Physical Therapy Professor Takes U.S. National Amputee Soccer Team to World Cup
Eric Lamberg of Stony Brook’s SHTM to remain team’s head coach in 2015
Stony Brook, NY, December 23, 2014 – Dr.Eric Lamberg, EdD, PT, an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Technology and Management (SHTM) at Stony Brook University, led a group of 14 men from around the country to compete in the 2014 Amputee Soccer World Cup in Mexico this December. As head coach of the US National Amputee Soccer Team, Lamberg brought the team to new heights, as they advanced through several competitive rounds and finished the tournament ranked 12th of 30 teams worldwide.
“To compete on the world stage at this level of soccer was an amazing experience for me as a coach and for all the players,” said Lamberg. “The courage and ability of these players transcends what many of us expect can be done athletically for people who are living with an amputation, and they are an inspiration to all of us.”
Lamberg has a long history of involvement in the game of soccer. He played since the age of five and continues to play in men’s adult leagues on Long Island. He also coaches youth soccer in the Commack Soccer League. Through his work in the Department of Physical Therapy, Lamberg teaches courses to Physical Therapy students about amputations, prosthetics, and rehabilitation. His research initiatives involve investigations into rehabilitation techniques for people with lower limb amputations and novel socket technology for the “above the knee” amputee.
James Pierre-Glaude, DPT, ATC, a Stony Brook University graduate and Clinical Associate Professor of the SHTM’s Athletic Training Program, also participated in the World Cup event in Mexico as the official trainer/physical therapist of the US National Team. Lamberg and Pierre-Glaude will continue to serve as head coach and team trainer, respectively, during 2015. They hope the team will be able to compete in the America’s Cup sometime later in the year.
Team co-captain Nicolai Calabria, and a college soccer player in Colorado, expects big things for the US National team in the coming years, especially after their promising World Cup showing.
“Our team faced notable challenges at the World Cup, as other countries have been able to train year around and work with multiple teams,” said Calabria. “But we showed tremendous heart and fought hard against world-class teams. We have the drive and the skills to keep competing with these teams.”
“When I was a kid my goal was to get on a travel soccer team. But the same week of try outs I was diagnosed with cancer and soon after lost my leg,” said team member Josh Sundquist, also a paralympian skier and motivational speaker. “Now with the US National Amputee Soccer Team, not only do I travel, our team travels the world.”
Goalie Richard Ramsay described the World Cup as an event to see every athlete as an athlete, not an amputee, and a chance to form long-lasting friendships.
“It is also something much more,” Ramsay added. “For children who are amputees looking for their place in the world, the Cup opens their eyes to others like them and what can be possible in life despite if one is different from most people.”