Wednesday, January 25, 2012


USA Field Hockey on Wednesday announced to withdraw its men's national team from the Olympic qualification tournament to be held in New Delhi, India, from February 18-26. Injuries, job conflicts and player retirements have led to this decision. 

"The decision has been made strategically with the very best outcome for our programme in mind," high performance technical director Terry Walsh said.

"Unavailability of many of the senior players has left the men's programme in a position where our best assembled team has a performance potential well below that required to be competitive in a tournament of this calibre.

"This course of action will be in the best interest of the long-term progress of our national programme."

The USA men's team was selected to attend the first of three Olympic qualifiers after finishing fifth at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. However, employment conflicts has resulted in player unavailability.

Officials did not want to field a largely junior squad with most of the Pan American line-up absent.

"In finding that we have experienced serious erosion within the men's programme due to various team member circumstances, we reluctantly made the difficult decision to withdraw the team from the Olympic qualifiers," USA Field Hockey executive director Steve Locke said.

"Attending a tournament that will feature the world's top ranked teams will only hinder the confidence and development of our junior men.

"In another 12 months, we will see these players begin to flourish and I look forward to seeing the team prepared and engaged with upcoming FIH events in 2012 and 2013."