P. Singh Retires After Decorated Career with U.S. Men’s National Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Following a 12-year career with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.) has officially announced his retirement from the team. The 30-year-old competed in 101 international matches for Team USA.

A Simi Valley, Calif. native, Singh got his start playing the sport when he was 6 years old after being introduced by family members who played. Also at the time, his father, was good friends with the former USMNT coach Shiv Jagday, who he credits with fueling his passion and providing him with the necessary equipment to play. After picking up a stick, he started playing in the Moorpark League, where most of the USMNT got their start and were based.

After growing up and playing locally, Singh’s hard work was noticed when he was named to the senior U.S. Men’s National Team in 2012. He recorded his first international cap in the FIH World League Round 1 on November 17, where Team USA won gold. In the years following, he participated in multiple test series and international tours along with world championship experiences. He played in two Pan American Games and was part of the squad in 2019 that helped close a 24-year medal drought at this event, and three Pan American Cups. He was involved in the FIH Hockey World League over a course of 4-years, finishing with gold in 2012 and 2016.

“It was just a huge honor, it's something I really wanted to achieve in my life,” said Singh, on what it was like being part of Team USA. “Also it was great to grow up in Moorpark where men's field hockey wasn't really an odd thing to see compared to around other areas in America. So from the age of 13 until 18 I was consistently already playing with or against the USMNT players on a weekly basis, in training and/or league games. Where not only me, but a whole future generation of men’s players developed quite quickly.”

“When I made the team, it was a lot more intimidating back then. Playing with Ian Scally, Jon Ginofli, Sean Harris, Pat Harris, Will Holt - things got real at that time. I was exposed to a totally different level of play, and it forced me to catch up to the pace. Veterans like Jon, Ian and Will were essentially enforcers on the team at that time - so whatever they said had to go. They were amazing leaders for me when I got on the team. Especially Jon, I appreciated his guidance.”

Playing for USA on the international stage has been a surreal experience for Singh. He notes a lot of memorial moments but what stands out the most is winning bronze at the 2019 Pan American Games – closing that 24-year medal drought – and bronze at the 2017 Pan American Cup – on home soil, where he notes that the team culture started to shift. He adds that hitting the 100 international caps milestone at the recent Pan American Games was another notable career highlight.

During his involvement with Team USA, he strengthened his experience abroad playing for Southgate HC (England) from 2016-17, HTC Stuttgarter Kicker (Germany) from 2017-19 and Crefelder HTC (Germany) from 2019-20.

“Playing overseas professionally was another amazing highlight of my career,” added Singh. “It is something I always wanted to do and was lucky enough to do that with those three clubs. I appreciate all those clubs and coaches for helping me take steps into becoming a better hockey player.”

Singh retires from Team USA having competed in 101 international matches. During his 12 years, he recorded 50 goals and was a key contributor in the midfield and defensive lines for USA.

Although stepping away from wearing a USA uniform, Singh is staying involved by putting on a coaching hat. He has taken over the VCRD High Performance program, which is a team he played for back in the day.

“I plan on making it into a big time high performance center again,” said Singh. “So far things are moving good, we have a lot of talent from a girls’ perspective. They are great kids who are willing to learn from me and some of the coaches we have. I also plan on giving back to the game from the men's side. Moorpark has really been falling off due to organizational changes and other reasons – but myself with current and former USMNT athletes are initiating a resurrection of men's hockey in Moorpark.

Singh plans on continuing to help grow the game, especially as a gateway to help identify men’s athletes with talent that can join the Olympic pathway. He wants to get USA Field Hockey Level 3 Certified and eventually receive an FIH coaching accreditation.

“I really enjoy coaching and it's fun to teach the new generation everything I've learned and gathered from playing with the national team and professionally overseas,” commented Singh. “I also hope to coach at a university, possibly in the future, and who knows maybe at the international level. I'll still be playing, but just for fun and the sheer goal to grow the game more importantly. So more kids, including boys, can have the journey I did.”

Singh has a long list of individuals he would like to thank, all who have impacted him through the years as an athlete, person and teammate. “Firstly I want to thank my parents and family. I love them so much. I know it's hard when I leave, and I probably didn't do things you wanted me to do because of this sport. Also for missing so many family events, weddings, births of nieces and nephews, because I was always gone for hockey. I especially want to give a huge thanks to my dad (Jatinder Singh). He's the best who sacrificed so much of his time and money to not only make me a better player, but for a lot of others in the Moorpark area.”

He goes on to thank the Wuterich and Stinnes families in Germany for hosting him during his abroad playing days. Ben Maruquin and Mike Whitehead for instilling professionalism and high performance and more importantly mental toughness. Chris Clements, a previous USMNT head coach, who brought Singh into the program, and he credits with always being direct and getting the best out of him every time. Rutger Wiese and Brian Schledhorn, who culturally shifted the program to be an international contender and threat. Pim Wijzenbeek and Ben Howarth for opening his eyes to different styles of hockey, a fun and creative way to play which suited Singh’s style.

Singh wants to thank all the coaches he had overseas, Rinku Bhamber, a former USMNT athlete who was a mentored him, and the LA Tigers Hockey Club.

Finally, Singh wants to thank all the teammates he played with – and notes that they are all his brothers for life.

Singh has a final note to share to young boys aspiring to play for their country, “I was lucky enough to grow up in a system with a lot of men's national team players, also in an organized league system and foundation for boys entering the USA pipeline. If you are fortunate enough to get there – enjoy the process. When things get hard keep going, be obsessed with this game. Mentally make a pressure situation to improve yourself. When you have to play against weaker players, challenge yourself to not turn over the ball, challenge yourself to make others better. You have to do that for you to improve at the moment. Eventually you will see a difference.”

“Whenever there is something with the USMNT or junior team, take the opportunity to try out. Try to reach out to as many current and former national team players as you can to get advice. They will guide and help you; you just have to make sure you stay mentally engaged. Things will pan out and by no time you will be a part of the Wolf Pack. My Olympic Dream is over, but for you, the future generation, it's alive and well. Be disciplined, just keep telling yourself to enjoy the ride”

Singh plans on continuing to work in his current job in IT, a position he says he is lucky and thankful to have because of a teammate connection in Shawn Nakamura.