With a 4-2 win earlier today against Lithuania in Espoo, Finland, the United States men’s national goalball team qualified for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio. The team came from behind, down 1-2 at the half, to win a bronze medal at the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships.
The team qualified for the bronze medal match after finishing third in their pool, behind France and the Czech Republic. In the quarter finals, they defeated Turkey 5-4. In the semifinals, they lost to Finland 6-3 after having been tied 2-2 at the half.
The United States came into the tournament ranked ninth in the world. Going into the bronze medal game, Tyler Merren was the team’s leading scorer with 22 total goals. Merren has been a fixture on the United States’s team since the early 2000s, having competed in the Paralympic Games, the Pan American Games and other editions of the IBSA World Goalball Championships. The Kalamzoo, Michigan based player is the only USA player to be amongst the top ten men’s scorers in the tournament.