US National Amp Soccer Team & Haitian Team Zaryen Join to Support US Vets

Ignacio 'Nacho' Medrano, right, hops alongside Veteran John Stearns, teaching him how to begin running on crutches.   Photo courtesy of and © the Knights of Columbus.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center - It was a time for giving back.

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, the US Military stepped in, saving thousands of lives. The Haitians remembered.

Part of the rehabilitation many Haitians experienced was learning the American developed game of amputee soccer. Again, they remembered.

So to honor wounded American service men Haiti's Team Zaryen (Tarantula) and the US National Amputee Soccer team joined to present them with the amputee version of the world sport.

Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Project Medishare, the two amputee soccer teams conducted three days of clinics for the amputee veterans, teaching them how to run, kick and pass on crutches.

To give them an idea of how fast, tough and competitive this version of soccer is, Team USA and Team Zaryen played a match outside Washington's RFK Stadium, sponsored by DC United, Major League Soccer. See the video footage below.

Then, as icing on the cake, Vets, Zaryen and USA were mixed together for a friendly scrimmage. The wounded warriors were very quick learners, scoring quite a few gaols.

1Lt. Cameron Kerr summed up the veterans appreciation for the event with one simple statement. "We can't believe you guys came all this way to teach us how to kick a ball on sticks."

We'll be back Lieutenant.

ABC-TV Washington, DC

DCUnited.Com - Washington, DC

James Childers, 2nd BTO, USMC, practices taking a shot on goal in the first of three days of training sessions with the US national Amputee Soccer Team and star players from Haiti.  Photo courtesy of and © the Knights of Columbus.


After playing soccer as a two-legged athlete, Veteran Matt Castillo-Del Moro, 82nd Airborne, gets used to heading the ball while on crutches.  Photo courtesy of and © the Knights of Columbus.

The US National Amputee Soccer Team and Haiti's Team Zaryen gave back to Army and Marine Corps vets with three days of clinics, training and scrimmages at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Photo courtesy of and © the Knights of Columbus.

USA's Robert Spotswood heads the ball over Zaryen defenders to score. Photo © R. G. Hofmann


Sportsmanship has always been a key element of amputee soccer. Team USA and team Zaryen embrace after a hard fought match. Photo © R. G. Hofmann


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