Wiese Solidifies USMNT Roster to Compete at Hockey Series Final in India, Schedule Released

April 25, 2019, 12:33 p.m. (ET)

BHUBANESWAR, India – April 25, 2019 – Just 41 days remain until the start of the Hockey Series Final in Bhubaneswar, India for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Following a series in Korea this past week and evaluation at multiple training camps, USMNT Head Coach Rutger Wiese and coaching staff have solidified the 18-athlete roster that will represent Team USA from June 6 to 15 in this Olympic qualifying event.

“I’d like to congratulate the selected players on setting the bar very high,” commented Wiese, on the named roster. “This selection was challenging for the staff as the competition within the squad is strong.”

Evaluations of the players took place over the course of the past year, and the USMNT coaching staff decided on the 18 selected players based on tactical, technical, mental and physical criteria. The selected squad is a mix of veterans and young talent, some of whom are getting their first opportunity to perform on the international stage. Leading with experience is the team’s most capped athlete Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Calif.), who is coming off a third-place finish in the Euro Hockey League with Mannheimer HC, captain Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.) and drag flick specialist Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.). This is counter-balanced with a few rookies, two of whom will record their first competition with the senior squad. Julian Croonenberghs (Tervuren, Belgium) and Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) will be earning their first international cap for USA as striker Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) and goalkeeper Daan Wisselink (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) will look to build on an already started career.

Returning to play after a 6-year hiatus is Sean Harris (Moorpark, Calif.). A defender, S. Harris was instrumental in the back during the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico and competed with the team at the most recent USMNT vs. South Korea series.

USMNT Hockey Series Final Roster:

Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.), Tom Barratt (Greensboro, N.C.), Sean Cicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Julian Croonenberghs (Tervuren, Belgium), Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.), Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.), Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Calif.), Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Calif.), Sean Harris (Moorpark, Calif.), Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.), Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands), Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany), Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany), Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany), Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas), Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.), Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.), Daan Wisselink (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Taking place at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed the pools and schedule just this morning. Placed in Pool A is host and highest ranked No. 5 India with No. 21 Poland, No. 22 Russia and No. 43 Uzbekistan. No. 25 USA sits in Pool B with No. 16 South Africa, No. 18 Japan and Pan American foe No. 39 Mexico.

Over the next few weeks, the USMNT will train decentralized. Starting on May 15, the team will be together in The Netherlands at the Hockey Club Hilversum for final preparations before they depart for India. They will play practice matches against Ireland on May 24 and 26.

USMNT Hockey Series Final Schedule:

Wednesday June 5 USA vs. South Africa 11:15 p.m. ET
Saturday, June 8 USA vs. Mexico 7:30 a.m. ET
Sunday, June 9 USA vs. Japan 11:15 p.m. ET

*Per the FIH, all games will be streamed on FIH.Live

The FIH Series Finals include some of the best teams in the world and are one of the roads to reach the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The top two teams from each FIH Series Finals event will secure a place in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers which will be held in October and November 2019 (*).

For more information regarding the Hockey Series Final including the full schedule, rosters, results and more, check out the official event page by clicking here. #FIHSeriesFinals #RoadToTokyo

 

(*) Note: if Japan, Scotland or Wales finish in the top 2 of their respective pools, they will not secure a place in the Olympic Games Qualifiers. Japan have already qualified as both host and winners of the Asian Games; for Scotland and Wales, the reason is that England are the nominated country for GBR’s qualification pathway. If any of these three teams do finish in the top 2, the team that finishes third does NOT automatically qualify for the Olympic Games Qualifiers. Any such additional place is determined by the FIH World Rankings as at the completion of the continental championships (8 September 2019)