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Revolution on the road: 49th Parallel Cup preview

  • Thursday, August 01 2013 @ 09:27 am ACST
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North America
The US Revolution team head north for the 2013 instalment of a series going back to 1999 when Paul Roos coached the US team against Canada in Chicago.  This year Edmonton, Canada is hosting the international footy contest known as the 49th Parallel Cup.
The last time these two met in 2012 on US soil the Americans came away with an inaccurate 7.12 to 5.1 win over the Canadians.
The USAFL have a strong focus and solid structure around their national team and coach Matt Bishop  spoke to us about the build up to this year’s international “Our preparations have been as good as possible given players are spread out all over the U.S. We had a training camp in LA back in March to set the wheels in motion and since then players have been required to submit monthly fitness test results. Also we have used online technology to discuss the game plan with the players.”

And being only a year away from the next International Cup Bishop says the team taking the field this weekend is getting close to what they are likely to bring to Melbourne “We only had two players selected (back in March) withdraw from the squad that chosen after the training camp. We are certainly getting closer to finalizing a squad that will travel to Australia, however we do like to keep the door slightly ajar for any players that we believe could add to the team."

One criticism of US teams in the past has been the lack of youth (at least compared to teams such as NZ and PNG), a result of the game in the US being dominated by post college adults and very few junior programs across the country.  Of this year’s team, Bishops says “Our average age is a healthy 27 years of age.” The injection of youth in the 2013 team comes in the form of Dan Lehane from New York, who travelled to Australia to play in the World XVIII team of 2011. “He turned 20 just this week. Dan is of Irish descent and plays Gaelic Football at a high level in NY.” 
Other debutants into the team are Cameron Freeman and Jason Wilhelm.  “Cam has been playing since 2007 and spent a season out in Australia. He has played mostly for the Florida Redbacks.  Jason is from the Chicago Swans he spent a year out in Gin Gin (WA) in 2012. Jason is relatively new to the game but at 6'7" and agile he adds a new dimension to the Revolution.” Kevin Waden from the Golden Gate Roos is another 6’7” American that Bishop would like to have at his disposal but is unavailable this weekend.  Along with Wilhelm he could really give the US first use of the ball if they are firing for IC14.
“Overall the team is fitter and stronger than the 2011 International Cup and this will continue to build over the next 12 months. In the past we have struggled to find suitable ruckman but are lucky to have a couple of guys available. The team's stability is starting to really strengthen, which a credit to the players as they work hard to maintain relationships over long distances.”
No doubt  the US team will not have it all their own way, and any “away” match in International footy is tough to win, but if their kicking is better than 2012 they have a very experienced unit that should bring the cup home with them. 
The US team is as follows.

Player Club Age Height Weight
Andrew Werner, Vice-Captain Minnesota Freeze 27 6'2 190
Andy Vanica Denver Bulldogs 35 5'8 160
Brent Fischer Minnesota Freeze 25 6'0 170
Brent Mergen Minnesota Freeze 27 6'2 190
Bryan Dragus Los Angeles Dragons 27 6'6 220
Cameron Freeman Florida Redbacks 26 6'0 175
Chet Ridenour Columbus Jackaroos 31 6'5 180
Dan Lehane New York Magpies 20 6'2 180
Dan Sarbacker, Captain Chicago Swans Football Club 34 5'10" 160
Danny Hansen Minnesota Freeze 27 6'1 200
Eric Floyd Louisville Kings 25 6'0 185
Jacob Moyer Baltimore Washington Eagles 26 5'8 152
Jason Wilhelm Chicago Swans Football Club 26 6'7 220
Kevin Stanley Seattle Grizzlies 30 6'0 162
Kyle Johnson Golden Gate Roos 26 6'1 180
Luke Nemeth Nashville Kangaroos 35 6'1 190
Melvin Chen Golden Gate Roos 31 5'9 175
Rob Ward Columbus Jackaroos 25 6'4 225
Robert Sears Golden Gate Roos 28 6'3 210
Ryan Kastl Seattle Grizzlies 29 6'1 185
Ryan McGettigan Philadelphia Hawks 29 5'11 182
Saleh Tyebjee Sacramento Suns 28 6'2 175
Steve Fashant Minnesota Freeze 26 6'0 187
Zach Weaver Minnesota Freeze 27 6'2 185

 The 49th Parallel Cup will be played at Kaskitayo Park in Edmonton 1975 109 Street Edmonton, AB, Canada.

The Timetable for the day is 

9:30am - Opening Ceremony

10:00am - Game 1 (Women’s Development) - Canada Northern Lights vs. USA Liberty

12:00pm - Game 2 (Men’s Development) - Canada North Wind vs. USA Revolution

2:00pm - Game 3 (Women’s Championship) - Canada Northern Lights vs. USA Freedom

4:00pm - Game 4 (Men’s Championship) - Canada North Wind vs. USA Revolution

6:00pm - Closing Ceremonies