MENDOZA, Argentina - September 19, 2013 - The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Canada this afternoon during a friendly match held in Mendoza's brand-new hockey stadium in final preparation for the 2013 Pan American Cup. The tournament will be the first major international competition held in the new facility. Team USA is ready to compete and is going into the tournament with confidence.
"I think we have prepared well going into this tournament both tactically and technically," said U.S Midfielder, Melissa Gonzalez. “We have been working really hard as a group and we are all excited to be here."
"It was a good opportunity to play today," said U.S. Head Coach, Craig Parnham. "It's a new pitch and so it was important to get some touches on the ball. We are looking forward to the start of the tournament and the players are eager to begin."
The Pan American Cup will commence on Saturday, September 21 and will run through Saturday, September 28 in Mendoza’s cutting-edge hockey facility. The U.S. Women’s National Team will begin their Pan American Cup journey with the first match of the tournament against Mexico this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The event is divided into two pools each consisting of four teams. The U.S. has been placed in Pool B, along with Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. Following Saturday’s match against Mexico, the team faces Chile on Sunday, September 22, 12:30 p.m. ET and then Uruguay on Tuesday, September 24, 3 p.m. ET. The semi-finals are scheduled for Thursday, September 26 and the finals on Saturday, September 28.
In its fifth edition, the Pan American Cup has had the same champion and silver medalists at the 2001, 2004 and 2009 respected Cups. Team USA has been second each of those years falling to the No. 2 Team in the world and this year’s Pam Am host, Argentina. The U.S. overcame the curse at the 2011 Pan American Cup by defeating Argentina in the finals. The win earned them a gold medal and a ticket to the 2012 Olympic games.
Team USA is vying for the coveted spot in the 2014 World Cup held in The Hague, Netherlands. The Pan American winner will receive the continent's automatic berth to the 2014 World Cup. In addition, the top six teams qualify for the 2017 Women's Pan American Cup and the teams placed 7th and 8th will play in the 2015 Women's Pan American Challenge.
For Pan Am Cup news, results, photos and more, visit usafieldhockey.com and follow @USAFieldHockey on Twitter for live results.