FIH Series Finals: USMNT Closing in as Olympic Hopefuls

June 13, 2019, 9:40 a.m. (ET)

BHUBANESWAR, India – June 12, 2019 – Before entering Kalinga Stadium for the first time, before stepping on and off the plane for the FIH Series Finals and even before competition began in 2019, the U.S. Men’s National Team has had one goal in mind: to earn their way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Hard work, grit and determination have paved the way thus far over the past several months, with that goal nearly in sight as USA awaits to take the pitch in the semifinals of the FIH Series Finals tomorrow.

No. 25 USA will play in a rematch against No. 16 South Africa on Friday with bigger stakes. On the line is the right to play in an Olympic Qualifying event later this year, putting the USMNT’s ultimate goal the past three years one step closer. For the wolfpack, it has been crunch time since missing out on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, marking 20 years since appearing on one of field hockey’s biggest stages. The roadmap they carved out in a humid hotel room in Trinidad and Tobago following the FIH Hockey World League Round 2 detailed everything from training, fitness and diet to various tours and tournaments like the FIH Series Finals.

Game play on Friday will solidify USA’s efforts post-road to Rio, win or lose, but a win makes their path that much shorter to the Olympic stage. They face a fork in the road currently to get to Tokyo with India on one side and Peru on the other in the form of the Pan American Games. Opportunity has never been higher for the USMNT. All that stands in their way is 60 minutes behind a well-executed game plan.

The U.S. Men’s National Team's semifinal matchup against South Africa is set for Friday, June 14 at 7:30 a.m. ET. Tune in and cheer on the red, white and blue on Bleacher Report Live. For more information, including results, full schedule, rosters and more, check out the FIH Series Finals event page by clicking here. #FIHSeriesFinals