USMNT Gains Valuable Experience Competing Internationally Against France
PARIS, France – June 23, 2017 – After an exciting comeback win on Wednesday against FIH Hero World Ranked No. 17 France, the U.S. Men’s National Team knew the series decider would fall in the final match of the three-game series this morning. France came out strong and took advantage early in the game producing few turnovers while capitalizing on three goals in the first half. They would add another in the third quarter and the USMNT would notch one of their own but it wouldn’t be enough as the final score stood at 4-1.
“The team made improvements every day during this tour, said Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.), USMNT Captain. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t’ end with a win against France today, but overall, we took a huge step in our preparation for the [Pan American Cup]. Training in Germany and playing against a quality side like France were both good opportunities to develop as a team in a very competitive and focused atmosphere. Solid tour overall.”
Early in the match, the USMNT were catch off mark which lead to a France striker open for a deflection goal on the far post. Looking to regroup, Team USA tried to look for open lanes forward the but continual pressure by France led to some difficulties. France’s high press eventually became rewarding as they earned a penalty corner and scored to make it 2-0.
Drawing back to the formulated game plan, the USMNT stayed patient to move the ball up field. Continuing the constantly pressure, France earned a turnover in the middle of the field which resulted in a 1v1 situation with USA’s goalkeeper. France capitalized on this opportunity to go up 3-0.
If they wanted to earn an outcome in today’s match, Team USA knew they had a big task ahead of them in the second half. Key adjustments made by USMNT’s Head Coach Rutger Wiese and coaching staff lead to an improved battle by Team USA. Before the USA could gain momentum, France scored on a rebounded ball to go up 4-0.
Having been trailing in all matches during week, Team USA continued to stick with their keep fighting mentality. They forced a poor pass by France’s defender where Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands) was able to convert on the breakaway to chip away at the goal deficit to make it, 4-1.
Time would be against the USMNT today as the final score would stand at USA 1, France 4.
“I want to thank the U.S. Men’s Foundation for providing us with the resources to go on this tour for our preparations for the upcoming Pan American Cup in August,” added Wiese.
“Although we are disappointed in the outcome in match three, it is extremely encouraging the progress that was made throughout the two-week tour,” said Brian Schledorn, USMNT Assistant Coach. “We look forward to sticking to our philosophy about getting better each day and will continue to do so on our journey to the Pan American Cup.”
Team USA Tour Roster: Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.), Tom Barratt (Greensboro, N.C.), Amrit Beaty (Simi Valley, Calif.), SeanCicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.), Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Calif.), AlexGrassi (Brookeville, Md.), Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.), Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.), Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands), Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany), Brandon Karess (Allentown, Pa.), Jaja Kentwell (Royersford, Pa.), Amardeep Khokhar (Valencia, Calif.), Jon Klages (Berlin, Germany), Adam Miller (Panama City, Fla.), NickMolscan (Wanganui, New Zealand), Nate O’Lari (Orange, Mass.), Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.), Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.), Ruben Van Dam (Valkenswaard, The Netherlands)