Tremendous Heat and Excitement Takeover U.S. Men’s National Team Pitch on the West Coast
CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Tuesday, August 26 – The excitement meter hit its breaking point at the Olympic Training Center in California today when the U. S. Men’s National Team met Argentina on the pitch for their third match of the summer series. Although hammering hard to cage and closing the goal deficit from matches prior, the United States were edged out by Argentina with a final score of 3-5.
After some open exchanges for both teams, Argentina converted their second corner low into the USA goal. Unperturbed, the United States sent an equalizer shot in the 12th minute by Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.) who flicked a rocket into the Argentine goal.
This quick action set developed the tone for the remainder of the game. Both teams were looking for every opportunity to take the match into their attack half however neither team was willing to budge an inch. Argentina scored on a broken corner in the 24th minute and on a deflection in the 34th minute holding the advantage eight shots to five at the half with a 3-1 lead.
The second half was again an end-to-end battle which USA took advantage of in the second half scoring a flick through William Holt (Camarillo, Calif.) in the 46th minute to take the score to 3-2. Argentina scored on a penalty corner in the 51st minute after some good build up play. The red, white and blue took the ball back to the 50 yard line and without it being touched by an Argentine player Tom McCarthy (East Windsor, Conn.) carefully slotted the ball past the goalkeeper 20 seconds later. Although the heat was beginning to hit sweltering temperatures, both teams were resilient in their attacking and defensive play with a goal scored in the final seconds by Argentina with a backhand closing the game at USA 3, Argentina 5.
USA goalkeepers Chris Rea (San Diego, Calif.) and Spencer Reed (Ventura, Calif.) split time in the cage adding to the outstanding effort by all players on the pitch.
“I am pleased at the depth in our squad with the group playing so well,” said Head Coach Chris Clements. “We are gaining confidence with every match and being rewarded for our efforts. To play a side this good we must understand that the smallest of differences can change results either way in a match like today . With our improvements in all areas we must continue to keep stepping up to the challenge ahead and tomorrow is another day which I know our players cannot wait to represent the USA with great pride.”
Team USA will face Argentina again on Wednesday, August 27 at 10:45 a.m. PST. In their first match against Argentina, the U.S. gave a strong performance, but was unable to totally shut down the Argentina offense and walked away with a 1-4 loss. The second match proved to be another epic battle but resulted in a second victory for Argentina with a score of 1-4.
For more information and live match updates, stay tuned to usafiedhockey.com and follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter.