Team USA (US Power Soccer photos)

by Bill Norman on September 1, 2007 - 11:41am

QUEST Vol. 14, No. 5

For more on the U.S. power soccer team and the competition in Japan, see U.S. Power Soccer Team Ready for Premier World Cup.


Team USA players Omar, 22, and Jairo Solorio, 18, from Hollister, Calif., both have SMA. Omar is enrolled in job training at home.

“I love to compete, and the tougher the competition, the more fun it is,” he maintains.

Younger brother Jairo just finished high school. He said he loves both the sport’s physical challenge and social networking.

Jairo Solorio
Jairo Solorio
Omar Solorio
Omar Solorio

Jerry Book, 18, just out of high school in San Jose, Calif., says power soccer means so much to him that he has played even when broken bones were mending. He too has SMA. He says his life’s goal is to play power soccer for the U.S. in the Paralympics.

"I have formed friendships that will last forever with other players in the U.S. and other countries," he said.

 

Jerry Book
Jerry Book

Natalie Russo, 18, just graduated high school and her brother JC, 17, (they both have SMA), is a high school senior in Carmel, Ind. She said being on the U.S. team gives her a chance to be part of history in the making.

"Power soccer has made a huge impact on my life," JC added. "It's a combination of teamwork, competition, split-second decisions and an adrenaline rush."

Natalie Russo
Natalie Russo
JC Russo
JC Russo

Danny Gorman, 16, of Safety Harbor, Fla., who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, echoes those sentiments.

"Before power soccer, the closest thing to real action was my video games. I never imagined I could be a world-class athlete."

 

 

Danny Gorman
Danny Gorman

"My ultimate goal with the U.S. team is to spread inspiration and hope to as many people as possible," said Dakotah Smith, 22, of Kennesaw, Ga., who has congenital muscular dystrophy.

Dakotah is a senior at Kennesaw State University, majoring in business management and journalism.

 

 

Dakotah Smith
Dakota Smith

Jessica Lehman, 29, a community organizer for disability rights from Emeryville, Calif., concurs: "Power soccer allows me to be a role model for other people with disabilities, showing we can succeed in sports or any other arena."

Having SMA has been a driving force for Jessica, fueling her determination to overcome obstacles.

 

Jessica Lehman
Jessica Lehman
Group photo of Team USA Team USA is ready for Japan!
Setting up a play in power soccer Power soccer requires expert manuevering skills and a competitive spirit.
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