USA to host world's best
30 Jan 2006 07:34
USA will host the world's top three women’s teams in a double round-robin tournament, from 17-27 August at the University of Maryland and the USA Field Hockey National Training Center in Virginia Beach.
In a prelude to the women’s Samsung Hockey World Cup in September/October, the USA will host world No. 1 Netherlands, No. 2 Argentina and No. 3 Australia in the 14-match tournament. The USA currently ranks 12th in the international standings.
The Netherlands, Argentina and Australia have already qualified for the World Cup as continental champions, while the USA will attempt to earn its spot in the International Hockey Federation's premier event at the Samsung Hockey World Cup Qualifier from 25 April 25-6 May in Rome, Italy. The World Cup is schedule for 27 September-7 October in Madrid, Spain.
For the USA event, the teams will begin the tournament at the University. of Maryland with first round games from 17-20 August.
The teams will then travel down to Virginia Beach for the second round of play from 23-26 August. The tournament concludes with the consolation and championship matches on 27 August in Virginia Beach.
The world's top ranked team, the Netherlands earned the silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games and captured top honours at the Champions Trophy competition in late 2005.
Argentina is the defending world champion and earned the bronze medal at the Athens Olympic Games. Australia placed second at the 2005 Champions Trophy and won the Olympic gold medal in 1996 and 2000.
The tournament brings the world's top-ranked teams to the United States for the first time since the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Australia captured the gold medal at the 1996 Games while the Netherlands earned the bronze medal. The USA placed fifth and Argentina placed seventh.