With just ten days to go for the most-awaited FIH Olympic Qualifiers to begin here at the iconic Kalinga Stadium, the USA Women’s Hockey Team on Friday arrived in the mystical temple city of Bhubaneswar which is now known around the world as a popular hockey destination.
The team’s Skipper Kathleen Sharkey expressed her team’s excitement to play a major event here in India, which has a history of hockey excellence. “It is exciting to be in India. None of us have been here before but we know India has a great history in hockey and people here are very passionate about the sport with a lot of fans coming to watch the matches live. We saw the spectacular Men’s World Cup hosted here in Bhubaneswar. We are looking forward to play here and take home the experience of playing in one of the world’s most famous city for hockey,” stated the 29-year-old who have 174 International Caps to her name.
The Indian Women’s Team had last met the USA during 2018 Women’s World Cup in London where India held USA to a 1-1 draw. Aware of India’s capabilities of doing well, Sharkey said, “Our goal is obviously to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We want to put forth our best in those two games and make sure we play to our potential against India.”
USA’s Head Coach Janneke Schopman, meanwhile expressed her team’s preparedness ahead of the crucial tie against India. She said, “We are well-prepared for the Indian team. They have progressed well over the past year and so have we. We have been following India matches lately. We are expecting close matches and our team is very excited to be here.”
USA will take on India on 1 and 2 November at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.