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Ole and Tamara join USA coaching team

Ole and Tamara join USA coaching team image

Ole Keusgen and Tamara Durante will be leading the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team in 2017. With an extensive playing background paired with their seasoned coaching resumes, the duo will guide and develop the nation’s elite talent pool which is projected to climb onward to the senior national team.

Keusgen is currently the assistant coach at the University of Virginia where he contributed to the Cavalier’s on-pitch success since 2015. He will also bring an international coaching perspective to the U-19 USWNT’s game by tapping into the 10 years he spent coaching both the men's and women's first teams of Oberhausener THC in Germany.

As a player, Keusgen competed professionally in Germany with one of the top-tier field hockey clubs in European history, Uhlenhorst Mülheim. With his club team, he won the German Indoor championship in 2015 and the Euro Indoor Club Cup in 2015. Keusgen, a retired German National Team athlete, won a bronze medal at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan.

"We believe that Ole is a talented coach who can help increase the individual development of the players greatly, especially in terms of skill development," commented Janneke Schopman, USWNT Assistant Coach and U-21 USWNT Head Coach.

"Every nation has different philosophies and ideas when it comes to field hockey and if you pay attention, you pick up new things along the way which you can add to your tool box," said Keusgen.

"The time in the UK for example taught me a more diverse variety of defensive concepts. As a coach you learn so much from working internationally, especially in high-performing countries like England, Germany or the Netherlands. Each time we (my club team) played against a Dutch team in the EHL we had to deal with their fast pace of play, which again benefited our own system a lot.

“Playing internationally takes you to a whole other level - in tournaments for example you play different nations each day and will be faced with different styles of play constantly. This is why I want to develop intelligent and creative players - nowadays even the college teams are filled with international players and so the girls will play against different types of players each game. As a coach and as a player I have learned that you have to be able to analyze and adapt quickly in order to compete on the highest level - so striving towards this is what defines the way how I teach the game."

"USA Field Hockey has developed tremendously over the last couple of years and I feel honored to contribute to this development by forming a team that consists of intelligent and diverse players who will grow into being what I call 'complete" players,'" adds Keusgen.

Although only in her second season as an assistant field hockey coach for Michigan State University, Durante’s coaching expertise has substantial depth. A staple in the collegiate world, Durante sports 16 years of experience and tactical knowledge with her current role; combined with 4 years at Ohio University and 10 seasons at Yale University.

She has also played a vital role in USA Field Hockey’s JHP pipeline winning a gold medal as an assistant coach for the U-21 USWNT at the Junior Women’s Pan American Championship in October of 2008. Durante has coached in the Futures Program since 2002 and served as the Great Lakes Regional Futures Director from 2003 to 2005. She coached at the Junior Olympic Games from 2006-2008 and 2010-2013, winning a gold medal in 2012. Most recently, she served as an assistant coach for the U-19 USWNT’s Tour in Belgium.

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