The World Games 2017: what to look out for in Wroclaw

Previews, World Games Previews

The World Games 2017 opening ceremony is this evening, and the Flying Disc (as it’s called in this event) portion of the schedule starts tomorrow, with Poland kicking things off against Canada. The sport was added to this event in 2001, with Canada winning the first tournament on universe point against the USA in Japan and the USA winning the three events since then. While Great Britain are absent for the first time since 2009, there’s still plenty to look out for and the games will be available online here. Here’s a quick primer of what you might be able to see, and what could happen, in Wroclaw.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The USA have won the last three World Games titles, defeating Japan in the final in Chinese Taipei and Australia in the final four years later in Cali, Colombia as well as in Germany in 2005. I’m afraid this portion of the preview might be rather dull – they’re absolutely fantastic. Almost every player on this squad is a superstar not just in the USA but across the Ultimate-playing world.

It’s difficult to find a comparison across other sports for what Beau has been to Ultimate over the past decade; he’s shown players across the world what can happen when you dedicate yourself to not only the elements of training that affect the game directly – throwing, catching, cutting and so on – but also to gym work, track and plyometrics. He was the first globally-known player to be something close to a professional athlete and changed how players all over the globe approach training for the sport. Something like a mix between Roger Bannister, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan might encapsulate it. He’s won two of these things already and is shooting for an unprecedented (obviously) hat-trick.

Outside of the mononymous Alaskan, the USA have an embarrassment of riches. Sarah ‘Surge’ Griffiths has been a star for Riot for years, while the Fury trio of Claire Desmond, Anna Nazarov and Carolyn Finney have won everything there is to win. Lien Hoffman plays for current powerhouse Brute Squad, while Sandy Jorgensen (Scandal) and Georgia Bosscher (Heist) add extensive experience themselves. Bosscher and Griffiths already have one gold medal, both having been been on the team in Cali. Meanwhile, NexGen stars Jimmy Mickle (Johnny Bravo), Dylan Freechild (Sockeye this year) and Chris Kocher (PoNY) have all made the step up to the highest level, along with fellow USA Men’s National team player Nick Stuart (Sub Zero). The only two players not to have been in London are Revolver teammates George Stubbs (who also already has a World Games gold medal from Cali) and Grant Lindsley (dude lived in a cave for several months, so there’s that).

This team will win, and I doubt anyone scores in double digits against them. Congrats to the four-time champions.

CANADA
The Canadians feature a number of experienced players. Led by the trio of Mark Lloyd (GOAT), Morgan Hibbert (Furious George) and Catherine Hui (Traffic), all of whom played in Cali, they’ll be a formidable team. The whole squad played in London, all for the Men’s and Women’s teams other than former Furious George player (and MLU MVP) Brendan Wong, who played Mixed. There are two players from GOAT (Andrew Carroll and Geoff Powell) , two from Furious George (Kevin Underhill and Tim Tsang) and two from Iris (Audrey St-Arnaud and Jessie Grignon Tomas) with four more Traffic players (Laura Mason, Rachel Moens, Terri Whitehead and Jessica Rockliff) meaning they make up the bulk of the squad.

With international and high-level experience like this, Canada will be a tough match-up for anybody. They have athletic ability, some excellent handlers and in Hui and Lloyd they have two of the best players in the world. They’re very strong contenders for a medal – I fancy them to succeed against the field but can’t see them making too much of a mark on the USA juggernaut.

AUSTRALIA
The Aussies are the third most successful nation at the World Games, having medalled in the last three Games. They’re defending a silver medal from Cali and have superstar Cat Phillips, captains Sarah Wentworth and Peter Blakelely and handler Seb Barr returning from that team. The rest of the team is made up almost entirely of national team players from London, with only Rebecca Brereton having missed out on that event. The Aussies always rely on strong fundamental skills and excellent fitness. They seem to excel at grinding out results and one of their strongest attributes is always the chemistry they possess as a squad.

