[CPISRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS] The USA opens play Sunday against Japan at the 2011 CPISRA 7-a-side World Championships in the Netherlands. Berths in next year's Paralympic Games will go to the top seven finishers ...
“The goal is to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games, and there are seven places available, making the first round of games really important,” said U.S. head coach Jay Hoffman. “The preparation has stepped up and the intensity has been super. We feel we have a good opportunity here, and we feel the momentum from Copa America will carry over.”
The USA, which earned a spot at the world championships with impressive results against Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela, also faces Iran and Ireland in group play.
The tournament continues throughout June with a winners and losers bracket competing to determine the top 16 teams.
Paralympic soccer is played seven-a-side on a smaller field and with smaller goals than non-disabled soccer. To be eligible for Paralympic soccer, athletes must be ambulatory and have a diagnosis of non-progressive brain damage that is associated with motor control dysfunction such as Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury or stroke.
(Click here to follow the USA during its stay in the Netherlands on Facebook.)