Men's National Team roster for Pan American Games

Aug. 17, 2011, 1:35 p.m. (ET)

USA Team Handball announced today a 15-player roster, plus four alternates, that will compete in the Pan American Games from October 14-25 in Guadalajara, Mexico.  

Head Coach Darrick Heath will lead the USA Men in their first appearance in the Pan American Games since 2003 in the Dominican Republic where they earned a Bronze Medal.

“The roster is a culmination of three years of work from the coaches and technical staff,” General Manager Steve Pastorino said. “We firmly believe that our team is in a position to medal at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara.”

The squad is mainly unchanged from the one that lead Team USA to victory in June’s Second Chance Tournament after defeating Guatemala, 38-24, and drawing Uruguay, 23-23. It features 12 rostered players and two alternates from the victorious team.

One of the three new additions to the squad is back court player Adam El Zoghby who was injured in December’s Pan American Games Qualification Series but has recently returned to practice for Al-Ahly.  From 2000-2008, El-Zoghby played in 130 international matches for the Eyptian national teams at the youth, junior, and senior level before choosing to play for the United States in 2009.

The other new additions to Team USA are Joe Lamour and Justin Key. Lamour is a veteran of the Men’s National Team program and was selected to the original roster for the Pan American Games Qualification Series before having to withdraw due to professional obligations

Key, a member of the Army’s WCAP program, scored seven goals in the Pan American Games Qualification Series versus Canada. Carsen Chun and Danny Kimmich of the Air Force along with alternate Alex Mulliin of the Army round out the military presence in the squad, maintaining the long tradition of team handball excellence in the armed forces.

Leading scorer Martin Clemons Axelsson, high-flying Gary Hines, and right-wing revelation Karim Badr will once again provide the firepower for Team USA. Axelsson recently signed with a new club for the 2011-12 season, BSK/NIF in Norway, as he looks to round into form for Team USA’s biggest competition of the year.

­Eighteen year old rising star Michael Williams, who keyed the U.S. attack in Guatemala, is set to return to an even bigger stage while fellow youngster, the towering 6’8” Domagoj Srsen, who plays in the Croatian 1st Division, will look for a greater role in the American front line.

The veteran goalkeeping duo of Danny Capparelli and David Thompson will once again bring their great international experience to a squad that wants to learn what it feels like to win a medal on the international stage. Also providing a veteran presence is long-time captain Mark Ortega who looks to achieve his goal of Olympian qualification

Jordan Fithian and Hans Self, two of the eight players on the roster who played for German clubs in the last year, round out one of the more battle-tested USA teams in recent years. Twelve of the 15 rostered players played overseas this past season.

Goalkeepers Gabe Goodreau and Ivan Ignjatovic as well as Guillermo Acevedo and Mullin will serve as alternates to the 15-player roster.

The winner of the 2011 Pan American Games earns a bid to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London while the second and third place finishers will compete in an Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Europe in May 2012.  The USA will play Argentina, Dominican Republic, and Mexico in group play, with the top two teams advancing to the medal rounds.

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Danny Capparelli 36 GK New York Athletic Club
David Thompson 31 GK ATH United
Martin Clemons Axelsson 30 RB Lilestrom (SWE)
Karim Badr 29 RW GSC (EGY)
Carsen Chun 24 RW Air Force / SG Nussloch
Adam El Zoghby 25 RB Al-Ahly (EGY)
Jordan Fithian 25 CR TV Gelnhausen (GER)
Gary Hines 27 LB HSC Bad Neustadt (GER)
Justin Key  24 LW Army
Danny Kimmich 26 CR Air Force / TV Ramstein (GER)
Joe Lamour 28 CB ATH United
Mark Ortega 33 CB CDE Sinfin (ESP)
Hans Self 23 LW SG Bruchkoebel (GER)
Domagoj Srsen 20 LB RK Bjelovar (CRO)
Michael Williams 18 CB SG Flensburg (GER)
Alternates: Gabe Goodreau (GK), Ivan Ignjatovic (GK), Guillermo Acevedo (BC), and Alex Mullin (RW).
Head Coach: Darrick Heath Assistant Coach: Wade Sutton
Team Leader: Jim Thome