Phoenix native Alvaro Mora Arellano made history this weekend, scoring the USA’s first goal in men’s blind soccer.
Arellano’s goal gave USA a 1-0 in its debut match, a friendly against Canada Sunday, March 19 in Chula Vista, California. The teams will play another friendly at 5 p.m. today, streamed live on YouTube at youtube.com/@USABA1976.
“It felt good,” Arellano said of the goal. “Obviously, it is something historical, but it was a work from coaches, from teammates, everybody was prepared to come and play. We have been training for a long time, and I just got the opportunity to put the ball in the net, but it is a teamwork.”
Arellano added he was hoping for more offense but was glad the one goal was enough for the win.
“I was hoping to score more, but it is what it is. At least at the end, it’s the goal that made the difference,” he said
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.
The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes, the national governing body for the sport of blind soccer in the U.S., named the first-ever USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team roster last November after a four-day selection camp in Chula Vista.
“We are incredibly excited that this historic day has arrived,” said USABA CEO Molly Quinn said in a news release in advance of the game. “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.”
Arellano said the team’s focus is on preparing for the 2028 Paralympics and Sunday’s win was the first step toward being ready for play in LA.
For more information on the sport of blind soccer, visit usaba.org/about-blind-soccer.
Blind soccer rosters features eight athletes with visual impairments along with two sighted goalkeepers and two alternates.
USA Blind Soccer Men's National Team Roster
Alvaro Mora Arellano (Phoenix)
Noah Beckman (Columbus, Ohio)
David Brown (Chula Vista, California)
Kevin Brown (Falls Church, Virginia)
Ricardo Castaneda (Fort Worth, Texas)
Antoine Craig (Richmond, Virginia)
Cody Kirchner (Columbia, South Carolina)
Ahmed Shareef (Staten Island, New York)
Charles Catherine (Brooklyn, New York)
John Marquez (Fort Worth, Texas)
Brandt Herron (Palm Coast, Florida)
Kyle Knott (Brevard, North Carolina)
Katie Smith (Columbus, Ohio), Head Coach
Ryan Lazaroe (Slidell, Louisiana), Assistant Coach
Fil Wilkinson (Mooresville, North Carolina), Assistant Coach