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January 7, 2005

U.S. Men Compete in Group B with Ghana, Italy and Turkey; U.S. Women Face Norway, Denmark, England, Russia and Australia in Six-Team Round Robin

From: Sports Features Communications (press release), FL - Jan 7, 2005

MELBOURNE, Australia (Jan. 6, 2005) – Both the U.S. National Deaf Men's and Women's teams started their 2005 Deaflympics campaigns with victories as the Summer Games kicked off on Wednesday, Jan. 5 in Melbourne, Australia. The U.S. Men's Deaf National Team was awarded a forfeit victory over Ghana on Tuesday (Jan. 4) and fell 2-1 to Turkey on Thursday (Jan. 6) while the U.S. women rolled over Denmark, 5-2.

This is the first year that both the men and women's teams were able to compete in the Deaflympics, as women's soccer was added to the list of sports in 2005. The U.S. competed in the 2001 Deaflympics in Italy, finishing in 10th place.

One day before the Deaflympics officially opened, the U.S. men were awarded a victory over Ghana by forfeit, as the Ghana National Team was held up at the airport due to visa problems. This gave the U.S. team three points and three goals in favor. In their second match of the tournament, the U.S. fell to Turkey, 2-1. Mark Sorokin scored the U.S. goal off of a corner kick taken by Larry Manning in the 69th minute. Sorokin's goal momentarily tied the game at 1-1, before Turkey responded with the game winner in the 87th minute.

The men's team next faces Italy at 5 p.m. local time on Saturday (Jan. 8). A win over Italy would secure the U.S. team a spot in the quarterfinals. Italy tied 1-1 with Turkey in their tournament opener and defeated Ghana 8-0 in their second match. Quarterfinals for the men's competition begin on Jan. 11, with semifinal matches on Jan. 14. The men's final takes place on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 3 p.m. local time.

The U.S. women kicked off the tournament Thursday (Jan. 5) at 5 p.m. local time, 1 a.m. CT, with a 5-2 win against Denmark. Defender Megan Johnston set up the opening goal of the game in the seventh minute with a corner kick that midfielder Katie Romano put it into the back of the net from seven yards out. Romano scored a second goal in the 29th minute, increasing the lead to 3-1 after captain Erin Coppedge made the game 2-0 in the 21st minute. Forward Virginia Keeler also scored two goals for the U.S., in the 49th and 71st minutes.

Up next for the U.S. Women is a game against Norway at 6 p.m. local time on Saturday (Jan. 8). The U.S. then faces Russia at 9:30 p.m. local time on Jan. 10, Australia at 6 p.m. local time on Jan. 11 and Great Britain at 4 p.m. local time on Jan. 13. The top four teams from the six-team round robin will advance to the semifinals on Friday, Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time. The women's final will be played on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m.

Formerly known as the Deaf World Games, the Deaflympics are conducted every four years following the Olympic Games by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (CISS for its spelling in French). The United States of America Deaf Soccer Association serves as the governing body of soccer for hearing impaired athletes. USADSA became an affiliate member of U.S. Soccer in October 2001, and works closely with USA Deaf Sports Federation and U.S. Soccer to promote the sport of soccer, as well as the activities of their deaf athletes.

Deaflympic athletes have a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels in the better ear, as measured by a three-tone frequency average at 500, 1000 and 2000 Hertz, ISO 1964 Standard.

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