The team is relatively young, though, and missing perennial fixture Tom Rogacki for the first time in a while. Both Wentworth and Vivan Stettner are 42 years old and will bring their experience to a squad with only one other player outside their 20s (Blakeley is 30) but it will be interesting to see how they fare against the top two. Given the situation of other teams in Poland, though, they’ll be in the mix for a medal. I think they’ll come home with some bronze medals.

Colombia are looking to make an impact again.

COLOMBIA
Colombia are the best-case scenario for the hosts, Poland. They qualified as hosts four years ago but have blossomed into a true global power. Their women, particularly, have performed superbly since their sudden-death loss to Canada in the bronze medal game in Cali, winning silver medals in London. All of the women in their squad here were part of that team, including Laura Ospina, Elizabeth Mosquera and crucially Yina Cartagena. Cartagena is generally regarded as one of the finest players in the world, and her performance in the final of WUGC last year, where she was involved in four of Colombia’s seven goals against yet another powerhouse USA team, confirmed that standing. She is an outstanding handler with exceptional footwork downfield – she’s one to watch if you get a chance. So are the Cardenas twins, who are competing in the World Games – the pinnacle of our sport, remember – at the age of 17, which is frankly outrageous. Both are excellent players already, and with so much time left before they hit their peak Manuela and Valeria have a chance to be both the present and future of Colombian Ultimate. (See from 55 seconds here for what they can do. That block is just filth.)

Their men are no mugs either. Alexander Ford, Santiago Montano and Julio Duque return from Cali as well, and Duque, Mauricio Martinez and Ivan Alba were three of the highest scorers for the Men’s team in London. Their men are always athletic and physical, and they will certainly stand up to the challenge of the bigger teams. You sense that this team will go as far as their women can take them, though, particularly Cartagena and Mosquera, who is an outstanding cutter who excels in creating play after making the first cut. I think this they’re going to be fighting with the Canadians and the Aussies for the hardware behind the Americans, and if I had to guess I think they’ll be left on the outside looking in.

JAPAN
This is the hardest team to project. The Japanese are always strong and are the other team to have won a medal at the World Games – only four teams have done so. However, the controversy around Buzz Bullets has cost the team a number of their best players – superstars Masahiro Matsuno and Taiyo Arakawa were on the squad to start with, as were 2016 Men’s team members Keiichiro Shiba, Kurono Masahashi and Yuti Inomata. It’s still unclear what happened to cost Japan these players, but they’ll certainly be worse off for it. Matsuno may well be the best male player in the world outside of North America, while Arakawa was a heat-seeking missile in London, scoring a huge number of points with his precise and devastatingly effective diagonal cuts.

The whole squad was in London, the vast majority in the Mixed division. Only Takaharu Komori and Taku Honna played Men’s, with the other five men in the Mixed team alongside three of the women. It’s likely that Andrew Kunieda, Goku Genshima and Ayumi Fujioka will be key players, along with Kana Kobayashi and Risa Shimada. Whether this team has the power to outlast their opponents given that they’re missing stars like Matsuno and Arakawa remains to be seen, but they’re still very talented and should be able to play that very unique Japanese style well. They also have more WUGC teammates than the other top teams, so that cohesion could play well for them. Still, I see them fifth.

POLAND
The hosts look like the outsiders here. Their entire team played Mixed in London, and they finished second (in contentious circumstances) at Windmill. You’d imagine that they’ll play well together and that their team chemistry, understanding and cohesion will be excellent. However, it’s going to be tough for them matching up against the teams that are in the draw with them. Filip Stepniak and Filip Dobranowski are two very good players, and the rest of the squad are steady and more athletic than the other teams might be expecting – it wouldn’t be a surprise for Poland to catch some teams out early on in games if they’re underestimated.

