US Mens Indoor Tournament Wrap Up
The US Men’s National Indoor Squad competed during the weekend at the Der Pokal der Messestadt in Leipzig, Germany. The young squad played against several experienced German club teams and as such the tournament served as a strong, but challenging learning experience on their journey of preparation leading up to the Pan American Indoor Cup.
Upon arrival Team USA played a scrimmage against a local German team. The test match was a good opportunity to practice game strategies and get on their feet after several hours of travel.
Team USA kicked off the tournament on Saturday playing three challenging opponents in 40 minute games without half-time breaks. The first game of the day came against Zehlendorfer Wespen of Berlin, the eventual tournament champion. The game was very back and forth, but Zehlendorfer Wespen’s indoor experience prevailed, resulting in a 1-5 loss for Team USA.
Team USA battled their next opponet Osternienburger HC, a German All-Star team that finished third in the tournament. Starting off strong, the game was tied at two-a-piece for the first 25 minutes of the match. In an attempt to generate more of an offensive attack, Team USA pulled the goal keeper and Osternienburger HC managed to repeatedly capitalize on an empty cage. The final score was 14-2 in favor of the German All-Star team.
The final game of the day came against MHV-Auswahl. After a well-played and evenly matched first 15 minutes, MHV-Auswahl pulled out ahead and was a worthy winner by 11-3.
After a night’s rest, Team USA took on ATV Leipzig 1845 for its first game of the day on Sunday. Team USA struck first, followed by ATV Leipzig 1845 taking the lead at 4-1. Team USA fought back to score three unanswered goals and even the game at four-a-piece. ATV Leipzig 1845 netted a goal with two minutes remaining, at which point Team USA pulled the goal keeper in an attempt to even the score. The match ended 6-4 in favor of ATV Leipzig 1845. Despite tournament results, Team USA showed improved growth and development over the course of the matches.
“What is particularly encouraging is the number of strong young players that we managed to expose to the indoor game,” said Head Indoor Coach Andrew Thornton. “Hopefully the players will take a lot from this weekend as we build toward the Pan Am Cup in April and future indoor tournaments.”
For updates on all of Team USA’s indoor tournaments, check usafieldhockey.com