Felipe Poga/Santiago 2023 via Photosport

PAGUSMNTNews

USMNT Drop Close Battle to Canada at Pan American Games

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SANTIAGO, Chile – The No. 23 U.S. Men’s National Team faced a tough No. 17 Canada in their second pool game of the Pan American Games Santiago 2023. After taking the lead in the first quarter, Canada equalized in the second and found the go-ahead in the third as the Wolves battled but dropped the contest 1-2.

“I think we switched off in second half despite playing well in first,” said Harry Singh, USMNT Head Coach, following the game. “What is most important for us is to continue to be competitive in this tournament.”

At the start, neither team were able to break into their attacking 25. Midway through the quarter USA found rhythm and got into the circle. In the 10th minute, quick passing led to a backhand opportunity for Stuart Kentwell (Spring City, Pa.) who was fouled from behind to win USA a penalty corner. Off the chance, Aki Kaeppeler (New York City, N.Y.) converted to put the Wolves up 1-0. USA held the advantage for the remainder of the frame, gathering two more penetrations but were unable to find shots.

The second quarter saw Canada open with an entry that resulted in a lifted goalmouth cross that went through untouched. In the 23rd minute, a crossfield overhead got to Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.) in the circle, and he was encroached by a Canada defender too soon. This gave USA a penalty corner and, on the play, A. Kaeppeler’s attempt was saved by Canada goalkeeper Ethan McTavish. Two minutes before the break, Canada evened the score when Floris Van Son ran the right baseline, pulled around USA goalkeeper Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany) and flipped it in.

Canada remained on the front foot at the start of the third frame putting USA under pressure. In the 36th minute, Canada’s James Kirkpatrick was issued a green card but USA was unable to utilize the advantage. Klages was called to action a few moments later when he stopped a backhand shot and as Canada jumped on the rebound, he made the goal line save with his glove. Tensions started to rise as three cards were issued in the remaining 5 minutes. In the 40th minute, Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.) was given a green card, and within the same minute Canada took the lead on a penalty corner goal from Gordon Johnston. The Wolves threatened forward and earned a penalty corner in the 42nd minute and on the attempt A. Kaeppeler’s drag was deflected away on the goal line. In final 60 seconds saw A. Kaeppeler receive a 5-minute yellow card that was upgraded to a Canada penalty corner. Klages denied the set piece, batted away a lifted chance and made another goal line stop to keep it 1-2.

USA absorbed the pressure from Canada at the start of the fourth, while controlling being down an athlete from the previous card. Once at full strength the Wolves ramped up their attack. A close chance came in the 55th minute when Nicolas Kuehnue (Munich, Germany) sent a hard ball in, but it was deemed high. Two minutes later, Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) had a great defensive touch out of the air to spark a counterattack. The ball got to Kentwell who ran full speed ahead, but he was called for shielding just outside the circle. In the 58th minute, Canada earned a penalty stroke for a breakdown foul on a shot. Johnston stepped up to take it and Klages made a remarkable diving save. Still trailing with the clock ticking down, the Wolves continued to fight but time ran out as the fell 1-2.

In today’s contest, two athletes received career milestones. Michael Barminski played in his 100th match for Team USA, while Christian DeAngelis competed in his 50th.

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The USA men will play their final pool game on Sunday, October 29 against No. 35 Brazil at 4:30 p.m. ET.

For more information regarding the 2023 Pan American Games, visit the event page

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