USA Deaf National Teams to play at Crew Stadium prior to Crew game on April 28
The USA Men’s and Women’s Deaf Soccer National Teams will play exhibition matches at Crew Stadium on April 28, in advance of the Crew’s regular-season league match vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps that evening.
The USA Deaf Women’s National Team will get the day started at 12:30 p.m. vs. Otterbein University, followed by the USA Deaf Men’s squad vs. a selection of Crew Soccer Academy players at 3 p.m. The Crew-Whitecaps match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m., and the stadium will be cleared following the men’s exhibition match, prior to reopening at 6 p.m. for the Crew game.
Information and specially priced $25 tickets, good for all three games, are available at http://www.thecrew.com/deafsoccer.
The USA Deaf National Teams will be in the midst of training camps being held in Columbus from April 26-29, as they prepare for the 2012 Deaf World Cup Games, which will be held in Ankara, Turkey, from July 10-21.
According to usdeafsoccer.com, deafness is a hidden 'disability.' In sports such as soccer, players face certain hidden disadvantages, such as not being able to hear their coach's instructions during a game, a referee's decision or the roar of the crowd. Because deaf soccer players compete regularly against their hearing peers, these aspects of the game that are typically taken for granted can make a difference during the course of a match.
Under international criteria, to be eligible to compete in deaf soccer competitions, players must have an average hearing loss of 55 Decibels or more in their best ear, and anyone who uses hearing aids must remove them.
About the USA Deaf Sports Federation
The American Athletic Union of the Deaf was formed in 1945, with the name being changed to the USA Deaf Sports Federation in 1997. In 1965, the United States first entered a men's team in the Deaf Olympics, hosted by the U.S. It has entered teams in most international deaf sports events since. The Women's team formed to participate in the first Deaflympics in Australia, in 2005, and took the gold medal. The women’s soccer team is the reigning 2005 and 2009 Deaflympics Gold Medalists.
About the Crew
Founded by American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and has also won the 2002 U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. It is now in its 17th season overall and 14th at first-of-its-kind Crew Stadium.