Monday, July 16, 2012

It's been an interesting first few days. Training has been somewhat of a challenge because we are allotted one hour time slots. We have to be efficient and to get another session in, creative with the space around the hotel, inside and out. Yesterday we took the train into Ulus to visit the Ankara Citadel. The walk to the top was more like a hike and was an outstanding substitute for an afternoon of fitness. I can't lie, my legs were a little sore today. After our hike to the top we took pictures of the view and climbed down to the town and had an AMAZING lunch with a gracious host who took care of us for sure! After sampling several kebob, we trained back to the hotel for some down time. Unfortunately there isn't a ton to do around here but thankfully there is a HUGE mall directly behind us that helps occupy some time. I do have my favorite store which I will compare to a Target with a MUCH better food selection. I do think that despite the malls size it's going to get smaller and smaller as out time here passes. This afternoon we have our opening ceremony and our men have their first game against Korea tomorrow morning. We have our first and possibly our most challenging game against defending 2008 Deaf World Football Champions Russia. Wish us luck as we finally get ready to play our first game! IF anyone ever offers you fermented, organic carrot juice PASS!! Wow, I like to think I can stomach just about anything but JEESH that stuff was rough. So take my advice and pass.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

We head out to Anakra on the 12th.  Thanks to NUMEROUS donations to our cause the team will be professionally outfitted with Nike gear.  We will look like a National Team should look now.

We have also created a relationship with Cocos Pure and we are extremely grateful for their support and generosity!  Finally, I want to thank Anaconda Sports for their help, hard work and diligence getting our gear in and ready for travel.

I will update the blog throughout our trip to the World Deaf Football Championships so stay tuned.

Once again, THANK YOU to all of our outstanding supporters!  We could not have pulled this off without you.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Thank you to Nike for contributing two full strips for our team! We will be taking advantage of the outstanding monetary contributions from everyone's generosity to purchase additional pieces including warm ups, training equipment and other important items. While we are in Turkey I will post pictures on the blog so we can share what everyone's support have helped us purchase. Thank you all again. Check back soon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What a whirlwind of a day.  I cannot imagine the help we've received without the help of social media AND the tremendous soccer network in the United States.  I hate it when I hear no-one cares about soccer in the United States because TODAY is a day that has proven all of the nay sayers wrong!  Our country DOES care and we give a huge thank you from the bottom of our hearts to those that donated to our program today.

We hope to continue this momentum in the days leading into our travel to Turkey!  Spread the word!

My hope and plan is to continue to nurture the awareness of US Deaf Soccer. When we are in Ankara this July it is my goal to keep everyone up to date with our progress in our pursuit for our Deaf World Championship.

What is important for our team(s) is to keep the soccer community and country aware of US Deaf Soccer after the World Deaf Football Championships this summer.  Upon our return from Turkey we immediately prepare to train for and raise $200,000 to participate as an organization (men and women) for the Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria July/August 2013.

The amount above is only a piece of the financial burden for our teams because as noted in my first blog, each athlete must pay their own way to attend training sessions at locations throughout the country.  We have been lucky to have hosts in our training sites to help alleviate some of the financial burden.

In July of 2011, Carnegie Mellon University hosted my first training camp and tryout as the head coach for the women.
In February, the women had a training camp in Atlanta, GA.  Thanks to Tophat Soccer Club, we had fields and host families from Tophat take our players in for the weekend so they could train and tryout with minimal costs inferred.
In April, at our final tryout and selection for Ankara, we were graciously housed and fed by the Ohio School for the Deaf.  Capital University in Ohio allowed us to use their fields free of charge and Wendy's provided meals for the teams. That same weekend Columbus Crew provided the opportunity for the men and women to play friendly games in their incredible stadium.

We have been fortunate to have such supportive hosts this past year and my hope, as a result of the incredible support we've received in the past 24 hours, we will find more hosts and help with transportation for our teams to help prepare for the 2013 Deaflympics.

Please help us keep the chatter going so our tremendous athletes that represent the U.S. can do so with pride and honor with the support of our incredible soccer community and country.

I will check back with updates on our progress tomorrow.

Thank you ALL and have a Happy 4th of July!!

Update for today!

Thank you to everyone thus far that has stepped up in support.  We have received emails of interest and support from around the country including supporters from Coco-pure, Black Army USA-Chivas USA, Florida Soccer , Univision 41 WXTV and many many other personal donations so far.

We would also like to thank STANNO USA Teamwear, Anaconda Kaye Sports and Game Gear Active-wear for coming forward to help with our uniform needs.

We are well on our way to representing the United States as a professionally dressed and organized team.

Thank you for your continued support with our cause, we still need your help!

Monday, July 2, 2012

2009 Gold Medalist Felicia (#2) after scoring against Germany in the final of the Deaflympics in Taipei

I am the head coach of the US Deaf Women's National Team.  
The team is comprised of talented soccer players from around the country 
that are either deaf or hearing impaired.  
They have traveled to Pennsylvania, Georgia and Ohio over the last year, using their own money
to tryout and be selected to a 19 player roster to compete in the 
World Deaf Football Championships in Ankara, Turkey

The US Deaf Women's National Soccer Team leaves for Ankara, Turkey on July 12th and 
due to unfortunate circumstances, we have no uniforms.   Please understand, we are a separate entity from U.S Soccer and they have no responsibility for our organization.  We graciously accept any contributions they provide when possible and they have been generous in the past.  Unfortunately, the organizations that we were relying upon to provide uniforms this year have been unable to help, news we received just today.

This incredible team is the reigning gold medalists from the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei. 
The US Women defeated Germany in the gold medal game going undefeated in the event.  
Germany, along with Russia and other nations were fully funded and in some cases would have 
been awarded cash pay-outs had they won the gold.

Our women won the gold medal and each participant from the United States had to raise $5000 to participate.  In addition, each United States gold medalist in 2009 had to wear hand me down, oversized, ill fitting men's uniforms that were donated to the team.  While the team was happy to have uniforms, their look was as poor representation of their play and representation of our country.

My goal is to find generous contributors to help our team quickly find the funds to properly outfit this outstanding group of women that will represent the United States. The women will compete against Russia, Germany, Poland and Japan in their quest to maintain their world title in deaf soccer.

If you or someone you know is willing to contribute, PLEASE use the PayPal link to the right.  No contribution is too small or too large, all funds will be used for the US Deaf Women's Soccer team in their quest to represent our country in two weeks and bring home the World Cup!

Donations ARE tax deductible.  Thank you!