The U.S. kicks off Olympic qualifying today against Cuba. I talked about the Olympics and qualifying in my Press-Enterprise column that ran this morning.
It will be interesting to see who Peter Nowak goes with tonight. With three games in the next five days, I would expect to see most if not all players get some playing time. Does he go with his best lineup tonight and try to send a message from the start? Does he juggle some of the players already with an eye on Thursday and Saturday?
What's probably best is to start out with the best and rotate players in and out the rest of the week. The semifinal will be decisive so you don't want a team to play in that game that hasn't played together much before. It's important to form connections between players and that needs to start as soon as possible.