In the next few days, training and selection begins for the U.S. women’s national basketball team and the U.S. field hockey teams as they prepare for Paris 2024.

As much as people will be talking about the players likely to make the team, there are a couple of athletes who, despite being amongst the best in their craft, may not have a chance to make the team.

Erin Matson, late of the University of North Carolina, is currently on the outside looking in for the field hockey team. USA Field Hockey, the national governing body of the sport, has ruled that Matson, despite the all-America credentials and multiple Honda awards, is not eligible to try out for the team.

Now, I didn’t witness the runout that Matson had for the U.S. women’s indoor side in their gold-medal run at the Pan American Cup indoor tournament last month. But given what Matson is capable of on the attack end, she has to definitely be the equal of some of the talented players on the U.S. team. Plus, Matson would literally be a coach on the field.

On the court, the U.S. has an absolutely loaded team of professionals such as Sabrina Ionescu, Kelsey Plum, Jewell Loyd, and Diana Taurasi. And these are just the guards, which brings up an interesting question: as good as the team is, could mega-star Caitlin Clark be chosen for the side just after her final college season at the University of Iowa?

Clark, because the Hawkeyes are in the women’s Final Four, is missing this weekend’s USA Basketball camp. She is currently one of 14 players who were invited to the camp. Only 12 make the final roster, so it is conceivable that a second generational athlete could miss out on participation in the Olympics this summer.

At the very least, Clark did score an invite instead of being turned down flat.


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