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2017 Age Group Worlds, from Holland, 3

Third day of practice: Colombian U23 women

We arrange a morning scrimmage with the U23 Colombian women and by coincidence, arrive at the pool at the same time. A group picture is taken.

We like scrimmaging with women. They play a clean game and allows us to work on our play sequence. But they still demand a high level game from us and command our respect. We have Justin Lee back with us but we are still short handed as Ben Zeigler is still out with the stomach bug that we fear is going around.

As a courtesy for development, the refs ask me how I would like the practice scrimmage officiated: minimal, regular or maximum number of penalties called. I tell him regular. I know the ref and suspect that there will make more than enough calls on us. I'm right as eight out of ten calls go against our boys and Ryan and Quantum sit in the penalty box. Still, it prepares us to play short handed when the games will count. The women are well coached and their set plays executed with precision. But by halftime, they have become predictable and we intercept several passes that we see coming. Final score USA 3 Colombia 1.

Our lineup:

Starting Center Forward: Zakk Outram. Big, strong and fast striker with good stick skills. Plays with Los Angeles and has been playing in the A division at Nationals for four years. Zakk gives us real punch up front and we are fortunate to have him at the pivot.

Starting Left Forward: Vice Captain Raymond Dai. Fit and fast, can be summed up by a comment that USA elite player Lyndon Rives said to me at the U.S. Men's training event last December: "He's good". Raymond was a starter at the 2015 worlds and will be a player to be watched in the years ahead.

Starting right Forward: Calvin Chan. Although Calvin has been playing for four years, he lacks experience at high level tournaments. Calvin has the fastest set times in training and is looking to have a breakout performance in these games.

Starting Center Back: Eric Mai. Big and strong, Eric has determination and commitment. A veteran of four Nationals and was on the team at 2015 Worlds. Eric is a switch player who can be depended on to play forward or back.

Starting Left Back: Quantum Zhuo. Captain of the team. Plays with the heart of a champion. A gifted stopper. Has the best flick on the team. Four U.S. Nationals and a starter at the 2015 worlds. Enough said.

Starting Right back: Ryan Situ. Best stick handler on the team. A natural athlete with quick moves and speed. Four Nationals and worlds experience.

Back: Ben Leo. Fit and strong, Ben plays with the Roger Bacon and Cincinnati UWH clubs. Past captain of the Roger Bacon Varsity and a veteran of three U.S. Nationals. A switch player at forward

Forward: Dayak Cabrera. Strong, and aggressive. Dayak is our enforcer but vulnerable to penalty calls. If he plays under control, Dayak can have a great tournament here at worlds. Two Nationals under his belt.

Forward: Ben Zeigler. Fast and smart. High level competitive swimmer. Plays with the Sebastopol Sharks club. Has the least amount of high level tournament experience on the team but learns quickly and understands our game plan strategies. A competitor.

Back: Justin Lee. Good stick skills and a great flick. Playing with the S.F. Sea Lions since he was nine. At 13.8, youngest player on the team. Youngest athlete of the Worlds tournament. Selected to recite the player's oath at the opening ceremonies.

Tomorrow is our last practice day. Tom and I invite the French U23 women to scrimmage with us and they accept. It's a late morning slot and our only game. In the afternoon, we'll head for the opening ceremonies and march in with the entire U.S. Delegation.

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