Chicago Machine will mount up and head east to the birthplace of aviation this weekend, for the 2018 USAU Elite-Select Challenge in Columbus, OH.
Tournament Details: https://play.usaultimate.org/events/TCT-Elite-Select-Challenge-2018/
Machine's pool features a Madison Club team fresh off an AUDL championship (playing under their alter-alias the Madison Radicals). The pool also includes Montreal’s Mockingbird and Kansas City’s Prairie Fire (the latter of which features former Machine legend, Trent Kuhl). The winner of the pool will advance straight to Sunday's quarters, meanwhile the second and third place finishers will advance to a Saturday afternoon pre-quarter, and the fourth place finisher will be relegated to lower bracket round robin.
Ultiworld will be on site to film games as part of their online video subscription package. Machine is not scheduled to be recorded, but could end up being filmed dependent on bracket play outcomes.
Machine will be sending a roster of 20 active players, missing 3 O-line cutters due to pre-existing conflicts (Jack Shanahan, Michael Pardo, Ross Barker), and 3 D-line cutters due to injuries sustained in battle (Alex Evangelides/ Ankle, Nate Goff/ Hamstring, Kevin Kelly/ Shoulder). The team will also be without coach Andy Neilsen, who will be representing the red white and blue as a member of USA U20 coaching staff, as they compete at World’s in Waterloo, CA.
For live updates over the weekend: http://twitter.com/machineultimate
Check back after the tournament for a recap, highlight video, and much more throughout the season.
ICYMI - Highlights from our previous tournament, the 2018 US Open - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoHHMS8RTtI
Interested in owning a 2018 Chicago Machine jersey? Our fan order form is open from now until Friday August 24th at 5:00pm CT.
Full details included in the link below. We are very happy to be working with Double Happiness as our provider this year, and love the way the kits have turned out! The material is similar to VC in our opinion, and the shorts feel like a hybrid between Five's hydro shorts and Pata's field shorts.
(Shipping to US only)
Our strength comes not from abstractly doing something that will make the team win, but that we become strong when we knit ourselves together in the systems that we've worked on. This was Machine's mantra heading into the US Open.
Flash forward to Blaine, MN. After brief lightning delay to start the day, Machine kicked the tournament off with a spirited game versus Raleigh's Ring of Fire. An early break put Machine in a hole, but improved spacing and timing downfield quickly righted the ship. Both teams would trade, as Machine’s D-line was able to get the occasional turn, but struggled to convert goals. That would change, as a strong start to the second half would put Chicago back in front. Unfortunately, errors began to pile up, and Ring was able to make a run to close the game out 14-12.
In round 2, Machine returned to one of Experiment 29’s most grizzly crime scenes. Wondering, ‘What Would Michael Schwenk do?’ the Rowdy Boys came out fast and loose jumping on international opponent, Fire of London, 6-0. Some impressive upwind skies led to London scores during the second half, but Machine jogged away with this one 15-3.
In the final round of the day, Machine took a walloping from the hometown heroes, Sub Zero. Machine O struggled with Subs physicality on D, and were plagued with execution errors. The D was slow to implement adjustments, and Sub’s systematic offense continued to keep Chicago chasing. It was never in doubt, Sub ran away with it 15-9.
The taste of frustration was quickly replaced with that of barbecue, as Machine headed to Minnesota native Ross Barker’s home for an evening of grilling, joking, and uni-cycling.
Day 2 was expected to feature heavy storms from start to finish, but Mother Gaia smiled upon the US Open, holding back the lightning so games could go on unimpeached. Unfortunately, Machine lost cutter Alex Evangelides for the weekend to an ankle injury in the lead-up to the game. One of three Japanese teams in attendance, Loquitos proved to be formidable foe in round 1. Machine’s offensive timing began to improve, as new pieces started finding their rhythm. The defense on the other hand, looked a step slow, with Loquitos placing sharp edged hucks perfectly for receivers in stride early and often. Finding success going upwind, Machine’s d-line O was able to eventually capitalize on enough turns to close things out 15-11.
Next up, Machine took on Denver’s Johnny Bravo. This game featured only a single turn by the O-line, as quick disc movement made all the difference. Bravo stayed close early, as the D line found ways to generate turns, but consistently gave the disc back after stagnating on the turn. Enough shots eventually lead to scores, and the clean offensive performance facilitated a 15-10 victory. The win came with another injury, as Kevin Kelly was knocked out for the weekend with a shoulder injury.
