LANCASTER, Pa. – July 28, 2017 – Just one week remains before the start of the largest field hockey event in the country in decades. The 2017 Pan American Cups (PAC) begins with the men’s division opening pool play on Friday, August 4 at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa.
FIH World Hero Ranked No. 26 USA is in Pool A along with No. 1 Argentina, No. 27 Chile and No. 48 Venezuela. Pool B consists of No. 11 Canada, No. 29 Brazil, No. 33 Trinidad & Tobago and No. 41 Mexico. Crossover games and semifinal matchups will begin following round robin pool play on Thursday, August 10. The men’s event will conclude on Saturday, August 12 with the seventh-place, fifth-place, bronze and gold medal games.
Among the most intriguing matchups are those on opening day, where several nations aim to begin on a high note.
Friday, August 4, 2017
10:00 a.m. CHI vs VEN
12:00 p.m. CAN vs TTO
5:00 p.m. BRA vs MEX
7:00 p.m. ARG vs USA
Sunday, August 6, 2017
10:00 a.m. BRA v CAN
12:00 p.m. TTO vs MEX
5:00 p.m. CHI vs ARG
7:00 p.m. USA vs VEN
Tuesday, August 8 2017
10:00 a.m. TTO vs BRA
12:00 p.m. ARG vs VEN
5:00 p.m. CAN vs MEX
7:00 p.m. USA vs CHI
The eight-team tournament opens next Friday morning with Chile versus Venezuela, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Venezuela comes to Lancaster, Pa. as the lowest ranked squad and making their first PAC appearance since 2004. Chile, who placed first in the 2016 FIH Hockey World League Round 1 in Chiclayo, Peru, hopes to ride momentum and medal for the first time in more than 10 years.
Brazil and Mexico will take the turf the same day at 5 p.m. ET. The two teams have taken turns winning in dramatic fashion against each other in recent international matches. The pressure may be more on Brazil, who fell four spots in the recently released FIH Hero World Rankings, and find themselves trying to form their collaborative team identity with an early lead.
The USMNT will close out the opening day of PAC against the Rio 2016 Olympic Gold Medalists Argentina. The Los Leones, who are also the reigning PAC champions, recently punched their ticket to the 2018 Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup after winning their final four games at the FIH Hockey World League SemiFinals in London, England in June. For USA, it is a first major test for a fresh-looking team, as well as head coach Rutger Wiese after being named to the position in January.
Other key matchups will come in the following days, first with Canada and Brazil on Sunday August 6 at 10 a.m. ET. Canada has medaled in every PAC thus far, winning one gold and three silvers. The quest for number five means going through a Brazil team that took Canada in to shootouts in the last Pan American Games.
Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico will face off next at 12 p.m. ET. The two teams have not met much in recent years, but for Trinidad and Tobago, the PAC means riding the recent success from April’s FIH Hockey World League Round 2 where the host nation finished fourth.
Click here to read about Top Men’s PAC Games to Watch.
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