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

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


Source: U.S. Association of Blind Athletes


About U.S. Association of Blind Athletes
The mission of USABA is to empower Americans who are blind or visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation, and physical activities, thereby educating and inspiring the nation. A member organization of both the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and U.S. Soccer, USABA is certified by the USOPC as the national governing body for the Paralympic team sports of goalball and blind soccer. Since its founding in 1976, USABA has reached more than 100,000 individuals through its multi-sport programming. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. In 2022, USABA expanded its offerings of endurance sports events with the launch of its Team Tethered Together program for visually impaired runners and their guides. Learn more at

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