The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is hosting two blind soccer clinics on Sunday, July 2, as part of the 2023 Angel City Games. The clinics will be conducted by members of the USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team, including sighted goalkeeper Brandt Herron of Palm Coast, Fla. The morning session will take place at the University of Southern California from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., and the afternoon session will be held from 1:30-5:00 p.m.
USABA, the National Governing Body for the Paralympic sport of blind soccer in the United States, named the first-ever USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team in November of 2022 and the team played its first international friendlies in March, winning both matches against Canada.
Blind Soccer, also known as Blind Football, is an adaptation of soccer for athletes with a visual impairment. Blind soccer debuted at the Athens 2004 Paralympics Games and has been contested at every Paralympics Game since. It has become the fastest-growing Paralympic sport in the world, played in over 60 countries. The U.S. has never fielded a Blind Soccer team at the Paralympics, but that will all change in 2028 when the Games will be held in Los Angeles and the U.S. will receive an automatic berth in the tournament as the host nation.
In 2022, USABA introduced blind soccer clinics to the Los Angeles area as part of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks’ PlayLA Adaptive Youth Sport Program. The partnership between USABA and PlayLA was recently extended to provide blind soccer programming through 2024.
The Angel City Games, held June 29-July 3, are the largest Paralympic-style adaptive sports event in the Western United States, offering clinics and competitions for people of all ages and skill levels who have a physical disability or visual impairment.