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USA Men’s Goalball Improves to 2-0 at Parapan American Games

Posted November 19, 2023  2023 Parapan American Games | Goalball

SANTIAGO, Chile (November 19, 2023) – The USA Men’s Goalball Team defeated Argentina, 9-5, on Sunday at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile. The win moves the U.S. to 2-0 in group play with one game remaining. The Parapan American Games represent the final qualification opportunity for goalball for next summer’s Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The U.S. jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the game’s first three minutes behind two goals from Tyler Merren (Greenville, Mich.) and one from Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.). Merren’s second goal came on a penalty throw. Argentina would respond by scoring three of the next four goals to pull within one goal at halftime, 4-3. The fourth U.S. goal was netted by Calahan Young (Pittsburgh, Pa.) shortly after he was substituted into the game.

After Christian King (Virginia Beach, Va.) made a key stop on an Argentina penalty throw early in the second half, the American squad reeled off three straight goals…two by Merren and one by King…to open up a 7-3 lead. The two teams would trade goals down the stretch for a 9-5 final score as Merren and King both found the back of the net once again.

“Today was one of those games where the environment of the crowd can help you or hurt you.,” said U.S. Head Coach Keith Young about the partisan pro-Argentinian crowd in attendance. “Argentina took advantage of the crowd, so we need to remind ourselves to stay focused. The guys were really good with making adjustments today and we continue to get better at that.”

Both U.S. teams are back in action on Monday with the men’s team facing Venezuela at 8:45 a.m. EST and the U.S. women’s team taking on Chile at 3:45 p.m. EST. The U.S. women can qualify for the Paris Paralympic Games by finishing first at the Parapan American Games, while the U.S. men can qualify by either finishing first or finishing second to Brazil who have already qualified.