Contributed by: Christopher P. Adams, Ph.D.
In August 2008, the US national team, the American Revolution or "Revos" as they are affectionately known, head to Australia to take on the best teams in the world to win the Australian Football International Cup. In 2005, the Revos finished a very respectable third after beating 2002 winners, Ireland twice. However, the Revos were disappointed to go down to PNG in their pool match and will be looking for an improved performance in 2008.
The Revos are coached by former USFooty President and New York Magpie Head Coach, Robert Oliver. Oliver played over 200 games of "local footy" in Australia. He coached at both the senior and junior levels and worked with the AFL as a manager in the Under 18 TAC Cup. He also worked with a number of junior Victorian teams that participated in the National Championships.
Probably the hardest thing about bringing the Revolution team to the International Cup is dealing with the huge size of the United States. Players are almost evenly distributed across USFooty's three regions, the East, Central and the West. However, according to Oliver, "The strength of the Revolution is with the local coaches. Local coaches work closely with three Revo coaches, myself in the East, Jason Becker in the Central Region and Matt Daniuski in the West. We are in constant communication about where each player is and what they have to work on."
The book on the US team is that they are very athletic and they tackle well and hard. While this team is probably not going to let fans down with their tackling, it isn't going to be the same group that went to the previous two Cups. For starters, two thirds of the players will be participating in their first International Cup.
After watching the Revo team come together in their three try out/training weekends, Oliver is excited about what he sees. "We think we have a better squad than we took last time. It is a running team that will take opportunities." The selectors have chosen a young, fast and fit team that they are hoping will be able to match it with the speeds of the South Africans and the PNG Mosquitoes, while playing hard tough football for the length of the tournament.
The Country and Australian Football
The United States has a population of just over 300 million people. USFooty, the national body for Australian Football, began in 1997. There are some 30 to 40 clubs across the country and the annual National Championship Tournament may be the biggest amateur Australian football carnival in the world.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The Revolution will probably bring one of the biggest and most athletic teams. They will be fit, fast and they will run hard at the ball and tackle ferociously. Their biggest weaknesses are likely to be their decision making and their team work, given some inexperienced players and few opportunities to play together.
Players to Watch
The Brunmeier brothers, James and Jared, have been honing their skills in local competition in Western Australia. James was named to the All-International Team in 2005. Assisting James as a key forward will be Justin Valley who won the San Diego Lions Best and Fairest in 2006.
In 2005, the Revos finished third with two wins over the 2002 Champions Ireland. They lost to Runner's Up PNG by a solitary point, but went down to the eventual winners, New Zealand by 32 points in the First Semi Final. In their last International, they were beaten for the first time by the Canadian Northwind.
One of the big 4 or 5 international sides, the Revos have one goal and that is to win the 2008 Australian Football International Cup.
World Footy News