MERIDIAN — 17-year-old Braden Anderson currently plays for the Boise timbers, and he’ll soon be playing in the 2019 Deaf Pan American Games.
“I’ve been playing soccer for like 15 years," said Anderson.
You’ll spot Braden right away on the field, but what you might miss watching him hustle during the game, is the device on his ear.
"I was just born deaf, I got my implant when I was just three years old," said Anderson.
His coach got in touch with the US Soccer Men's Deaf National Team when Braden was just 16 years old.
“I didn’t know how young they scout players, but I wanted to get him on the radar because I knew as a deaf player he’s probably one of the better players in the country," said his coach Bill Taylor.
They invited him to participate in a camp, and now he's the youngest player on the deaf national team. Soon he’s going off to Chile to play at the 2019 Deaf Pan American Games.
“I'm going to play other deaf national teams, like Argentina, Chile, it’s probably going to be a great experience for me to go, especially cause I’m a young 17-year-old and all the other guys are older than me," said Anderson.
His coach says his progression in the sport has more than earned him a spot on the national team.
“you know I’ve coached Braden for at least 6 years or more now, he plays a critical role centrally in the game, often the most difficult to play, so its not just you stick him out in a wide position where there’s not as much going on, he’s in the middle of the field where everything is 360 degrees around him, and he has to use his eyes and other senses more acutely than anyone else," said Taylor.
It’s his first time leaving the country, and he’s hoping to come back with a world cup qualifier.
“I'm a little nervous, but I'm ready to go kill it out there," said Anderson.
If you feel inclined to help Braden fund his journey to Chile, you can click here.