Saturday, May 15, 2010

USA Sevens Suffers Some Injuries

The final two legs of the 2009-2010 IRB Sevens tour are coming up, and the United States Eagles are looking to finish off what has been a strong season. However, the Eagles will be missing the services of two of their mainstays thanks to injuries. Our good friends at UR7s.com has more about this.

The USA team has assembled at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Chula Vista in preparation for its final two IRB Sevens World Series events of the season.

Coach Al Caravelli’s squad will train for a week at the OTC, before being narrowed down to just 12 players that will travel to the London Sevens (May 22-23) and then to Scotland for the Edinburgh Sevens the following week(May 29-30).

Eight of the players that led the US to their first Cup final in Adelaide and the quarter-finals in Hong Kong return. Yet missing from the side is Nese Malifa (injured) and inspirational forward Matt Hawkins, who is expecting the birth of his son. Zach Pangelinan and Nick Edwards are also unavailable.

Those absences allow some of the promising collegians an opportunity to challenge for the 12 spots up for grabs. Amongst those are Colin Hawley (Cal), Blaine Scully (Cal) Benji Goff (University of Tennessee), Connor Bertrand (Texas A&M), Smiddy Schmidt (University of Nebraska), Ryan Roundy (BYU), Clint Whittler (Arkansas State University), Dusten Umeda (University of Hawaii).

Kicking off the Emirates Airline London Sevens tournament, the USA will first face World Series leaders Samoa in a repeat of the Cup final in Adelaide last month with Argentina and Italy also in their Poo.

The following week in Scotland will again face three tough opponents in its pool round as it plays Wales, hosts Scotland and Fiji in that order.

“The goal for this season was to finish in the top 10 and have 21 or fewer players play in all eight tournaments,” Caravelli said.

“If we did the latter, we believed that we could finish in the top eight. Our goal in London is several fold. We want do to better than last year, while also building on what we have done this season so far.

“With that said we will have at least four new players and a tough pool in each tournament. The players have been reviewing a lot of film, however, and we know if we correct a few mistakes on both sides of the ball we will be able to top them.”

The USA is currently sitting with 32 World Series points and has reached its highest world ranking - ninth overall.

USA Player Pool for London & Edinburgh Sevens
Barnard, Marco (Kutztown University), Bokhoven, Mark (Denver Barbarians), Edwards, Nick (NYAC), Emerick, Paul (Parma), Enosa, Tai (Belmont Shore), Hawley, Colin (Cal), Palamo, Thretton (University of Utah), Pangelinan, Zach (OMBAC), Peters, Leonard(Gentlemen of Aspen), Richards, Trevor (University of Nebraska), Ross, Alex (SDSU), Roundy, Ryan (BYU), Saunders, Tommy (KC Blues), Schmidt Jr, Erwin "Smidy" (University of Nebraska), Scully, Blaine (Cal) , Suniula, Shalom (Pearl City), Swiryn, Kevin (OPSB), Test, Zach (Loughborough), Umeda, Dusten(University of Hawaii), Whittler, Clint (Arkansas State)

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