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US Amputee Soccer to Compete in Poland Tournament in September

NJ camp portrait

Members of the U.S. national amputee soccer team and women's amputee soccer team are pictured at a recent training camp in New Jersey. (Nigel Degraff)

NJ camp gathered

Head coach Eric Lamberg speaks to members of the U.S. national amputee soccer team and women's amputee soccer team at a recent training camp in New Jersey. (Nigel Degraff)

STONY BROOK, NEW YORK, USA, July 25, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- The American Amputee Soccer Association is sending two squads — a national team and a women’s team — to participate in this year’s Amp Futbol Cup in Warsaw, Poland.

As part of the international tournament, which will be held Sept. 16-17, the U.S. national team will square off against Poland, England, Japan and Costa Rica. The tournament will also mark the first international competition for the AASA’s new women’s team, which will play Poland’s own women’s side.

The AASA recently held a training camp for both the national team and the women’s team over several days in New Jersey, where its rosters for the Amp Futbol Cup were finalized. The women’s team is coached by Dr. Emily Maxwell and Paige Palazzolo.

“We are excited to compete in this tournament,” said Dr. Eric Lamberg, head coach of the U.S. national team and president of the AASA. “Our athletes have been training since the World Cup last fall, and we look forward to these upcoming international matches. This is a historic time for the program, with our women’s team participating in its first tournament.”

U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team by position:

Goalkeepers (3): Corey Laycock (Sandown, NH), Alexia Michitti (Vestal, NY), Travis Oliva (Houston, TX)

Defenders (6): Kelvin Jimenez (Massachusetts), Anthony Maldonado (Odessa, TX), Keith Mann (Milford, PA), Jack Manning (Newton, MA), Andrew Paine (Kenilworth, IL), Kayde Palmer (Hackensack, NJ)

Midfielders/Forwards (6): Carlos Ayala (New York, NY), Jovan Booker (Long Island, NY), Nicolai Calabria (Somerville, MA), Noah Grove (Frederick, MD), Musabwa Nzirimo (Syracuse, NY), Mauricio Porcayo (La Puente, CA)

U.S. Women’s Amputee Soccer Team by position:

Goalkeepers (1): Alexia Michitti (Vestal, NY)

Defenders (3): Katie Bondy (Hilliard, OH), Sarah Evans (Melbourne, FL), Laquinta “Q” Haynes (Columbus, OH)

Midfielders/Forwards (3): Sam Castillo (Fort Worth, TX), Tracy Danzey (Shepherdstown, WV), Melissa Kendall (Auburn, CA)

The U.S. amputee soccer teams will be competing in the Amp Futbol Cup with assistance from the Daniels Fund, a charitable foundation created by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels. The Daniels Fund has generously awarded $20,000 to the AASA for various expenses, such as travel, accommodations, kits and equipment. The AASA aims to raise another $20,000 to cover the entire cost of participating in the tournament. Donations can be submitted via the organization’s website.

The U.S. was one of two co-ed teams to play in last year’s Amputee Soccer World Cup. As part of its efforts to expand the women’s game, the sport’s governing body — the World Amputee Football Federation— has created a working group to study the current landscape and encourage more participation. Countries such as Cameroon, Ghana, Haiti, Poland and Rwanda already have women’s teams.

Codified in 1980 by Seattle native Don Bennett, amputee soccer is played on a ¾-size pitch with seven players. Field players use forearm crutches and play the ball with only one leg. Goalkeepers use only one arm. Amputee soccer is growing worldwide and recently garnered support from FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

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The AASA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Please direct sponsorship inquiries to info@usampsoccer.org. Donations are welcome at www.usampsoccer.org/donate. Learn more about us at www.usampsoccer.org.

Dr. Eric Lamberg
American Amputee Soccer Association
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