Roughriders’ Power Soccer Gets Ready to Roll

Angelica Fraire

Glendale Roughriders’ 11 members and soccer Coach Cindy Wells are preparing for the new but difficult season ahead of them after overcoming several obstacles captain Jorge Acevedo faced to pull the team together.

The Roughriders include both females and males who are enthusiastic about the challenge to difficult odds.

To many, playing soccer may be a piece of cake; however these players are constrained by wheelchairs.

The Glendale Roughriders are part of the United States Power Soccer Association, in which teams from different states compete like any other soccer team would.

Acevedo said, “It was hard trying to start a team at first .however, some of my teammates knew how much I liked soccer so we decided to Google more information on it.”

After searching the Web a few times and figuring out what it would take to start a team, Acevedo started to organize a team for the community.

“That is not all that I had to worry about . the equipment for our wheelchairs and for ourselves can get very expensive at times,” Acevedo said.

He said, “I do not bother to buy equipment for myself because of the cost,” adding that he would rather not have any protective gear on him.

The soccer guard that they use to protect their feet and their wheelchairs costs $230 alone, and that is not including the center post mount which costs $390. The center post mount is also used for players to guard themselves.

“But you also have to consider that this cost is not including the uniform or other expenses,” Acevedo said.

The Roughriders’ uniform is a blue T-shirt and black Levis pants with white shoes.
According to the United States soccer association’s Web site, Power Soccer is the first competitive sport designed for power wheelchairs.

People participating in this sport have from multiple sclerosis, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and head trauma, to name a few maladies.

Most would wonder how people in wheelchairs can play soccer.

“Power Soccer combines the skill of the wheelchair user with the speed and power of the chair itself, to participate in an extremely challenging game similar to soccer. The game is played in a gymnasium on a regulation basketball court. Two teams of four power chair users attack and defend, and spin-kick a 13-inch soccer ball in an attempt to score goals,” according to the USPSA Web site.

Surprisingly, Power Soccer is becoming a fast-growing sport nationally and internationally.

Acevedo is always glad to hear that someone wants to join the team and encourages anyone with disabilities to join.

For all those who would like to start a team in their community or to be part of one and do not know how to get started, Acevedo recommends visiting the Web site