Team USA returns from Amputee Soccer World Cup

Pictures of some proud American athletes tell the story of success and prove winning doesn't always mean coming in first place. 

Recently, FOX 5 NY told the story of Team USA's journey to the 2022 Amputee Soccer World Cup in Istanbul. 

The team made it to the Round-of-16 elimination stage for the first time in their history but unfortunately fell short to Haiti in extra time. 

Forward Jovan Booker is proud the team got as far as they did. 

"From the moment we touched down, I think as a team we really were focused," Booker said. "I'm currently living my dreams out right now. Even though we didn't come up with the result that we wanted for all goals — we're excited about what the future has in store for us."

Amputee soccer, which has slightly different rules than the traditional game, is played in over 50 countries. Team USA is now ranked in the top 15. 

"These guys and gals go out to play as hard and as strong as they can every minute they're out there and especially when they know that they're representing the USA," head coach Eric Lamberg said.

The U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team posing in front of a goal

The U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team (Courtesy of Carl Calabria)

Wearing the red, white, and blue kits gives the players on the volunteer-led team so much pride. 

"We're just thankful we're able to represent our country in a way that it's just very special," Booker said. 

Team goals for USA are so much greater than just wins and individual stats. Together they're pushing for a larger pool of players and for the sport to receive nationwide recognition.

"We do it for the people that are watching us and they're looking to be able to find something, a passion they can follow," Booker said. 

Between now and the next World Cup in 2026, they have their work cut out for them. 

"We have a game and a brand of amputee soccer that the rest of the world is now aware of and knows we'll provide competition at the highest level," Lamberg said. 

The World Cup gave USA a chance to play against the best in the world. And they say they're just getting started. 

"We build a chemistry that when we go out on the field, we like our chances," Book said. "We're kind of just beginning."