Team prepares for Deaflympics
from Pensacola new journal
The journey of the U.S. Women's National Deaf Soccer team toward the
Deaflympics in Taiwan this year is passing through Northwest Florida.
Ken McDonald, a coach in the Bayside Soccer Program in Gulf Breeze, was
recently named head coach of the team. He was an assistant for the team in
Shortly after the team won the 2005 gold medal in the Deaflympics in
Australia, McDonald resigned to take over as head coach of the men's Deaf
The women's team recently had a training session in Pensacola. Part of
the preparation is that each player must raise $5,000.
"We don't have a company or organization helping us out financially,"
McDonald said. "That puts tremendous pressure on each player."
The men's team finished ninth out of 10 teams in Australia. But last
year, McDonald led them to the semifinals of the first World Deaf Cup in
Patras, Greece, where they lost on penalty kicks.
Reaching the semifinals was a huge accomplishment, McDonald said,
considering that other teams received $100,000 from their countries and
Recently, the USA Deaf Soccer Association asked him to take charge of the
"Other countries pay for the cost of their deaf players," McDonald said.
"It's a shame that it doesn't happen here. They are a great bunch of soccer
players and they deserve all the support they can get."
McDonald said the men's team will be in the Pensacola area Feb. 26
through March 1 for a tryout camp.