USMNT Drops Test Match against Canada
by USA Field Hockey
MOORPARK, Calif. – In their first home sanctioned match following the naming of the new squad, the No. 23 U.S. Men’s National Team met No. 11 Canada at Harris Family Stadium at Moorpark College in Moorpark, Calif. USA captured the lead with time expired at the end of the half but Canada rallied and scored two in the third quarter for the 2-1 win.
For me it was a great match," said Harry Singh, USMNT Head Coach. "In terms of preparation, we have a few areas which we have to fix in the upcoming camp. As a coach, I am happy with the way we played. After not playing for such a long time, the players and staff understand where we are. I think the men have really worked hard these two weeks and they’re hungry to perform."
Following the starting whistle, Canada penetrated early, producing multiple circle entries. USA held off the threats and worked to generate some forward movement. In the 7th minute, a close chance came for USA when an overhead ball found Jack Heldens (Hamburg, Germany) at the top of the circle who had a 1v1 with the Canada goalkeeper Antoni Kindler but his shot went wide. Majority of the remainder of the quarter was played out between the 25-yard lines before Canada tested USA goalkeeper Jonathan Klages (Stuttgart, Germany) with a long ball into the circle that was tipped and saved.
The second quarter started with shared possession, mimicking much of the first frame. Canada’s only real look on goal came in the 24th minute when they got a high shot off that Klages batted away. With 30 seconds remaining before half, USA used speed and quick passing to earn the game’s first penalty corner. On their re-award attempt with time expired, Aki Kaeppeler (New York, N.Y.) sent a drag into the bottom left to give USA a 1-0 lead at the break.
The lead was short lived, as right out of halftime, Canada ramped up the pressure and threatened their attacking circle. In the 33rd minute, Canada earned a penalty corner and off the second attempt Gordon Johnston sent it into the net to even the score at 1-1. Four minutes later, Canada took the lead when Johnston tallied another penalty corner execution. Trailing, USA continued to drive forward and earned a penalty corner in the 40th minute but were unable to find a result.
A determined USA side grabbed a penalty corner sequence 3 minutes into the final quarter. Unable to get a shot off on the first two chances, A. Kaeppeler’s drag on the third attempt was saved by Kindler. Almost immediately following, USA threatened again when Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) used speed to break through Canada’s defense and Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.) dove toward the goal but couldn’t get on the end of it. The match finished with Canada holding stout on defense to secure the 2-1 win.
Today’s match marked career milestones for several USMNT athletes. Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.) played in his 100th international match, while Parampal Bajwa (Simi Valley, Calif.), Jack Heldens, Vincent Heller (Stuttgart, Germany) and Graeme Jackson (Moorpark, Calif.) all captured their first for Team USA.
On Saturday, these teams met in a friendly match. Trailing 3-1 at halftime, with the lone USA goal coming from K. Kaeppeler, the red, white and blue rallied and tallied two in the final 5 minutes. First Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) scored off a penalty corner and then Jackson notched the equalizer to secure the 3-3 final. In the practice shootout, USA topped Canada 2-0, with goals coming from Singh and Orozco.
USA Field Hockey would like to thank California Cup Field Hockey and Field Hockey Federation for graciously live streaming the USMNT match.
This week, the 18-athlete roster and two reserves will be announced for the 2022 Pan American Cup (PAC), taking place January 19 to 30 in Santiago, Chile. That squad will have a PAC Preparation Camp from January 5 to 10 in Moorpark, Calif., and will depart for Chile on January 11.
For more information on the 2022 Pan American Cups, visit the event page.