x
Breaking News
More () »

The U.S. now has a blind soccer team. Meet the Phoenix athlete who made the squad

Alvaro Mora Arellano of Phoenix is one of eight athletes with visual impairments to be picked to play on a new national soccer team.

PHOENIX — A Phoenix man has been selected to play on the first national men's team of blind soccer players.

Alvaro Mora Arellano, 35, has been recently announced as one of the eight players picked from throughout the country to play on the first-ever USA Blind Soccer Men’s national team.  

Blind soccer has been part of the Paralympic Games since 2004 but the U.S. has never before fielded a home team.

“We are so excited to name the first ever USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team," Head Coach Katie Smith said in a statement. “It is truly incredible being a part of this revolutionary team and to have another Paralympic sport for blind athletes all over the country to aspire toward."

The rest of the new team consists of athletes from Texas, Ohio, Virginia, New York, and other states. 

Mora Arellano was first introduced to the game of goalball, a popular team sport for the blind and visually impaired, as a teenager in Mexico. 

He then attended his first blind soccer clinic in 2019 and has attended several talent identification camps over the past three years.

The team will begin an international competition next year, which may be the first step towards competing at the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games.

RELATED: ‘She was a giver, always’: Young Valley cornea, tissue donor featured on race car for NASCAR race this weekend

RELATED: Arizona Coyotes ready to party at The Mullett

Up to Speed

Catch up on the latest news and stories on our 12News YouTube playlist here.

More ways to get 12News 

On your phone: Download the 12News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.  

On your streaming device: Download 12News+ to your streaming device  

The free 12News+ app from 12News lets users stream live events — including daily newscasts like "Today in AZ" and "12 News" and our daily lifestyle program, "Arizona Midday"—on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.  

12News+ showcases live video throughout the day for breaking news, local news, weather and even an occasional moment of Zen showcasing breathtaking sights from across Arizona. 

On social media: Find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out