Machine Preview: 2017 Elite-Select Challenge

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Machine Preview: 2017 Elite-Select Challenge

Chicago Machine will head north this weekend to compete in their second tournament of the 2017 USAU club season, the Elite-Select Challenge in Appleton, WI.

The Windy City will be well represented at the tournament, as Chicago Nemesis will be competing in the Women's division, and Chicago's UPA will be competing in the Mixed division.

Tournament Details: http://play.usaultimate.org/events/TCT-Elite-Select-Challenge-2017/

Machine's pool features a few familiar faces, including Michigan High Five and Madison Club. Rounding out the pool is Denver Inception. The winner of the pool advances straight to Sunday's quaters, the second and third place finishers advance to a Saturday afternoon's pre-quarters, and the fourth place finisher is relegated to lower bracket round robin.

Full Schedule: http://play.usaultimate.org/events/TCT-Elite-Select-Challenge-2017/schedule/Men/Club-Men/

Ultiworld will be on site to film games as part of their online video subscription package. Machine's pool play game against Madison Club, and Nemesis's pool play game against Austin Showdown will both be filmed (not streamed). Details: https://ultiworld.com/livewire/elite-select-challenge-2017-filming-schedule/

Machine will be sending a roster of 24 active players and coach Andy Neilsen. The only player who will not be in attendance is Xtian Guerrero, who is still in the process of receiving his travel Visa from the Philippines. He is proceeded by Dada Libo-on, who recently arrived in Chicago from Manilla, and will be playing his first tournament with the team. 

To follow along for live updates: http://twitter.com/machineultimate

Check back after the tournament for a recap, highlight video, and much more throughout the season.

ICYMI: Highlights from our first tournament (the 2017 Pro-Elite Challenge)

 
 

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Machine Defeats CUSB La Fotta in International Friendly

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Machine Defeats CUSB La Fotta in International Friendly

Schiller Park - Machine squared off against Italy's CUSB La Fotta last night in an international friendly. One of Italy's most historic and successful teams, CUSB La Fotta has been traveling through New York and Chicago on their way to next weekend's US Open in Minneapolis. 

Despite the jet lag and heavy legs, the Italians came out with lots of life early in Monday's scrimmage. With only one turn for either O-line and no breaks, Machine traded to 5-5 under a beautiful Schiller Park sunset. With high around breaks and strong wideside work, the Italians were looking tough to stop, even under high pressure from the Machine defense. A turn against a CUSB zone led to a break for the Italians, giving them a 6-5 lead. After a hold each, Machine scored quickly on O and then broke for half on a gentle away shot from Stephan to AJ, 8-7. 

 
 

The second half saw even more pressure from Machine's changing D looks, and the stifling defense on handler resets led to two breaks and a 10-7 lead. A series of trades, featuring some big throws by CUSB's #90 and athletic grabs in the air by #97, brought it to 13-10. The CUSB zone, anchored by Davide Morri up front and Ironside's Kurt Gibson (picking up with CUSB for the evening) in back, slowed Machine's offense, but content to take as many throws as required, the Machine offense would find ways to punch it in each possession of the second half. With the dark advancing, two more CUSB turns led to two quick breaks, and Machine finished the game winning 15-10.

After the game, both teams came together to share praise for the supportive group of spectators on hand, and friendly feedback for each other. The post-game celebration moved to a nearby brewery where players were able to trade stories, jerseys, and lots of laughs. In a gesture of extreme kindness, Machine introduced the Italians to local Chicago delicacy: Malort (a disgusting spiced liquor). In a surprising turn of events, the Italians not only tolerated the Malort, but several found it to be enjoyable.

 
 

Photo highlights will be posted on www.huckpix.com (action shots above courtesy of Huck Pix).

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One story of note, Machine rookie (and player with the most Italian sounding name of any attendee at the scrimmage), Vinny Ciaramitaro, was delayed getting to the scrimmage as the car in front of his bus flipped over in downtown Chicago while crossing a bridge, blowing out all of its windows. Both the bus driver and Vinny jumped out to help the family of four who were stuck inside as the gasoline leaked out. Everyone was safe, and Vinny was able to play in the scrimmage despite cuts to his hand.

 
 

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Machine to Scrimmage Italy's CUSB La Fotta on 7/31 at Schiller Park

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Machine to Scrimmage Italy's CUSB La Fotta on 7/31 at Schiller Park

Chicago Machine is excited to announce that we will be scrimmaging Italy's CUSB La Fotta men's ultimate team on Monday, July 31st. The game will be played with USAU rules, to 15, with observers (if available). Spectators are encouraged to attend.

