United States reveal line-ups for Curling World Cup opener
New line-up for the men but women's and mixed rinks unchanged
USA Curling has named the three teams who will wear the stars and stripes at the first leg of the Curling World Cup in Suzhou, China.
United States men's team is Team Ruohonen, who won the Men's National Championship in North Dakota in March - but with two key alterations. Skip Rich Ruohonen and fourth Greg Persinger are joined by Kroy Nernberger and Sean Beighton, as front end players Colin Hufman and Phil Tilker are unable to compete in China due to work commitments.
Persinger, 40, was delighted to book his place in the first of the four-leg international series, which begins on September 12 at the Souzhou Olympic Sports Centre.
He commented: "It is always an honour to play for my country. Putting on our colours gives me a great feeling.
"I'm looking forward to seeing and experiencing a country and culture that I have never been exposed to. The competition will be very tough but we always feel like we have a chance to win."
The women's team is unchanged from the rink that finished eighth at the Winter Olympics in Gangneung in February. Skip Nina Roth is accompanied by third Tabitha Peterson, second Aileen Geving and lead Becca Hamilton. Tara Peterson travels as the alternative.
Geving said: "I am proud to represent my country and hope to bring my best to the sport as a representative of Team USA.
"I try to enter all competitions with the mindframe that my team will win it. However, it would be naïve not to acknowledge the challenges we will face to do so since all the teams there are the best in the world. It will be a hard-earned win for whomever does take the prize."
United States' mixed doubles team is the current US national champions, Korey Dropkin and Sarah Anderson, a well-established partnership who have competed together as a pair for the last four years.