U.S. cruises past Guatemala; Up next Mexico

Nov. 17, 2012, 7:23 p.m. (ET)

CHULA VISTA, Cali – The U.S. Men’s National Team kicked off their World League Round 1 campaign against Guatemala this afternoon at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. The U.S. rolled away with a convincing victory over Guatemala, recording eight goals in the first half en route to a 16-0 shutout performance.

“I was very pleased with the team’s performance today,” said Head Coach Chris Clements. “To tally 16 goals in any international match doesn’t happen that often. I think we could have taken a few more opportunities but we are looking forward to tomorrow’s game. We will be going to back to work to make sure we are prepared and have another fine performance the USA tomorrow.”

The U.S. had seven different players contribute to the 16 goals tallied against Guatemala. Captain Patrick Harris (Moorpark, CA) put the U.S. on the boards first with a goal in the eighth minute. Harris earned a hat trick in the first half and tallied a fourth goal early in the second half. Jon Ginolfi (Moorpark, CA) and Will Holt (Camarillo, CA) were two other U.S. team players to earn a hat trick this afternoon.

Five U.S. athletes made their debut with the Men’s National Team and earned their first cap with the Senior Squad, including Manny Martinez (San Diego, CA), Paul Singh (Simi Valley, CA), Asavir Kalla (Cupertino, CA), Aki Kaeppeler (Ventura, CA) and Chris Rea (San Diego, CA).

“It was a good start to the tournament, but I think there is room for improvement,” said Harris. “We are happy with the win overall and are one step closer to our goal of winning this tournament. We need to be sharper in the basic skill area and the rest will take care of itself. Anything can happen tomorrow against Mexico but I am confident in our side.”  

The U.S. will face Mexico tomorrow in the final match of World League Round 1 in Chula Vista. The winner will automatically advance to World League Round 2 in February 2013.

All World League Round 1 matches are being streamed live on usafieldhockey.com. Former U.S. Men’s National Team player Pat Cota will be commentating the matches on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18. USA Field Hockey followers can tweet questions to @USAFieldHockey #AskCotaLive and have them answered during the live stream.