Images in video courtesy of Mark Palczewski
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – June 1, 2017 – U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Janneke Schopman has confirmed the 18-athlete traveling roster that will venture to Johannesburg, South Africa for the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals, July 8-23, 2017. The squad, containing a mix of veterans as well as young talent, were up for evaluation during the recent Citi USWNT vs. Ireland Series in hopes of being named to the team. FIH Hockey World League Semifinals holds great potential for Team USA on their quest to advance to the FIH Hockey World League Finals as well as solidify a qualification to the 2018 World Cup.
"Playing the games against Ireland provided us as staff with a lot of valuable information for selecting the players as well as our final weeks of preparation for Hockey World League Semifinals," said Schopman. "Picking the final 18 athletes was tough, the level of some of the players is really close so it made us look at certain details. With this selection, I feel we have a good balance in the team and I’m excited about the journey ahead of us."
The FIH Hockey World League Semifinals will take place at Wits Hockey Club. The event is divided into two pools made up of five teams. FIH Hero World Ranked No. 6 Team USA sits in Pool B with reigning Hockey Champions Trophy and Hockey World League champions, No. 3 Argentina, along with No. 12 India, No. 13 South Africa and No. 20 Chile. The USWNT is set to play Chile in their first pool game on Saturday, July 8 at 10 a.m. EST (4 p.m. local time).
The Hockey World League structure is a newer concept which allows more nations a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. Teams that have made it through Hockey World League Round 1 and Round 2, move on to compete in the Semifinals. Ten teams take part in the Semifinals, which are comprised of the host plus five teams who qualify based on their FIH Hero World Ranking. The remaining four teams qualified through Round 2. Team USA received an automatic bid to this year’s event because of their world ranking.
Watch the video above for the USWNT’s FIH Hockey World League Semifinals Roster. Click here for a list of the athletes selected.
Following the Semifinals, the USWNT will have 12 days to prepare for the women’s Pan American Cup held at the Home of Hockey located at Spooky Nook Sports, in Lancaster, Pa. from August 4-13, 2017. Tickets for this event are available for purchase by clicking here.
For all information regarding the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals in South Africa, including the full schedule, check out the event page by clicking here. #HWL2017 #UN1TED