Still, seeing this team win a game on home soil would be a massive, massive surprise. They’ve done an impressive job in preparing for this and have worked on their team for over a year. Hopefully they can see some return on that effort, give it their best shot and cause some upsets. Because if there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s chaos caused by the underdog.

PREDICTION
1. USA
2. Canada
3. Australia
4. Colombia
5. Japan
6. Poland

World Games Special: Roundup and Predictions

Cali 2013, Mixed Ultimate, ulti.tv, WING, world games, World Games Previews

World Games Special

Hopefully you’ve followed the series and are up-to-date with all the teams competing in Cali, Colombia over the next week. If you missed any of them, you can find the pieces here.

The Opening Ceremony has already happened, and games start on Sunday. This should be a terrific tournament, and rumours are that there’ll be large crowds for the Ultimate games.

Thanks to the amazing efforts of the Ultimate community and ulti.tv you will be able to watch all of the games: here! You can find the full schedule here
More live streaming links: 
http://core.enetres.net/CoreV1/Share/DEE56DFCB3E64BCC88376576A57D5481028?rnd=%27+Math.random%28%29

http://www.senalcolombia.tv/juegosmundiales2013/ 
(Click on senal en vivo ^^)

VOD at bottom of here.

GB’s games are:

vs Canada – Sunday, July 28th – 4pm,
vs Colombia – Sunday, July 28th – 10:10pm,
vs Japan – Monday, July 29th – 2:30pm,
vs Australia – Tuesday, July 30th – 1:10am,
vs USA – Tuesday, July 30th – 5:30pm,
3v4 – Tuesday, July 30th – 10pm,
1v2 – Wednesday, July 31st – 12am.

Amazing Score Reporting System for Ultimate at World Games 2013
We will have the opportunity to follow the games trough an incredible score reporting interface called WING.
It will give highly detailed stats of each player and team like: game time, time outs, goals, assists, D’s, drops, pulls, touches during the game or during the tournament; also a fresh new tool which draws the disc trajectory. Plus player profiles, team roster and much more cool stuff. Here are some sneak peak screenshots:


and here is where you can find it: www.conceptoocho.com/wing

And finally – money where your mouth is time!

Finally, it feels like other countries are catching up to the traditional giants of ultimate, Canada and the USA. When only the top 13 players are selected from each nation, that effect is only magnified. For the first time, it feels like anyone can beat anyone – and that should make for a thoroughly exciting competition.

My predicted final standings for the tournament are
1. USA
2. Canada
3. Great Britain
4. Australia
5./6. Japan/Colombia (there is no placement game for these positions).

DP’s predictions (so hard to make these but here goes, prove me wrong please!) are
1. USA
2. Japan
3. Canada
4. Great Britain
5./6. Australia Columbia

What are yours? Comment below.

World Games Previews: Colombia

Colombia, Mixed Ultimate, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge ends his fantastic World Games Previews with the hosts Colombia!

Colombia

The Lineup

Yina Cartagena
Maria Angelica Forero
Yina Mendoza
Elizabeth Mosquera
Laura Ospina
Eliana Rico

Antonio Barrera
Julio Duque
Alexander Ford
Julian Gaviria
Luis Miguel Ibargen
Mauricio Martinez
Santiago Montano


About the Team

Mixed is not a feature of Colombian ultimate, but combine the top players from each of the divisions and they form a fierce mixed team. Youth ultimate is exploding in Colombia, and that is reflected on the team too – several of the players have opted for World Games rather than the u23 competition in Toronto, and most have come through the juniors programme.

Colombia’s women’s teams have been particularly dominant in the last few years (2 golds for the junior team, 4that WUGC2012), and their women will be one of their strongest assets in Cali. Yina Cartagena in particular looks like that potent combination of a cutter with big throws. Meanwhile Elizabeth Mosquera has the height to match-up with any team’s deep cutters and Laura Ospina has a nose for the goal.

