GLASGOW, Scotland – For the second day in a row, the No. 22 U.S. Men’s National Team faced No. 15 Wales, this time in the 3rd/4th place game of the 4-Nations Tournament at the Uddingston Cricket and Hockey Club in Glasgow, Scotland. Trailing 2-0 at the half, USA was unable to produce on their opportunities as Wales went on to win 5-0.
“This tournament was a learning experience, especially for the new and young players who made their debut,” said Harry Singh, USMNT Head Coach. “I think we played some excellent hockey on this entire tour but unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we were expecting. We now know what we have to do to get our team better in every tour and tournament. I am proud of our boys and the way they fought in this tournament despite not having privilege of playing or making subs from 24 players.”
Wales controlled much of the possession in the opening minutes as USA absorbed the attack and did not allow a circle entry. Wales’s persistence paid off and in the 4th minute, Gareth Griffiths drove the top of the circle and won a penalty corner. Gareth Furlong stepped up and drug it into the right side of the net to give Wales a 1-0 lead. On the restart, USA got in their offensive end but couldn’t produce an outcome in their attacking 25. The red, white and blue kept trying to break through the defense and in the 13th minute, Aki Kaeppeler (New York City, N.Y.) dribbled in the air to get into the circle and send an upright reverse, high and wide. Wales immediately countered and quick passing led to Griffiths sweeping it in off the back post. Wales came out of the first quarter leading 2-0.
Two minutes into the second frame, USA earned a penalty corner after Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) took a free hit quickly, got into the circle and hit a lifted ball at Wales goalkeeper Dewi Roblin that was saved dangerously into Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas). USA was very close at converting as A. Kaeppeler’s low drag rung off the left post. USA continued to put Wales’s defense under pressure in search to cut the goal margin. In the 20th minute, Wales earned a set piece, that was defended well by USA’s first runner Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.). A close chance came for USA with 2 minutes remaining until the break when A. Kaeppeler threaded a long pass to Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Calif.) in the left corner and he crossed it into the circle where K. Kaeppeler took it off a defender and was 1v1 with Roblin, but he sent the shot over the goal. USA kept up the high pressure in the following minute but were unable to get on the board.
Wales came out searching in the third quarter and extend their lead off a penalty corner when Rupert Shipperley tipped it past USA goalkeeper Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany) in the 32’ minute. Both sides had positive circle entries with Wales testing Klages on a high angle tip and Montilla nearly missing a tip in front of Roblin. In the 40th minute Wales made the most of a set piece when Furlong sent a drag into the lower left corner to make it 4-0.
USA felt the tension of the score in the fourth quarter but continued to fight for an outcome. In the 46th minute Furlong was issued a 5-minute yellow giving the red, white and blue an athlete advantage. Trying to make the most of it, USA had a close chance in the 50th minute when Marius Leser (Mannheim, Germany) took it into the circle and Kai Kokolakis’ (Wiesbaden, Germany) sweep sailed over the goal. On the restart, Wales broke through USA’s defense and James Carson’s shot was saved by Klages but unfortunate on the rebound, Carson got it back and scored to make it 5-0. USA fended off a Wales 2 shot and 1 penalty corner, and even played an athlete down after A. Kaeppeler was issued a 5-minåute yellow, as the game closed.
The USMNT will have two Open Trial weekends in August (East Coast) and September (West Coast) for athletes interested in consideration for the 2022-23 USMNT or Development Team. More information can be found here.
The USMNT would like to thank the U.S. Men's Field Hockey Foundation for their support for making the trip to Scotland for the 4-Nations Tournament possible.
For more information on the 4-Nations Tournament, visit the event page.
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