National Goalball Team Head Coaches Ken Armbruster and Mike Legé have named the Women’s and Men’s teams, respectively, who will represent Team USA at the Parapan American Games in Toronto August 8-15, 2015.
Both teams will play in a round robin tournament format beginning Sunday, August 9 at 12:45 p.m. EST. Games continue throughout the week with semi-final and medal games being held on Friday, August 14 and Saturday, August 15. Click here for the full 2015 Parapan American Games Goalball schedule.
The Women’s Parapan American team is comprised of 6 players, 4 of whom have competed in at least one Paralympic Games. Collectively, the women have appeared in 15 Paralympic Games.
“The team has a great mix of experience, talent and enthusiasm,” said Ken Armbruster. “We have had two successful international tournaments this year, in Finland and Sweden, which provided crucial experience for the young ladies as well as getting the veterans working together.”
The Women’s team will compete against Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. “I expect the usual tough competition in Toronto from our Americas rivals, Canada and Brazil, and we look forward to matching up against the first time entries from South and Central America,” said Armbruster.
Jen Armbruster has been to six Paralympic Games and will serve as the team captain for the Women’s team in Toronto. She called the Parapan American Games “a great competition to end the 2015 season.” “We are also excited to see some new countries that we have not seen often or at all,” she added.
Although not as seasoned as the Women’s National Team, the Men’s National Team also boasts Paralympic experience. Half of the players named to the Men’s team have competed in at least one Paralympic Games including Donte Mickens who won bronze with the 2004 team in Athens.
“The team was selected based on their playing ability during the last couple of months and the experience each one will bring to the team, said Coach Mike Legé. “This is an experienced team and we are looking to play and perform at our best while in Toronto.”
While most countries are still seeking qualification at the Parapan American Games for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, both U.S. and Brazil’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams have already qualified. The United States was the first country to qualify both teams for Rio. Brazil qualified both teams as the host country. “Having already secured our slot in Rio, this is a great opportunity for the team to try even more combinations on the floor,” said Jen Armbruster. “It also gives us a chance to live together in an atmosphere similar to what we will see at the Paralympic Games.”
Jen Armbruster (Portland, Ore.)
Lisa Czechowski (Tucson, Ariz.)
Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.)
Marybai Huking (Plain City, Utah)
Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.)
Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.)
Joseph Hamilton (Sacramento, Calif.)
Andrew Jenks (Wilmington, Del.)
John Kusku (Commerce Township, Mich.)
Donte Mickens (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Matthew Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Follow the team’s journey to Toronto on Twitter, Facebook and the USABA website.