Team USA Lays the Final Groundwork before Hitting the World Cup Pitch

May 28, 2014, 12:04 p.m. (ET)

Team USA Lays the Final Groundwork before Hitting the World Cup Pitch 
U.S. Women’s National Team is ready to take on Holland’s world-class arena

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – May 30, 2014 – Second only to the Olympics, the Rabobank Hockey World Cup is the pinnacle of achievement, skill and tenacity in the field hockey world. Athletes train their whole lives for the opportunity to represent their country on hockey’s grandest stage. The miles logged, sweat lost and pain overcome through grueling practices and cut-throat matches are immeasurable.

For the 432 athletes who are rostered on the World Cup teams, today's opening ceremony marks the best two weeks of their hockey lives, the beginning of the culmination of a journey that started years ago and the prize that makes all of the sacrifices and dedication worthwhile with the opportunity to become world champions.

The U.S. Women’s National Squad, fresh off of a Champions Challenge championship, intends to make their mark on the international arena. After a change in leadership post the 2012 Olympics, Head Coach Craig Parnham, former Olympian and coach for Great Britain’s National Team, has been preparing the team for the World Cup since the day he stepped in.

Factor in the United States’ intense training regimen for the last two years and their gnawing hunger to prove themselves at hockey’s biggest showcase, and Team USA will surely be a force with which to be reckoned.The squad's first event competition will be against England on Sunday, June 1 at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Assisted by David Hamilton, who worked alongside Parnham with Team GB, Tjerk Van Herwaarden's hockey expertise and Janneke Schopman, two-time Olympian and World Cup titlist for the Netherlands, Team USA’s coaching staff is stacked with experience and knowledge.

For the women's division of the tournament, the Netherlands hopes to hold tightly onto their claim to fame as a global hockey giant and add to their collection of six championships. Argentina will surely look to defend their 2010 title, while Australia and Germany hope to retake the gold for the third time a-side.

On the men’s side, host nation the Netherlands, who has three gold medals, will be looking to add one more to their list on home turf. Along with the Netherlands, Germany will be looking for its third trophy while current 2010 Champions Australia will look to defend their title.

Looking to build off of momentum in Scotland, the stars and stripes feature the same 18 person line-up as Champions Challenge. Veteran Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) and captain Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.) bring more than 450 combined international matches of experience to the pitch. Several of their teammates are also on the brink of reaching 100 caps during the course of the tournament.

Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) and Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.), Team USA’s top goal scorers at Champions Challenge, intend to continue the streak at World Cup, while keepers Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.) and Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.) defend the net.

Support Team USA throughout the entirety of the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup! Chase the Cup with U.S. and watch matches live on our World Cup event page located here.