe (Slidell, La.), Assistant Coach
Fil Wilkinson (Mooresville, N.C.), Assistant Coach


Contact Information:
Bill Kellick
Communications Manager, USABA
[email protected]
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Original Source: USA Blind Soccer Kicks Off First-Ever International Friendlies

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