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Archive for July 11, 2019

July 11, 2019 — An even longer road to Tokyo

As per usual, the U.S. men’s field hockey team is fighting long odds to make the 2020 Olympics. Its lone chance at getting into the Games is by winning the Pan American Games men’s tournament, which begins later this month.

A couple of days ago, USA Field Hockey and head coach Rutger Hauer announced the roster. Key players will include attacking midfielder Patrick Harris, one of the few U.S.-born players on a European club side (Mannheimer 1907 eV, Germany).

There are a number of expatriates on the team, including striker Deegan Huisman (Holland), brother Aki and Kei Keppeler, and goalie Jonathan Klages (Germany).

In terms of experienced players, there are a number of U.S. men on the Pan Am Games teams with 50 caps or more. There are, however, a handful of eye-opening decisions made by the U.S. selectors. Will Holt, veteran of 142 internationals, is on the list of alternates, while Alberto Montilla has been called in from the U-20 national team and should receive his first senior cap in Peru.

It’s a mixture of young talent and veterans, Americans and internationals, looking for the same goal: qualifying for a world tournament when not the host nation for the first time since 1956.