(October 9, 2023) – The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) and USA Blind Soccer are holding a special event in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 12. The event is presented by Anthem Blue Cross and is graciously being hosted by local Los Angeles partners Dignity Health and LA Galaxy. With the USA Blind Soccer team making its Paralympic debut in Los Angeles at the 2028 Paralympic Games, this exciting day will allow attendees the opportunity to meet the athletes of the first-ever USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team and view a blind soccer demonstration. Soccer is for all, and the USA Blind Soccer Team showcases that regardless of ability, anyone can thrive while playing the sport.
Date: Thursday, October 12
Arrival Time: 10:30 am PT
Start Time: 10:45 am – 1:30 pm PT
Venue: LA Galaxy Park at Dignity Health Sports Park 18400 Avalon Blvd., Carson, CA, 90746
(LA Galaxy Park soccer pitches are directly off the main entrance)
Despite their lack of vision, blind soccer players exemplify speed, strength, stamina, agility and excellent spatial awareness. Blind soccer is a fast-paced and exciting game, played in more than 60 countries, and is the world’s fastest-growing Paralympic sport. With grassroots efforts to introduce the sport to children, teens and adults across the U.S., USABA is committed to bringing play equity and accessibility to the largest global sport in the world.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be building blind soccer in the United States,” said USABA CEO Molly Quinn. “With the FIFA World Cup happening in 2026 and the USA Blind Soccer Team making its historic debut at the LA28 Paralympic Games two years later, the energy level is high with soccer in the U.S.”
“We are excited to partner with the USABA and USA Blind Soccer and bring this demonstration to Southern California,” said Beth Andersen, President of Anthem Blue Cross of California. “Anthem’s partnership with USABA has enabled the launch of initiatives that are building blind soccer sites across the country. Together we’re promoting the benefits of physical activity and highlighting the joy of playing sports, and we look forward to continuing this important partnership and the good health it will inspire.”
Though it has been part of the 22-sport Paralympic Games program since 2004, blind soccer is the only sport in which a U.S. team has never competed. However, at the Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028, Team USA will receive an automatic bid into the blind soccer tournament as the host nation. In collaboration with U.S. Soccer, USABA has launched seven building blind soccer sites across the country to help grow the sport in preparation for LA 2028. In November 2022, USABA named the first-ever USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team. The U.S. team hosted Canada in a pair of international friendlies in March 2023 in Chula Vista, Calif.
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. The U.S. will make its Paralympic debut in blind soccer at the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games. 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. Learn more at www.usaba.org/.
About Anthem Blue Cross
As a long-time trusted health partner, Anthem Blue Cross has been providing high-quality, affordable health care for Californians for more than 85 years. Anthem Blue Cross, together with its branded affiliates, provides health care services to more than 8.2 members in California. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. To learn more, visit www.anthem.com/ca or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Dignity Health Southern California
Dignity Health Southern California’s six hospitals have one common goal: to provide compassionate, high-quality health care in a safe and healing environment. Our acute care, nonprofit hospitals provide services in Los Angeles, Glendale, Northridge, Long Beach, and San Bernardino and share a legacy of human kindness with Dignity Health. All of the Dignity Health Southern California facilities have been recognized for quality care, safety, premier surgical services, technologically-advanced imaging centers, outpatient services, comprehensive home health services, and a wide variety of community benefit programs. Visit dignityhealth.org/SoCal for more information.
About LA Galaxy
The LA Galaxy are Major League Soccer’s most successful club. Based in Carson, Calif. at Dignity Health Sports Park, the Galaxy have won the MLS Cup a record five times (2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014), the MLS Supporters’ Shield four times (1998, 2002, 2010, 2011) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice (2001, 2005), and one Concacaf Champions Cup (2000) since their inception in 1996. Under the direction of LA Galaxy President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer Tom Braun on the business operations side and LA Galaxy Head Coach and Sporting Director Greg Vanney on the soccer operations side, the Galaxy are the premier club in MLS, with stars like Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Riqui Puig, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Javier Hernandez and Cobi Jones representing LA over the team’s 27 years in MLS. For more information on the LA Galaxy, visit www.lagalaxy.com.