  • What: Scrimmage between Chicago Machine and CUSB La Fotta
    • Open to the public and free
  • WhereSchiller Park Woods
    • N East River Rd, Chicago, IL 60634
    • Field Map (Targeting Field 1)
  • Date: Monday, July 31st 2017
  • Time: 7:00pm

CUSB La Fotta, one of Italy's top men's ultimate teams, will be in Chicago for two days on their way to Minnesota for the US Open taking place later next week. CUSB La Fotta, founded in 1988, is based out of Bologna, and is one of the most well traveled and decorated teams in Italian history. If your Italian is strong, you can read more about them, and their team history here: http://www.bodisc.it/cusb-la-fotta/

Otherwise, follow along on Machine's Facebook & Twitter for updates as we get closer to the scrimmage! 

Follow CUSB La Fotta on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CusBolognaUltimate/

CUSB La Fotta 2016 Video Highlights:

We will be selling Machine discs ($10) and hats ($15) on the sidelines!

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2017 Pro-Elite Challenge Recap and Highlight Video

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2017 Pro-Elite Challenge Recap and Highlight Video

Machine's first tournament of the 2017 campaign came with growing pains, as the short-handed squad struggled to find consistency with a new offensive system.

USAU Pro-Elite Challenge Score Reporter

While Machine was able to take early leads against both Ironside and Doublewide, inexperience shown through as both opponents would lock-in defensively and run away with victories in the second half. Final scores: 9-13 & 10-13. Machine began to hit their stride during the third game of the day on Saturday, versus PoNY, but an offensive miscue on universe point gave PoNY the only chance they would need to steal the game. Final score 10-11.

After dropping all three games in pool play, Machine fell into a lower bracket round-robin with Prairie Fire, Chain Lightning, and Madison Club. A lightning delay before the Prairie Fire game did little to slow Machine, and an early lead was stretched out as defensive pressure led to multiple errant throws. The biggest change was an increase in conversion percentages from the Machine D-line on the turn (a problem that plagued them throughout pool play). Final score 13-7.

Saturday evening gave Machine an opportunity to bond over food, drinks, and a river swim in downtown Denver. Sunday morning's game against Chain Lightning felt reminiscent of pool play, however, with Machine jumping to an early lead, only to see it quickly be erased. Loose decision making with the disc gave Chain ample opportunities for breaks, and despite strong defensive pressure, Chain stretched the lead to a 11-13 victory. Focused on process goals, Machine came out with more intensity in the final game of the tournament, against Madison Club. Machine patiently took advantage of zone looks and poachy D to convert at their highest percentage rate of the weekend. The early successes gave life to the team, and the defense poured on the breaks, leading to a 13-7 victory.

Despite the rocky results, there were several strong individual performances from the likes of Cullen Geppert (prior to a hamstring strain on day 2), Yiding Hou (assuming an offensive handler role), Jesse White (leading the team in D's and plus/minus), Jeff Weis (in his first elite club level tournament), and Travis Carpenter (also moving to the O-line). 

Video Highlights:

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Chicago Machine - 2017 Pro-Elite Challenge Preview

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Chicago Machine - 2017 Pro-Elite Challenge Preview

The 2017 Chicago Machine campaign starts this weekend at the Pro-Elite Challenge in Denver, CO. (Tournament Details: http://play.usaultimate.org/events/TCT-Pro-Elite-Challenge-2017/

Machine's first opponent of the season will be the defending national champion Boston Ironside. The pool also features games against New York's PoNY, and a retooled Doublewide team who brought in several players from nationals contender HIP (a Houston based team that disbanded during the offseason).

Full Schedule: http://play.usaultimate.org/events/TCT-Pro-Elite-Challenge-2017/schedule/Men/Club-Men/

Ultiworld has yet to announce coverage, but tape delayed recordings of select PEC games are expected to be included in their 2017 video subscription package.

Machine will be sending a roster of 20 active players and coach Andy Neilsen, with 5 players missing due to various reasons (Dada Libo-on & Xtian Guerrero: travel, Kevin Kelly & Joshua Stevens-Stein: injury, Michael Schwenk: wedding).

To follow along for live updates: http://twitter.com/machineultimate

Check back after the tournament for a recap, highlight video, and much more throughout the season.

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Chicago Men's Combined Tryout Hat Tournament - Email Sent 5/4

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Chicago Men's Combined Tryout Hat Tournament - Email Sent 5/4

Gentleman,

Thank you for expressing your interest in the Chicago Men's Club Combined Tryout Hat Tournament on May 14th and/or trying out for Chicago Machine. Leadership and representatives from each of Chicago's Mens Club teams (Machine, Beachfront Property, Black Market, and Haymaker) will be in attendance at the hat tournament to introduce themselves and evaluate players. This year's hat tournament will feature a more competitive bracket format, with dope ass shirts for the winning team.

