Team USA readies for Pan Am Team Handball Federation Championships

June 04, 2012, 12 a.m. (ET)

Team USA readies for Pan Am Team Handball Federation Championships.

General Manager Dave Gascon today spoke of the various activities of the USATH MNT staff as they prepare to take the USA Men's National Team into an important international Competition. "The Pan Am Championship is something Jeff, (Chairman of the Board Jeff Utz) and Mariusz, (Technical Director Mariusz Wartalowicz) and I hoped we could make happen.  It has been a real challenge to ensure our participation in this tournament.  The PATHF Championships serves as a qualifier for the World Championships and so it is obvious how important this is to us. We have some very outstanding handball players and superior athletes developing into handball players that are right on track to challenge most teams in the Western Hemisphere.  We say, send them into action and let's see what they can do!"

While a select committee of former USA Olympians worked on a selection process to find a Head Coach,  Watalowicz and Gascon wrote and refined a selection process from which a committee could pick TEAM USA.

Christian Latulippe was selected after an exhausting search, with Major Michael Tilton from West Point to serve as his assistant.  Wartalowicz was selected as team leader.  They were then joined by Former Head Coach Darrick Heath and his assistant, Wade Sutton, as well as former USA MNT player Daniel Kimmich, to serve as the team selection committee. Team USA and alternates were named last week.

Coach Latulippe commented, "I feel very confident that the team selected by the committee has as much talent and skills as any other team, recognizing that perennial powers Brazil, Argentina, and Chile have exceptional teams. The challenge for the coaching staff and the players is to transform our abilities into unity and a team. The new faces need to bring their excitement and desire, and understand what should be their role today and where they need to be tomorrow. The veteran and more experienced players need to pave the way and take their responsibilities. As Henry Ford once said: `Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.' We have now a new opportunity."

Assistant Coach Tilton stated, "I'm honored to be a member of this team as we fight our way back into international relevance. This team has people who are willing to do exactly that – fight for every possession, every loose ball, and every defensive stop. The identity of Team USA after 14 days in Argentina will undoubtedly be one of a hard-working family. The team started to come together under Coach Heath in Mexico, and while the results in the win column weren't where we wanted them, those of us in the program can see that the foundation has been laid for future growth. In a few short weeks working with Coach Latulippe, we have discussed the plan for this tournament and we know we can be successful. I'm excited to be joining this team right now. I see it as showing up on a building project with an architect’s blueprint and the resources to make the project a reality. We know where we need to go and what we need to do. The only thing left is to roll up our sleeves and do it."

Team USA will head off to Argentina on June 10th.