USA Field Hockey NEWS Athlete Spotlight: S...

Athlete Spotlight: Shomik Chakraborty

Sept. 04, 2020, 2 p.m. (ET)

Each athlete that wears the red, white and blue has a unique story to how their careers came to fruition. From the junior level to the senior squad, USA Field Hockey is putting national team athletes under the spotlight to share their journeys.

No matter where you travel or live, sport is a universal language. Having played field hockey on four continents growing up, Shomik Chakraborty shows no signs of slowing down in goal in any capacity as a member of the U.S. U-21 Men’s National Team and U.S. Men's National Indoor Team.

Chakraborty was introduced to field hockey through his physical education class, a required part of the curriculum from third to fifth grade. The sport stuck and he has been playing ever since and played several positions before deciding to suit up as goalkeeper.  

“I started out as a center back or sweeper but started playing in goal in sixth grade as an older team in my school needed a goalkeeper for a game,” said Chakraborty. "I played soccer for my school and local club teams through until the end of high school which I think really helped me as a goalkeeper.”

Chakraborty has played for a number of clubs growing up stateside and abroad. Like many seeking to excel in sports, progress has its ups and downs. In high school for instance, he was cut from the Leinster U-16 team in Ireland in the ninth grade before ultimately making the U-18 squad in the 12th grade. Between this he also spent time in the United States as well as Germany where he continued to play field hockey, in addition to soccer.

“I spent half of tenth grade in Connecticut because my mom was working there and the second half in Germany because my dad lives there,” continued Chakraborty. “During that time I focused more on soccer, although I did train some with German club Uhlenhorst Mühlheim, which was eye opening.”

Chakraborty has also been a member of the Railway Union club in Dublin since the seventh grade and continues to be an active member when time permits while in college. He is currently a junior at Georgetown University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in international politics and a minor in German. Because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Chakraborty is learning remotely from Dublin while continuing to stay sharp in goal with Railway Union.

While he was on campus, Chakraborty remained very active with Georgetown’s cricket club team, as well as the university’s South Asian Society and also played a role in “Abissa”, a fashion show with the African Student Group. He also is an active member of the DC Dragons and Washington Field Hockey Association.

His studies were also the connecting point to the U.S. Men’s Olympic Development Pipeline. During his freshman year he began playing both indoor and outdoor field hockey for East Coast High Performance and participated in tournaments like in the Northeast Field Hockey League and National Indoor Tournament. 

“I [participated in the] indoor trials for the U.S. team that year but was actually cut,” said Chakraborty. “My sophomore year I went to the Talent Identification Camp where I got selected for the Junior National Team and shortly afterward I was called back to the indoor team. My first game, against Canada, was crazy as the game was really close and we scored a last minute equalizer before going on to win the series 2-1. Being on the Junior U.S. Men’s National Team has been great because it’s a great group of guys which means training camps and tours are always a good time.”

So far in his early career Charkraborty toured with the U-21 USWNT to Bueno Aries, Argentina earlier this year, and remains a personal favorite. His other was his first series with USA against Canada in November 2019.

“Against Canada we performed well and got the results we wanted, whereas I did not feel like I played my best in Argentina,” noted Chakraborty. “It was still a fantastic experience, going to Buenos Aires and getting to see a new part of the world as well as being away with the lads.”

While COVID-19 ended the friendly the series against Argentina earlier than expected, Chakraborty has been staying busy between classes and personal training by volunteer coaching younger kids with Railway Union.