Argentina sets high tempo in pool play against U.S. at Pan American Cup
“We had a tough match today against the No. 1 team in the competition, Argentina,” said head coach Chris Clements. “Argentina is in pretty good form coming off their recent silver medal success at the World League Semi-Final. We had a couple of objectives to achieve today and we did those for small moments but unfortunately not long enough. However, there is a long way to go in the tournament and we are looking forward to a positive result against Uruguay tomorrow.”
Argentina’s Facundo Callioni recorded his fifth goal of the tournament in the opening minutes against the U.S., setting a high tempo tone for the duration of the match. Despite solid defense and noble saves by Chris Rea (San Diego, Cali.) in goal, Argentina tallied three additional goals before the end of the first half.
The U.S. matched Argentina’s pace for sustained periods in the second half and were successful in drawing two penalty corners in the 39th and 49th minute. Unfortunately, both shots were saved by Argentina’s defense. Argentina recorded four field goals in the final thirty-five minutes for a definitive result of 8-nil.
Brandon Karess (Allentown, Pa.) replaced Rea in goal in the 62nd minute, earning his first cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Side-by-side, Team USA’s roster is vastly different from Argentina’s. The young and talented U.S. squad features six athletes with previous Pan American Cup experience, including two National Team veterans, Ian Scally (Thousand Oaks, Cali.) and Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Cali.). However, with seven players under 10 caps, the U.S. roster averages just 35 caps per player. Argentina’s roster averages 85 caps and features players with Olympic Games and World Cup experience. Six members of the Argentine Pan American Cup squad also competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The U.S. will continue pool play tomorrow against Uruguay at 3:00 p.m. ET. USA’s final pool play matchup will be against Mexico on Wednesday, August 14 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Semifinal action will be played on Thursday, August 15 with the final slated for Saturday, August 17.
Pan American Cup matches are being streamed live on panamhockey.org. Follow all the action from the World Cup qualifying tournament on usafieldhockey.com and @USAFieldHockey.