On the men’s side, Mauricio Martinez controls the Colombian’s offense as one of their more experienced handlers. Luis Miguel Ibargen made a name for himself at Junior Worlds last year and Santiago Montano won MVP of the mixed division at WUGC in Japan. Meanwhile Julio Duque has been playing with Colony in Australia where he made enough plays to merit his own highlight reel.

Coaches and Expected Playing Style

Like Japan the Colombian team is not particularly tall and relies on the speed to generate offense. Expect to see a pair of male handlers getting the disc into the hands of their dominating female cutters who are extremely comfortable breaking the force or hucking it deep. Colombia are an extremely passionate team, and on the defense this translates as an exciting – bid-heavy – man-to-man play. Whilst they have previously been known for having their own interpretations of the rules and spirit of the game, in recent years they won spirit medals at international tournaments.

The team is coached by Andres Polani, a fixture at club team Matanga, and Andres Angel, a player/coach for one of Colombia’s more successful international teams, Euforia.
 

Luis Miguel Ibargen lays out for the disc.

Expected Finishing Place

Whilst the home crowd and lack-of-travel advantage is not to be underestimated, it remains to be seen whether Colombia has what it takes to translate success on the junior level to that at the elite senior level. Whilst I don’t expect them to go necessarily go winless, I also don’t expect them to break into the top 4.

6th

That’s that done but now the playing begins! DP @ tSG.

World Games Previews: Team Canada

Canadian Ultimate, Mixed, Mixed Ultimate, Team Canada, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge covers Team Canada in the fifth instalment of his World Games Previews.

Team Canada


The Lineup

Candice Chan
Caroline Cadotte
Mira Donaldson
Danielle Fortin
Catherine Hui
Anne Mercier (captain)

Andy Collins (captain)
Cam Harris
Morgan Hibbert
Jeff Lindquist
Mark Lloyd
Nick Menzies
Adrian Yearwood



About the Team

For the first time Team Canada’s male component will be made up more of GOAT players than those from Furious George. Adrian Yearwood, Mark Lloyd, Jeff Lindquist and Cam Harris have all been standout players for the Toronto club team in the last few years. However, Morgan Hibbert from Furious George is probably the biggest name on the team, and is accompanied by teammate Nick Menzies and (ex) Furious player Andy Collins (who appears to have retired from Club). You can see most of these players in action here.

The ladies of the team come from three different teams: captain Anne Mercier and Danielle Fortin come from the Toronto-based Capitals; Candice Chan and Mira Donaldson and Catherine Hui from the Vancouver-based Traffic; whilst Caroline Cadotte is the sole representative of Montreal’s Odyssee.

Standout receivers on this team are Morgan Hibbert, Jeff Lindquist and Catherine Hui. Expect Anne Mercier, Danielle Fortin, Adrian Yearwood and Nick Menzies to anchor things at the back.
 

Jeff Lindquist makes an unconventional break throw.

Coaches and Expected Playing Style

Coached by another familiar name of Canadian ultimate – Jeff Cruikshank – expect this team to bring a fierce competitive spirit to the tournament. Whilst this has occasionally spilt over the top in past competitions, no-one can deny that Team Canada brings a gritty defense more than capable of making comeback runs.

Offensively I’d expect them to use their match-ups in one-on-one situations as much as possible, isolating cutters in as much space as possible. With a tall set of male cutters and a speedy set of female ones, they should have a strong deep game – great if it’s working, tough on a small roster if it’s not.


Expected Finishing Place

So far they’ve played the US team twice, and split the results – the first match can be watched here. Canada has a strong team, comprising players who have been consistently exposed to Ultimate at the highest level. That experience should tell in a competition like this, but I don’t see them overcoming the US.

2nd

World Games starts this Sunday, watch out for viewing links soon and keep supporting our GB teams in Toronto! DP @ tSG.

World Games Preview: Japan

Japan, JFDA., Mixed Ultimate, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge takes a look at Team Japan in the fourth instalment of his World Games series.

