The USA Men’s Senior National team is training in Germany this week as they continue their preparation for the Pan American Games. The new coaching staff lead by Robert Hedin is working to set up as many opportunities for men’s national team athletes to come together and train.
This week has started off strong for the MNT with two wins. USA finished their first match against HSG St. Leon/ Reilingen 42-28. Leading scorer for USA from the Pan American Championships, Sam Hoddersen showcased his talents on Tuesday night with 14 goals. Gary Hines, a top contributor during the Pan American Games Qualifier had 7 goals, with Ian Hüter and Paul Skorupa each adding 4 goals. Ethan Pickett, Antoine Baup, and newcomer from the Junior National Team, Sebastian Wheeler added 3 goals. Alec Zeck added two more, and Alex Binderis with one. Rene Ingram and Eric Finch defended the goal for the 14-goal victory.
Setting up trainings for the national team is no easy feat when National Team Pool athletes are competing across Europe and USA. Assistant coach Mark Ortega shared, “We are working to get as many players as we can involved. The training camps in USA and Europe will be great opportunities for players and coaches to work together. Robert Hedin is still learning who the USA National Team is, and this training camp is a great opportunity to continue to evaluate players and have those athletes play higher level games together in preparation for Pan American Games.”
Last night, the MNT played HSC Bad Neustadt–home to USA’s backcourt and Left Wing Gary Hines. He took the spotlight, suiting up for both teams Wednesday night. In the first half, Hines scored 3 goals for his home team HSC, with two of the three from penalty shots. At half-time with the score tied 17-17 Hines switched jerseys and joined Team USA and added 4 goals for USA in the second half. Sam Hoddersen led USA with 10 goals. Abou Fofana added 6 goals with 3 of those goals from penalty shots. Ian Hüter scored 5 goals, Ethan Pickett with 3, Antoine Baup with 2, and Alex Binderis with 1. Coach Hedin said “HSC Bad Neustadt welcomed us as a gracious host. We are happy with the result and the growth from our team.” Even though the coaching staff was disappointed with a few too many missed shots, USA was victorious 32-30.
With so many games and training camps, this has encouraged a much-needed exposure for the Men’s National team throughout Europe and USA. From younger to more developed players, the coaching staff is looking to mold this team with the best players as possible for Pan American Games in July of 2019. This process takes time and continued involvement from athletes and coaches.
The Men’s National Team will close their European training camp with their final game on Friday night against TSV St. Otmar St. Gallen of Switzerland.
Men’s athletes interested in the National Team can attend the upcoming tryout on November 10th and 11th in Auburn, Alabama USA at Auburn University. Athletes can view the event for details on the tryout, and contact assistant coach Mark Ortega for more information at Mark@usateamhandball.org.