The USA 6 National Team competed in their first match of the year at the Corn Palace in South Dakota on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Included on the team were four Cincinnati Swerve standouts; Corey Whisenhunt, Manny Adjei, Matt Kinkopf and Marc Hansson (currently with Queen City Sonics) and Cincinnati Swerve Head Coach, Craig Rhodis.
The USA 6 National Team struggled to find their footing in the first 15 minutes of the game, playing against a very experienced Brazilian National Team and finding themselves down 4-0. With late first half and halftime adjustments from the coaching staff, the team found a groove and worked themselves back in the game. Marc Hansson earned his first national team goal (and briefly celebrated with fans in the stands) and the team had a handful of chances at the end of the game to pull within one goal. Ultimately, Brazil found the back of the net two more times as USA pressed to score and at the buzzer, Brazil celebrated the 6-2 victory.
Head Coach Craig Rhodis had nothing but great things to say about the experience for his players, the game’s atmosphere and their opponents. He’ll use this experience to build upon Team USA’s strategy going into the next event coming this Spring/Summer.
All of the players echoed Rhodis’ sentiments about the experience. Matt Kinkopf said “Despite not getting the result we wanted, it was a great learning experience. It was an honor to be selected to play with such talented guys under two great coaches.” Corey Whisenhunt beamed with pride after leading the huddle yelling “USA!” prior to taking the field against Brazil. He said he “could not have dreamed of anything cooler than that.” Manny Adjei didn’t know what to expect and watched videos of the World Cup last year in Guatemala to gain a good perspective. He felt “the group of guys we had did a great job following the game plan after some initial adjustments. It was a great experience, I enjoyed my time with the team and look forward to learning from and making future teams.” Marc Hansson adds “Playing against a team like Brazil is a dream come true. The atmosphere at the Corn Palace was unbelievable, with 1300 people there and excited to watch indoor soccer. Personally, scoring my first goal for the USA was also a very special moment for me and my family. Brazil was a very organized and experienced team, which made it difficult at times, but we did a great job with adjustments from our coaching staff. This was definitely a night to remember!”
Congratulations again to Corey, Matt, Manny, Marc and Craig for representing Cincinnati on the USA 6 National Team!