In one month, the U.S. Men’s National Team is set to begin their first major competition of 2019 in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Series Finals in Bhubaneswar, India.
Serving as one possible way of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, USA has been hard at work the past several months preparing as one of eight teams in competition.
As the final stage of the 2018-19 FIH Series, the Finals consists of at least five qualified teams from the FIH Series Open (previously named the Hockey Series Open).
The top two teams from each FIH Series Finals will secure a place in the Qualification Events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which will be held in October and November 2019.
The FIH Series Finals consists of three separate tournaments and locations, each one consisting of eight teams playing in them, with berths into the Olympic qualifiers up for grabs.
USA found their way to Bhubaneswar, India after claiming first place in the Hockey Series Open in Salamanca, Mexico last June.
With a tournament record of 3-1-0, USA tied with Mexico atop the standings heading in to their final match. After posting a 22-0 win over Panama, USA, who was ranked No. 26 at the time, finished ahead of Mexico with a higher goal differential.
Beginning on May 15, the team will meet in The Netherlands at the Hockey Club Hilversum for final preparations before departing for India.
They will play practice matches against Ireland on May 24 and 26.