MOORPARK, Calif. - December 3, 2019 - Last weekend, the Junior U.S. Men's National Training Squads wrapped up their first training camp and test matches following the newly named squad announcement in October. While the U-21 USMNT clinched their four-game series against Canada, both the U-16 & U-18 USMNT made great strides in their games in this year-end training.
Taking place in Moorpark, Calif., the training camp ran from Sunday, November 24 to Thursday, November 28, with two-games a day taking place on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The USMNT staff selected the competing roster each game day based on athletes’ performance at the training camp. Teams were fielded from athletes in the U-16/U-18 and U-21 divisions.
The U-18 USMNT played the first game of the series on Sunday and got off to a bumpy start, falling 1-5. When this squad took the field for their second game, they closed the differential and finished a hard fought contest, falling 0-1 to Canada.
The young U-16 USMNT played the same Canada team as the U-18 squad and lost the first match 1-11. However, their second match played on a cold and rainy day was a nail-biter, even taking the lead several times but they ultimately fell 3-4.
The U-21 USMNT had an impressive showing over their four games, successfully winning the series over a tough Canada opponent. They tied the first game, 1-1, and won the second, 3-1, lost the third, 1-2, and won the final match, 3-2. The last game saw several U-18 USMNT athletes play up to assist with fielding a full roster as some athletes had early departures.
“A great finish of the year for the junior program," said Rutger Wiese, Junior USMNT Head Coach, regarding the training camp week. "Winning both series this year versus Chile and Canada, gives the U-21 a lot of positive energy heading into 2020. I look forward to seeing the guys back in January to take the next steps in their development.”
“It was also great to see that both our younger squads were able to quickly adjust to the level during the week," continued Wiese. "They both competed for every inch and the staff can’t wait to get to work with these young men in 2020."
A special thank you goes to the U.S. Men’s Field Hockey Booster Club and Elaine Harris who hosted a Thanksgiving meal for both teams on Tuesday, November 26. A meal was provided for all athletes, coaches, staff and parents of the five teams. Another thank you to the Field Hockey Federation for providing live stream coverage.
For more information regarding the Junior USMNT vs. Canada series including the schedule, results, rosters and more, check out the official event page by clicking here.