The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

A New Beginning; Sam Lang Joins The USDMNT

USMNT pose for their team photos ready for a challenge.

As players take their positions and the referee’s whistle pierces the air, the soccer field becomes a stage where talent and teamwork shine. It’s a place where the mundane gives way to the extraordinary, and where a simple patch of grass transforms into a battleground of hopes and aspirations. Junior Sam Lang, joins his team on the field. Something Lang has been anticipating since he was 7 years old has finally come to life.  

Lang said, Each day I go to the field either to train, play around with some friends, or just spend time there because it’s right next door to me.” 

The head coach of the USMDNT (U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team) reached out to Lang and said that he was very ecstatic about seeing him play at training camp in the spring. 

In March of 2023, Lang flew out to San Diego to train with the squad at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training. They trained twice a day for five days and played two matches against the local MLS U-19 teams.

The Deaf MNT includes eligible qualifying players who must have a hearing loss of at least 55DB in their ‘better ear.’” said Lang.

Lang patiently waited for the invite to another camp before the World Cup, which is September 17th- October 8th. However, he did not receive another invitation to the July camp they held in Georgia. He expected not to hear anything after the World Cup or even till January. 

“Then, on the morning of August 13th, I got a call from head coach Dave Kunitz to go to Malaysia for the World Cup on September 17th,” said Lang.

All of the participants on the National Team are expected to improve each day.

“The standards are even higher with the crest on our chest,” said Lang.

The entire team’s schedule is soccer-filled whether it is training in the morning and afternoon to eating breakfast and lunch with the team. Even in their free time, they have team-building activities such as walks or even just relaxing around the facilities.

Training camps are always happening every other month. However, if there is an international tournament that year then there may be one less for rest periods.

Lang said, “I was never goalkeeper until about my 7th-grade year when our coach saw something in me and kept me in that position. I have loved it ever since.”

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