CHICAGO — What started with just one player has grown to nearly an entire team in just months. It’s the first-ever soccer team in Chicago for players missing a limb.
The Chicago Amputee Soccer isn’t looking for your sympathy. They are out to prove what it means to play for the love of the game.
The rules are field players give it everything they have with forearm crutches and one leg, while keepers defend the goal with one arm.
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Metal crutches clang as the players fiercely maneuver and tear down the field in a show of athleticism not meant to inspire but call others to compete.
“To play other regional teams across the country under the American Amputee Soccer Association and be able to compete at the highest level,” Michael Fiorante is the group’s Co-Founder.
Last month, Andrew Paine joined the U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team as they squared off overseas against Poland, England, Japan and Costa Rica.
“To say I can do all these things, it might look a little different or feel a little different, but in the end I can still do everything I did,” he said.
Back in Chicago, he partnered with Florante and another of the group’s cofounders, Angela Widlacki, to get others like him back in the game.
Chicago amputee soccer hopes to fill their roster and show others the sky is the limit.