If you indicated you will be able to attend the tryout hat tournament, a more thorough email will go out next week with information on what to bring, what to expect, and team assignments. Until then, here are the important details:

  • What: Chicago Men's Open Hat Tryout Tournament - 2017
  • Where: Washington Park Chicago, IL
  • When: Sunday, May 14, 2017 (10:00 AM - 3:00 PM)
  • Note: There is a tryout fee of $20. All attendees will receive a new Chicago Machine disc.

If you know of anyone interested in attending, please instruct them to fill out the tryout interest form if they have not already.

Additional tryout details for Beachfront, Haymaker, and Black Market will be shared in future updates.

Beachfront Property

  • Tryout Dates: http://www.bfpultimate.com/tryouts.html
  • Tryout Form: https://goo.gl/forms/oUKpLPcW1XmTzS2r2

Black Market

  • Tryout Dates: https://www.facebook.com/BlackMarketUltimate/photos/a.278659625628213.1073741827.242071582620351/738657706295067/?type=3&theater
  • Tryout Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc5bgZKw144qsJxns9ed0thS2eq3kNKn9HKMF3S5SucsD5Ogw/viewform

Haymaker

  • Tryout Dates/ Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1b9RrLvJHO28Y_wrslJwCRc9YiCzQpC4u9Q3RIejB2VU/viewform?edit_requested=true

-All subsequent Machine tryouts will be by invite only-

For those interested in consideration for Chicago Machine: 2017 Machine Tournament Schedule

  • Pro-Elite Challenge (Aurora, CO) - July 8th/9th
  • Elite-Select Challenge (Appleton, WI) - August 19th/20th
  • Pro-Flight Finale (Burlington, WA) - September 2nd/3rd/4th
  • Regionals (Location, TBD) - September 23rd/24th
  • Nationals (Sarasota, FL) - October 19th/20th/21st/22nd
    • (Dependent on placement at Regionals)

Machine practices on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and local players are expected to attend local pod workouts 1-2 nights per week, on top of individual work outs.

As a disclaimer, interested players should be aware that the cumulative costs of airfare, hotels, rental cars, jerseys, entry fees, and team dues for a club season are all paid out of pocket by each individual. 

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Thanks,

2017 Machine Leadership

www.chicago-machine.com 

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Machine Debuts "Guest Coaching" Program at Meltdown

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Machine Debuts "Guest Coaching" Program at Meltdown

Chicago Machine and GLUE Ultimate partnered this past weekend to provide a Guest Coaching program for teams attending Meltdown. GLUE is a recently formed midwest tournament management organization, with Meltdown being their inaugural spring tournament for College and High School mens/women's teams. The Guest Coaching program involved pairing a Machine player with a specific team for the weekend, providing an outside set of eyes to answer questions, give customized advice to captains, and share feedback with individual players.

Andy Neilsen celebrates with the Edwardsville Elite HS Boys team after winning finals (initially seeded 10th of 10 teams). 

Andy Neilsen celebrates with the Edwardsville Elite HS Boys team after winning finals (initially seeded 10th of 10 teams). 

Machine approached GLUE to trial-run the Guest Coaching program, in hopes of creating more opportunities for team members to give back to the local ultimate community. The program itself was largely inspired by Without Limits, a tournament management organization who has historically offered a similar program at Women's Centex in Austin, TX.

The program drew greater interest than anticipated, receiving more applications than there were available Guest Coaches. With this knowledge, it is Machine's hope to offer more coaches in future years, in order to accommodate every team that applies.

The weekend itself was wet, windy, and cold (typical Rockford, IL weather), but that did not prevent teams from battling it out on the newly installed turf fields at Rockford's Sportscore 2 athletic complex. Nor did the dense fog that rolled through on Sunday morning.

 
 

Overall, all of Machine's guest coaches were welcomingly embraced by their teams, and the feedback from both players and coaches was tremendously positive. We were humbled to share the experience with these bright up-and-coming players. We look forward to building upon this initial trial-run in future years and future events.

Cullen Geppert enjoying his time with the wonderful Wheaton College Mastodonnas 

Cullen Geppert enjoying his time with the wonderful Wheaton College Mastodonnas 

Kevin Kelly capping off a fun filled weekend with the awesome women on Knox College's Mary Todd.

Kevin Kelly capping off a fun filled weekend with the awesome women on Knox College's Mary Todd.

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