USA Softball Men’s National Team arrives in Argentina for Pan American Games and World Championship Qualifier
PARANA, Argentina – The USA Softball Men’s National Team arrived in Argentina on Monday as the team looks to qualify for the 2015 Pan American Games and 2014 International Softball Federation (ISF) XIV Men’s World Championship the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. Team USA will compete in a series of exhibition games against local clubs before kicking off the action at the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship October 24 – November 1 in Parana, Argentina.
“So far everything is going smooth,” said USA Head Coach Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.). “We had a good practice and I feel good about the team and so far we’ve liked what we’ve seen. The guys are doing everything we’ve asked them to do and came ready and in shape. We’ve got five practice games to help us get ready for the tournament and I’m looking forward to seeing these guys get to work
Team USA will begin play in the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam on Friday, October 24 at 2 p.m. ART (12 p.m. CT) against our neighbors to the South, Mexico. Following their opening game with Mexico , the U.S. is scheduled to play seven other round-robin games: Venezuela on October 25, Colombia on October 26, Dominican Republic and Canada on October 27, Cuba on October 28, host country Argentina on October 29 and Guatemala on October 30. The playoffs, which will be determined by performance during round-robin action, are scheduled to begin on October 31 with the finals taking place on November 1.
“It was a long trip but it’s good to get together as a team early,” said USA infielder Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa). “Arriving here and getting in some practice games allows us to spend time together as a team and develop a high level of chemistry. As a team, we get to get in some good workouts and play at a high level against some local clubs. For us as a team, our goal is to win this qualifier and get some momentum as we head into the Pan American Games and ISF World Championship next year.”
Team USA is competing for berths to the 2015 Pan American Games and ISF Men’s World Championship, which are both scheduled to take place in Canada. The ISF Men’s World Championship will be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada June 26-July 5 while the Pan American Games will be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 15-26. This will mark the first time since 2003 that Men’s Fast Pitch will compete as a Pan American sport, with Team USA claiming the silver in 2003 after falling 4-2 to Canada. In the most recent ISF Men’s World Championship, the U.S. men completed the tournament with a 4-4 record, finishing eighth out of 16 countries.