After a five-year absence, the USA men’s and women’s national teams will resume training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center following the installation of a new AstroTurf synthetic surface at the OTC’s Alex G. Spanos Field Hockey facility.
The USA Teams will officially open the new surface during a ribbon cutting ceremony on 11 February. The ceremony will follow the U.S. teams’ Gold Medal Clinic and precede a match between the U.S. men and the Dutch club Bloemendaal.
“The restoration of the Chula Vista field with the new AstoTurf surface is a critical piece in putting together the puzzle of returning our Women’s National Team to world prominence,” said USA Field Hockey President Sharon Taylor.
“By utilising the Chula Vista site for our Men’s National Team, our Futures program and the many other national and local competitions, we are able to support the overall programming goals of USA Field Hockey.”
With support from the USOC and a recently launched fundraising effort from the U.S. Field Hockey Foundation, USA Field Hockey installed the new AstroTurf System 12 surface to replace the original 1994 turf.
The U.S. teams discontinued training at the Chula Vista site in 2001 as the surface became increasingly worn and unplayable.
“We obviously welcome the return of USA Field Hockey,” said the USOC’s Director of Olympic Training at Chula Vista Patrice Milkovich.
“The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Southern California plays a vital role in providing an ideal environment to supplement training without being interrupted by inclement weather. Also, given the emergence of the girls’ interscholastic field hockey programs in San Diego County alone, the complex has the potential to open many doors for future Olympians.”
With the new surface, the Chula Vista facility will serve as the U.S. women’s warm-weather, winter training home during January and February. The team will train in Chula Vista through February in preparation for the Samsung Hockey World Cup Qualifier from 26 April-7 May in Rome, Italy. The U.S. women are headquartered at the USA Field Hockey National Training Center in Virginia Beach.
“The continuing partnership between USA Field Hockey and the U.S. Olympic Committee is invaluable to the sport and out international efforts, and we are excited about this step” said Taylor.
“The Chula Vista site complements our training center in Virginia Beach, giving us two sites for attracting world-class competition, no matter the season of the year.”
The Chula Vista facility will also be utilised as the West Coast home for the U.S. men’s team as well as providing a field hockey venue for the Chula Vista and San Diego school districts, community programs, area club teams and USA Field Hockey’s Futures Olympic development program.
The U.S. teams will continue the new turf’s inauguration with the U.S. women meeting the Dutch club Klein Zwitzerland in matches on 13, 14, 16 and 17 February, while the U.S. men will meet Canada in matches on 17, 18 and 19 February.
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