IHF Cup Update USA Improves to First PlaceTeam USA improved to 2-0 at the IHF Cup with a 32-18 victory of an outstanding Paraguayan team. The team, now ranked first in the tournament, was led offensively by ASOBAL bound, Javier Coba Galindo. The Paraguayans implemented a mixed zonal defense in the hopes of limiting Galindo. The strategy backfired and instead played as an advantage for USA, whom quickly found open spaces that allowed the team's pivot, Lliam Meyers, to score on seven occasions.
The team's defense was strategically designed to eliminate the Paraguayan's team. Consequently, the Paraguayans only scored on six occasions during the entire second half while USA scored 16 times.
Goalie Moritz Marx turned in another stellar performance, remaining instrumental to the team's overall success thus far in the tournament.
The team's contributions to the win came as follows:
Javier Galindo: 10 goals
Lliam Meyers: 7 goals
Kevin Koerner: 4 goals
Abu Fofana: 4 goals
Connor Holt: 4 goals
Ian Pinson: 3 goals
These were the words of Coach Mika Maunula at the end of the game:
"… First of all, I am very proud of our players. This junior program has come a long way, and I hope we can continue to develop USA bred players. Our team has shown great character and I believe we will see some of the players, in the future, join the senior national team…"
"… The key to the victory was a strong defense that combined with quick counter attacks. Moreover, the team's previously practiced plays were executed well and resulted in positive results. Our goalkeeper has been an essential part of the team and today our offense backed up our defensive play, resulting in a complete team effort.
With that victory, Team USA is guaranteed to finish no less than bronze. They will take on Venezuela tomorrow at 1800 local time.