Three athletes join USA Men's National Squad
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The 2011 40th Anniversary of the California Cup concluded on Monday, May 30, after a successful tournament over Memorial Day weekend on the campus of Moorpark College in Moorpark, CA. This year the California Cup also served as an opportunity to be added to the Men’s National Squad selection. The Men’s Super Division Champions were the Cougars, a USA based team with nine athletes currently a member of the USA Men’s National Team. To view more results, please visit www.calcup.net.
Based on their distinguished performances, the following athletes were selected to join the existing twenty-six athlete Men’s National Team Squad: Michiel Dijxhoorn (Tampa, FL), Johnny Orozco (Ventura, CA), Andrew Zayac (Columbia, MD). Additionally, Jason Wellings (Coronado, CA) has been offered an extended trial opportunity through the preparation for the Champions Challenge II tournament.
Dijxhoorn is a new, exciting player that will bring a high level of quality into the program with his considerable experience playing in the Hoofdklasse. Dijxhoorn is a great ball handler with pace and effective elimination skills. “We are really excited to add his talents to our group,” said Nick Conway, USA Men’s National Team Head Coach.
Orozco has been selected as a result of his consistent performances with the U21 team. He is a no-nonsense player that has worked hard on developing the skill sets necessary to join the Senior Team. “Orozco is keen, tough and driven and I expect he will bring these positive attributes to our training and elevate our playing environment accordingly,” said Conway.
Finally, Zayac has bounced back from his non-selection last year admirably. He has completed his academic studies and returned to the squad a more rounded goalkeeper.
“Given that the playing opportunities are so limited in the USA to be able to advance his goalkeeping skills in the last year effectively on his own is a great credit to him and his desire to represent his country. This drive and enthusiasm is contagious and rightly he will be afforded another opportunity to showcase his abilities at this level,” said Conway.
The Men’s National Team has begun a two week training program in preparation for upcoming international tournaments. Trinidad and Tobago will make the flight to Moorpark, CA to compete in a short series against the USA Men’s National Team, June 15-19.
Training will continue following the conclusion of the series before departing to Lille, France for Champions Challenge II. Eighteen athletes will be selected to the traveling Champions Challenge II team on June 18.
“It is enormously beneficial to have qualified for the Champions Challenge II competition, as it provides our team with another opportunity to compete against excellent non-continental opposition from Europe and Asia,” said Conway. “This will be a great preparatory event for the Pan American Games, our most important tournament in 2011. Our team is building in quality, confidence and experience and are poised for a positive push towards the top 16 in the world.”
For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Meunier, USA Field Hockey Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (719) 866-4365. Additional information regarding the USA Field Hockey team can be found online by visiting www.usafieldhockey.com.