Minnesota United FC's power soccer team returns from its first national tournament

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota United FC's power soccer team just returned from their first wheelchair soccer tournament on the road.

To be the best, team member Joe Boerboom knows you have to play the best. His team traveled to Arizona last weekend, facing some of their toughest competition yet.

"It was fun, we got to play some international teams like Mexico and Canada. They were pretty good. It was good competition," Boerboom said.

It's competitive, but also a cultural exchange, says coach Katie Kensy.

"All of the teams we played in Phoenix were a couple conferences higher than we are," Kensy said. "And for us to be competitive and keep those games, you know, tight, we had a couple 1-0 losses, but for us to be able to play that well together is a really good sign for us."  

Minnesota United FC's power soccer team returns from its first national tournament - Funny Happy New Years Eve Gifts

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And players aren't using their typical power wheelchairs to play.

"Power soccer athletes use these Strike Force chairs, which have metal guards attached to the front here. And then they actually move faster than a regular power wheelchair as well," she said. "And that allows the athletes to dribble, pass and shoot the ball, which is extra large so it can be accommodated and it can be kicked with the guard of these Strike Force wheelchairs."

This experience helps fuels Boerboom's passions.

"I eventually want to make the United States national team," he said.

Kensy says her players, who practice at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley, have a bright future in power soccer.

"We're very excited to see where they go," Kensy said.

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