Team USA Wins Back-to-Back World Championship
In early November, all the eyes of the power soccer world were on Paris, France as the Halle Carpentier hosted the 2011 Federation International Power Football Association (FIPFA) World Cup. Team USA was primed and ready to defend their world championship against worthy opponents from nine other countries. In an exciting final match-up against England, Team USA emerged victorious scoring the only three goals of the game and becoming the first US soccer team to win back-to-back world championships.
In true Olympic style, the opportunity to win FIPFA World Cup happens once every four years in a different city. In the 2007 contest in Tokyo, Japan, Team USA won the cup by beating France in a penalty shoot out.
According to Chris Finn, head coach of the eight-member team, the increased pressure and competition from being the one to beat only sharpened their skills and resolve. “We are more focused on what we are doing as a team and looking to defeat our opponents one game at a time,” he said. “When we focus on playing together as a team to the best of our ability, we don't really notice any of the outside distractions.”
This focus served them well throughout the single game elimination tournament. The U.S. defeated Japan 2-0 and Portugal 13-0 in their opening games. A day later, the team fell 1-0 to England because, as Team USA player Pete Winslow put it, “we didn’t play our game and we didn’t pass.” Nevertheless, after trouncing Switzerland 21-0, they still advanced to the semifinals where they overcame France 2-0.
Two days later on Nov. 6, they faced the Brits once again to answer their earlier upset. This time, Team USA was ready, controlled the flow of the game and, once again, brought home the title.
The atmosphere was electric and the fans were out in full force. “Hearing the crowd chanting USA was an amazing feeling because we were representing our sport and our country,” recalled Winslow.
The final results of the championship were as follows:
Though the competition throughout the World Cup was fierce, Team USA was a pillar of determination and positive thinking. According to the U.S. Power Soccer Association, this success is due in part to their resilience and ability to manage the adversity they face in their everyday lives.
Power soccer resembles traditional soccer only, instead of using their feet, athletes push or kick the ball by deftly maneuvering their wheelchairs and foot guards.
The world champion athletes of Team USA hail from all the states. Though thousands of miles apart, the following players would meet at different locations (at their own expense) to practice together and become a cohesive team.
Kendra Scalia-Carrow, Oakland, California
Omar Solorio, Hollister, California
Case Calvert, Indianapolis, Indiana
Jordan Dickey, Pendleton, Indiana
Katie Dickey, Pendleton, Indiana
J.C. Russo, Carmel, Indiana
Michael Archer, Greenwood, Indiana
Pete Winslow, Woodbury, Minnesota
“Power soccer changes lives. It changed my life and I know it has changed many other people's lives for the better,” said Finn. “I would like to challenge everyone to spread the word of what power soccer has done for you or someone you know. I am able and you are able, but together we are able to make a bigger impact to spread awareness, support and help make a difference in someone else's life. Go out and make that difference today!”
For more information about the U.S. Power Soccer Association (USPSA) or to find a power soccer team in your area, visit www.powersoccerusa.org.
Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!