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USA Junior Men Make Progress in Group Matches - 2019 Junior IHF World Championships

July 19, 2019, 4:38 p.m. (ET)

July 19, 2019—Vigo, Spain

The men’s junior national team arrived on the Iberian Peninsula two weeks ago, and after a successful training camp in Sao Pedro do Sol, Portugal, with friendlies against Argentina and Bahrain. The young men from the United States have opened up Group A play with two losses, the first against defending World Champion, Spain, and last night against the perennial Balkan powerhouse, Serbia. “There were strong moments in each game,” says USA head coach, Julio Sainz, “but the quality of talent and depth of rosters of these two European powerhouses proved too much in the end.”

On Tuesday, in nearby Pontevedra, Team USA opened up group play against host Spain in front of a packed house, losing 13-34 (8-13), closing out the game with a spirited defensive showing and solid goalkeeping from Nico Robinson and Rene Ingram. Led in scoring by Amir Seifert, Sebastian Wheeler, and Eleyes Baltagi, the young men from the United States regrouped at the half and walked away with a glimpse of good things to come.

The script was flipped last night in Vigo, Spain with the United States coming out with aggression and confidence against a fully loaded Serbian squad, playing goal-for-goal for the first 27 minutes of the game. Led by incredible goalkeeping by Rene Ingram, who saved four of the first five shots he faced, the United States team appeared ready to take a moral victory into the locker-room at halftime, but inconsistent play in the last three minutes helped Serbia surge ahead at the break. In the second half, the U.S. juniors fell back to Earth, losing 19-36 (9-13). Led in scoring by Sebastian Wheeler, Amar Amitovic, and Amir Seifert, the United States now turn their focus to Slovenia, the current European champions. The throw-off for today’s game is at 1:00 PM EST.