Team Japan 

The Lineup

Enzu Eri
Ito Madoka
Namikiri Kaori
Inomata Sanako
Fujikawa Akina
Otsu Keiko

Sameshima Satoru
Matsuno Masahiro
Takahashi Yasuo
Tanaka Mizuho
Kurono Masashi
Shiba Keiichiro
Furuzawa Takanori




About the Team

Matsuno Masahiro is the name that stands out here. Recognized around the world as the best player to have come out of Japan, he was picked 5th in a mock draft in 2009* and invited to play with Furious George for the US club series in 2010. Against North American competition he is usually the defender to draw the toughest match-up (having guarded Beau in the 2009 World Games, will he do the same this year?), and is usually the spark on offense: he is very speedy and has very quick, big, accurate throws. However, he was mysteriously sidelined for much Japan’s campaign at WUGC 2012 – they (and spectators like myself) will be hoping that problem doesn’t occur again.

The other notable name on the men’s side of the team is Kurono Masashi – he is the only player not to come from the dominant Buzz Bullets team, instead playing the last few years with Sack [edit: apparently he has recently moved to Buzz Bullets]. He lead the Japanese Open team in combined stats at WUGC 2012. Standout handlers for that team, Tanaka Mizuho and Takahashi Yasuo also make the team, and it is worth noting that Tanaka is returning for his second World Games, alongside Sameshima Satoru.

On the women’s side of the team players are drawn from a wider pool, including UNO, MUD and Huck. Returners to the World Games team include. Fujikawa Akina lead the combined stats for the gold-medal winning Japanese team at WUGC 2012, closely followed by Enzu Eri  Both dominated in assists, so expect them to step up as handlers for the team. Inomata Sanako was second in goals at WUGC 2012, she and the and equally speedy Ito Madoka are likely to be key receivers for the team, streaking deep and getting free in the endzone.

 

Enzu Eri catches ahead of USA’s Kaela Jorgensen. Picture courtesy of Neil Gardner at nzsnaps.com

Coaches and Expected Playing Style

The distinctive Japanese playing style took the world by storm back in Perth in 2006, and whilst the specifics of it have changed since then, in principal most Japanese teams play the same way. Lead by two Buzz Bullets and a MUD player (part of the 2009 team), I would expect typical Japanese Ultimate from this team.

On offense their small-ball skills are lethal as their handlers break the mark, throw precise lead passes and use give-and-go dumps extremely effectively to get around the defense. Their long game usually relies on putting quite a lot of edge on the throw and being extremely precise – they tend to go around defenders, rather than floating it out for a play to be made. Defensively, this team will probably be one of the few with some extremely well-drilled zones and junky sets in their arsenal. Unlike the cups and walls of yore, these zones will be poachy, floaty and include some man-marking, designed to confuse and frustrate the offense. Traditionally the single-sex Japanses teams have had great success with these zones, but it remains to be seen how effective they will be in an elite Mixed setting.

Expected Finishing Place

Again, a team that could finish anywhere, from 1st to last. However, I expect the direct style of play other teams will be able to bring (i.e. put it high and jump for it), and the small rosters to play against the Japanese.

5th


*other notable names include Beau at 2nd, Dylan Tunnell at 12th and Tom Rogacki at 65th.

WG coverage Update from ulti.tv: WFDF have just completed the contractual details and it is all looking good, no links to where the coverage will be yet but as soon as we get them we will post them everywhere. But here is the schedule for your timezone. Keep supporting our GB athletes in Toronto playing now and on their way to Cali! DP @ tSG.

World Games Preview: Australia

AFDA, Australia, Cali 2013, Mixed Ultimate, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge takes a look down under at Team Australia in the third installment of his World Games series.

