Many young soccer players spend hours practicing their skills in hopes of some day representing their country on the field. Three Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf students will live this dream, as they play for Team USA in the 2012 Deaf World Cup July 16-28.
The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf and Deaflympics will host the second World Deaf Football Championships in Ankara, Turkey, with 41 countries represented in the men’s tournament and 13 in the women’s tournament. The men’s team will play against Germany, Turkey and South Korea in its group. The U.S. team must finish in the top two to advance in the knockout-style tournament.
Julian Moiwai, a recent advertising and public relations graduate from Durham, N.C., learned about the USA Deaf Soccer organization in high school and attended a training camp in Florida as a senior. As an RIT student, Moiwai played two years for the RIT men’s soccer team, in addition to serving as a Department of Communication peer mentor and a tour guide coordinator for the NTID admissions office.
“I’m really proud to represent our country as a first-generation American,” Moiwai says. “My mother is from Germany and my father is from Sierra Leone so I love international collaboration like this.”
Rounding out the 2012 men’s World Cup roster from RIT are Yosef Osheyack, a former RIT men’s soccer player and third-year accounting technology major from Norwich, Vt., and Angel Ortiz, a second-year business student from New York City.
“All the players have come from very diverse backgrounds, but we’re connected by the fact that we have grown up facing similar barriers,” Moiwai says. “We are all very passionate about soccer.”
Although the games will not be broadcast live, fans can follow the action through Moiwai’s tweets and the #USDMNT hashtag. To learn more about USA Deaf Soccer, contact Mike Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org.