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LIMA, Peru - August 1, 2019 - In their second game of the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, the No. 24 U.S. Men’s National Team took on No. 10 Canada at the Villa Maria del Triunfo complex. With both teams undefeated in pool play and producing strong performances heading into this match-up, the game was bound to be a hard-fought battle. Although USA saw plenty of chances to convert, Canada came out on top scoring four goals as the red, white and blue dropped to second in Pool B Standings.
The first quarter opened with Canada using their backfield to move the ball into USA’s defensive end. Four minutes in, Mark Pearson earned the first penalty corner of the game for Canada, which resulted in a goal as Gordon Johnston sent a drag flick high into the left corner. Canada did not relent, putting lots of pressure on USA as they looked to counter. USA brought the same pressure, double-teaming the ball on each Canada possession. Further into the period, Brenden Bissett entered the USA circle but his shot was saved by USA goalkeeper Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany). With four minutes remaining in the frame, Canada recreated their first goal as Johnston put another drag off a penalty corner away. USA trailed 0-2 when the buzzer sounded.
Two minutes into the second quarter Canada extended their lead. A hard hit into the circle from Brandon Pereira was redirected toward goal before Keegan Pereira and Pearson put it in to make it 0-3. A minute later, USA looked to answer as they were awarded their first penalty corner. Aki Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) attempted to drag the shot, but Canada's flyer got in the way. At the 22nd minute mark, a hard Canada ball was sent into the circle from the right corner. Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Calif.) made the stop that sparked USA's offense, but the play was quickly turned over. The red, white and blue continued to amp up the pressure, cornering the Canada offenders as they tried to keep possession. Fighting until time ticked away, Pat Harris (Moorpark, Calif.) drove to the right and sent a back foot ball toward the circle but it was deflected high over the end line. The half concluded with USA trailing, 0-3.
USA wasted no time working the ball toward their attacking end at the start of the third quarter. Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) earned what became a sequence of three consecutive penalty corners for USA. Canada’s defense and goalkeeper David Carter turned away each attempt that was taken by A. Kaeppler. A few minutes later, Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands) and Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.) teamed up against Carter, but a Canada defender recovered just in time. Orozco got a second chance shot that was deflected high and went uncalled. Despite the pressure from USA, Canada notched another goal in the 38th minute as quick passing went to Jamie Wallace who sent reverse pass to James Kirkpatrick who dove for the tip to make it 0-4. Shortly following, Johnston's drag on Canada’s third penalty corner was stopped high by Klages as well as the two follow up attempts.
To begin the final quarter of action, USA was awarded two penalty corners within a few seconds of each other. The first, a slip drag by K. Kaeppeler, was defended well by Canada, but USA regained possession quickly and earned another chance. The second, this time taken by A. Kaeppeler, was blocked by Carter and cleared out by the defense. Two minutes later, the seventh penalty corner for USA was disrupted by a miscue, and the ball was sent over the end line. USA continued to threaten with under 10 minutes in the match. A backfield transfer ball found Michael Barminski (Ventura, Calif.) on the left side. He sent a backhand cross in and as K. Kaeppeler dove, Carter stepped to make the clear. USA continued to fight and earned two penalty corners called as time ran out. The first resulted in a second as Sean Cicchi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) took the sweep that hit a foot. The following was taken again by Cicchi with the rebound popping off of a defender’s stick. Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.) was unable to collect with the ball in the air, and the match concluded with a score of USA 0, Canada 4.
In their final pool match of the 2019 Pan American Games, the U.S. Men's National Team will face No. 32 Mexico on Saturday, August 3 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Tomorrow, the U.S. Women's National Team will take on hosts Peru at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Team USA is ready in Lima with a gold medal and automatic qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the line. With that, fans and followers can join the conversation and follow along with additional story lines with the hashtag #AllEyesOnLima on social media and usafieldhockey.com. Check back often for more stories around USMNT and USWNT athletes, umpires, venue, history and more as the Pan American Games get underway.
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