Before you read this piece please help get the broadcast of these World Games Ultimate games online to view for everyone as they should be, by supporting the ulti.tv indiegogo funding page! This is just one step in making the sport and our community grow, go here now! They need double the amount they already have in less than a day, DO IT! Now you may read on…

Team Australia

The Lineup


Danielle Alexander
Stephanie Malcher
Lisi Moore
Cat Phillips
Michelle Phillips
Sarah Wentworth

Seb Barr
Peter Blakeley
Jonno Holmes
Tim Lavis
Gavin Moore
Joel Pillar
Tom Rogacki
Team Australia.


About the Team

Known as the Crocs, Australia look to be a good balance of experience (two players attended the 2005 World Games), and C4090-451
youth (5 players were at the u23 championships in Florence in 2010). They’ve also got great team spirit, and a winning social media campaign, as evidenced by their website, twitter, facebook and youtube accounts. Plus, they’re getting in the news.

Without a doubt, the biggest name on the list is Tom ‘The Gak’ Rogacki. The most dominant player in Australia for the last 15 years, his name is known around the (Ultimate) world. He brings experience from the 2005 World Games to the team and first represented Australia in 1998. He played in the Masters division at the last WUCC where he lead the division in total stats (goals + assists). A possibly controversial selection, he will undoubtedly make an impact on the field.

Whilst most of the team have a similar wealth of experience representing their country, one player will be putting green and gold on her shoulders for the first time – Danielle Alexander. Making the jump from club to World Games team is a significant step and should indicate a hot new talent.

At the other end of the spectrum is Peter Blakeley who, having come up through the Autralian junior programme, has played for every Australian team possible (without being a woman or a master).  He caught twice as many goals as any other Austalian player in the Open division in Japan, and is a receiver to be reckoned with.

Peter will be reunited with four teammates from that campaign: Joel Pillar, Seb Barr (who threw the highest number of goals on the Australian Open team in Japan), Jonno Holmes (who has played both previous World Games) and Tim Lavis, the Captain of the Crocs. It is unknown how much sleep Jonno and Tim have had since that hammer.

Coming from the extremely successful (silver medal) and well-coached Mixed team in Japan are husband and wife pairing Gavin and Lisi Moore who should bring chemistry to the field as well as a deeper understanding of the mixed game.

Another pairing of note on the team is that of the Phillips sisters. Both won gold with the u23 Women’s team in Florence and both were dominant players in same division at WUGC. Michelle, the older sister, 1Y0-A17 scored the 3rd most goals for the Australian team, and Cat was 4th in total stats in the whole division. She is also still eligible for the u23 tournament taking place in Toronto this year but opted for World Games instead.

Tom Rogacki throws past a Finnish force. Photo courtesy of Paul Hurt.

Coaches and expected playing style

The team is coached by Anna Rogacki, wife of Tom. She coached Cat, Michelle and Steph to a gold medal in the u23 Womens team in 2010 and coached the Club team Honey to a National Championships in 2012. This year she coached the Men’s team Chilly to 3rd place at the Australian National Championships.

Assistant coach Mike Neild was originally a reserve for the team and so presumably brings a close relationship with the players. He has a wealth of playing experience where he dominated the air as a downfield receiver. Having played at World Games in 2009 he knows what’s involved and will be able to share his experience and knowledge with the team.

The Australians have been known for a strong deep game, usually from a vertical stack, and backed up by tenacious man defense. I wouldn’t expect them to move away from what has made them successful in the past, but since they feel like they’ve been knocking on the door for a while, perhaps they’ll look for something new to muscle their way into the final?

Expected finishing place

Australia has been on the 2nd tier of world Ultimate for a long time, and I don’t see this competition being any different. Their strong Mixed results will stand them in good stead over some of the competition, but I don’t see them breaking into the final.

4th.

Remember to donate towards the ulti.tv WG coverage page! Like, share and comment in any way you can. DP @ tSG. 

World Games Preview: USA

Cali 2013, Mixed Ultimate, USA Ultimate, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge takes a look at Team USA in the second installment of his World Games series.

