Men's National Team Handball Team to Compete in Final 2007 Pan American Games Qualifying Event
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Men's National Team Handball Team will begin competition tonight in the final 2007 Pan American Games Qualifying Event in Santiago, Chile. The U.S. must win the three team event, featuring Chile, Venezuela and the U.S., to qualify for the 2007 Pan American Games which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13-29.
Team USA will face Venezuela tonight, Friday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and will play host country Chile, Saturday, April 7, also at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Chile will host Venezuela in the final game of the event on Sunday, April 8.
The team that finishes the event in first place (as decided by a point system) will be awarded the eighth and final qualification slot for the 2007 Pan American Games. In their first opportunity to qualify for the 2007 Pan American Games, the U.S. Men fell short; losing two games to one to Canada in the North Region 2007 Pan American Games Qualification Event, January 4-7, 2007 in Lake Placid, N.Y. and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The U.S. men narrowly lost to Canada, dropping game one by only one point; they defeated Canada by four goals in game two and lost to Canada by four goals in the final game. Over the three game series, they only scored one fewer goal than Canada.
Qualifying for the 2007 Pan American Games is a crucial step in the qualification process for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The gold medal winning team at the 2007 Pan American Games will receive an automatic berth into the 2008 Olympic Games.
The U.S. women failed in their final bid to qualify for the 2007 Pan American Games, March 29-31 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Please see below for the Team USA Men's Roster for this weekend's event:
Tony Steffen (Marietta, Ga.)
Ryan Hansell (Marietta, Ga.)
Levi Henderson (Austell, Ga.)
Gill Bozeman (Marietta, Ga.)
Patrick Oliver (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Jeff Goss (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Darrick Heath (Austell, Ga.)
Derek Brown (Washington, D.C.)
Alex McGlynn (Atlanta, Ga.)
Tom Fitzgerald (North Babylon, N.Y.)
Divine Jackson (Hempstead, N.Y.)
Gary Hines (Mableton, Ga.)
Bill Bigham (Atlanta, Ga.)
Italo Zanzi (Manhassett, N.Y.)
Danny Caparelli (Floral Park, N.Y.)
Matt Van Houten (Ithaca, N.Y.)
Head Coach: Chris Cappelmann (Marietta, Ga.)
Team Leader: Dennis Berkholtz (Park City, Utah)
Athletic Trainer: Josh Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.)
For more information, please contact Cecil Bleiker, United States Olympic Committee NGB Services Manager at 719-866-4608.