Team USA

The Lineup


Georgia Bosscher
Cara Crouch
Sarah Griffith
Cree Howard
Octavia Payne
Alex Snyder

Ryan Farrell
Ashlin Joye
Beau Kittredge
Mike Natenberg
George Stubbs
Mac Taylor
Dylan Tunnell
Team USA.
About the team

Selectors seem to have opted for wise heads rather than youthful legs here, particularly on the men’s side of the game where only Stubbs is of the NexGeneration. He is team Captain, following a year’s experience in that role at club team Ironside, as well as 3 years in the role at Harvard, during which time he won the Callahan award as the best player in College. He is extremely athletic, has big throws and cool head. Captaining alongside George is Alex Snyder, who captained Fury back in 2008 and was selected by Ultiworld as MVP of their latest Club Championship final. She has plenty of experience at the highest level of the game and knows what it takes to win – two big assets for the team.

Cara Crouch goes up over GB at World Games 2009. Photo courtesy Scobel Wiggins

Whilst neither George nor Alex played on the 2009 team, USA will be bringing 3 returners to Cali: Cara Crouch, Dylan Tunnell and Beau Kittredge. Cara Crouch is an experienced handler with big throws and a Callahan award (2005) under her belt. She plays for Showdown and so will be facing up against teammate GB’s Bex Forth. Dylan Tunnell is one of the most respected players in the US, a stalwart for club team Chain Lightning (Club Champions 2009) and picked by Club Jr to be part of a US All-Star team flown out to Japan’s Dream Cup. You can read an interview with him after the 2009 World Games here. And finally, not much needs to be said about Beau, surely? He’s one of the most dominantathletesinthe game– and that’s not even his game anymore. These days Beau is so feared for his deep ability that people back him by ridiculous amounts – so has evolved into a reset and distribution player, coming under far more than he goes deep. It’s unlikely that anyone else in the world is going to front him so this seems like a plausible position for him to play again. That said, I’m sure we’ll see a few goals and posterisations by the end of the tournament.


Georgia Bosscher lays out for the D
Rounding out the female half of the team are Georgia Bosscher a redoubtable defender (see picture), her former Fury teammate Cree Howard (a 5’8 deep cutter), Seattle Riot’s speedy Sarah Griffith and DC Scandal’s Octavia Payne.

On the male side there are a pair of club captains; captain of reigning National Champions Doublewide – Mike Natenberg and captain of Johnny Bravo Ryan Farrell. Filling out the last spots are Revolver teammates Ashlin Joye (defensivehandler mostly) and Mac Taylor(does everything).

Coach and expected playing style

USA is lead by Coach Alex Ghesquire and Assistand Coach Matty Tsang. Those names alone put them into the top 3 teams at World Games. Alex Ghesquire has coached the club team Revolver to 2 National Championships and 2 World Championships. He will bring established relationships with Beau, Ashlin and Mac from that team. Matty Tsang has arguably an even more formidable pedigree – he has coached Women’s team Fury to 7 National Championships (adding to the two they had won before his arrival) and 2 World Championships. He brings relationships with Alex, Cree and Georgia to the team.

With a limited amount of training time, and some of the best players in the world, it would be surprising if this team worked on anything too tactically complex – expect them instead to focus on their fundamentals and run simple, disciplined offense. Defensively, again I’d expect them to use their legs rather than zone, but they’ll be sure to have some junky sets designed to disrupt pull-plays and change the rhythm of the game.

Expected finishing place

Some of the best players in the world, coached by some of the best coaches in the sport. Every single one of these players has experience of the toughest competition and knows what it takes to win. A team of the highest calibre.

1st

[edit: A documentary is being made about Team USA’s journey to Cali. You can now see the trailer for ‘Bidding for Gold‘]

Sounds like team GB have their work cut out! Like what you read? Remember to share and comment. Keep an eye out for OWT2 Preview coming later this week – JCK @ tSG.