The final game of the day was the most frustrating of the weekend in many ways. After failing to close out a late lead over Truck Stop in Colorado at PEC, Machine would once again get knocked off their foundation, allowing a series of consecutive breaks late in the game to fall 11-14 to the boys from DC.
With an early end to the day, Machine split into two camps in order to simultaneously cheer on the Chicago boys YCC team being coached by Machine head coach Andy Neilen, and cheer on the women of Chicago Nemesis as they battled Texas’s Showdown in an action packed game. The two factions reunited at the semi-final fields to check-in at the Gum Ball, a social event promoting girls and women’s ultimate with raffles, dinner, and one-to-one player interaction. Machine was excited to donate some swag to the raffle, and promote Gum as official GUM Ambassadors.
In the final day of the tournament, Machine would once again play Bravo, this time in the consolation bracket. Both teams came out firing, focused, and ready to compete, despite the lower stakes. A back and forth game, each team found themselves giving up the disc, but battling to get it back and hold on O. A late D by Sam Kanner led to a short field upwind break, and was enough to turn the tide as Machine won 13-11.
With the official slate of games over, Machine took the field one additional time, to play Japan’s buzz bullets in a non-regulation game. Both teams have history with each other, and were not going to pass up the opportunity to get a game in before heading home. Machine’s offense looked crisp from start to finish, and routinely found big receivers for deep scores. Buzz made it tough on the defense, with incredibly quick disc movement running defenders into the ground. A late weekend second wind to the D-lines legs led to an impressive performance, and enough pressure to cause the Buzz offense to falter. Improved conversion rates stretched the lead early, and Machine ran away with this very fun scrimmage 11-7.
Overall, lots of frustration, lots of out of sync movement, lots of room for growth for the Rowdy Boys. Fortunately, the boys won’t have to wait long before they have another chance to improve again, with the Elite Select Challenge less than two weeks away.
Machine ascends north this week, heading to Blaine, MN for the US Open.
USA Ultimate Tournament Page: http://usopen.usaultimate.org
Schedule: The US Open runs from Friday (8/3) through Sunday (8/5), and features several top US and International teams. The tournament is run in conjunction with the USA Ultimate convention, a series of speakers and seminars on a variety of ultimate related topics from leading figures across the US, and coincides with the youth YCC US Open tournament.
Machine comes in seeded 5th overall, and shares a pool with Raleigh’s Ring of Fire, Denver’s Johnny Bravo, Minnesota’s Sub Zero, Japan’s Loquitos, and England’s Fire of London. After two days of round-robin pool play, the top two pool finishers will move onto semi-finals.
Video: Select games will be live streamed by USA Ultimate (including Machine's Friday's 10:30am CT game vs Ring of Fire, and Saturday's 10:45am CT game against Bravo). Select bracket play games will be live streamed on ESPN3. Full Schedule: http://usopen.usaultimate.org/watch-live/
Roster: Machine newcomers Ross Barker and Kurt Gibson will be making their season debuts. The tournament will serve as a homecoming for Barker, a native of St Paul, MN. Unfortunately, additional newcomer Nate Goff will be out with injury, and Machine defensive vets Andrew Sheehan and Stephan Mance will be out with pre-existing conflicts. Coach Andy Neilsen will be doing double duty, supporting Machine, while coaching the Chicago Boy's YCC team also competing in Blaine.
To follow all the action, check out Machine's Twitter for in-tournament updates: www.twitter.com/machineultimate
Highlights from our most recent tournament (the Pro-Elite Challenge in Denver, CO)
Chicago Machine is excited to announce three upcoming scrimmages with international opponents from Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland respectively. The games will be played this Wednesday and Thursday night, and spectators are encouraged to attend!
Chicago Machine vs Australia’s Heads of State
- Wednesday, July 11th 2018 at 7:00pm
Chicago Machine DOUBLE HEADER vs Switzerland’s Flying Angels Bern followed by New Zealand’s Wildcats
- Thursday, July 12th 2018 at 7:00pm and 8:15pm
These international opponents are coming through Chicago on their way to Cincinnati for WUCC, the World Ultimate Club Championships, hosted by the World Flying Disc Federation.
Heads of State has competed at the World Ultimate Club Championships in 2010 and 2014 and has also claimed the Australian Ultimate Championship title in 2015 to add to its pair of Australian Youth Ultimate Championship titles from 2006 and 2008. Heads of State [currently fields](/teams) four teams in the Open division, two teams in the Women's division, and two teams in the Mixed division to compete at different levels from local Victorian Ultimate League competitions through to WUCC at the international level.
Since 1984, the Flying Angels have developed into one of the largest Frisbee Clubs in Switzerland and today have around 150 members. These include juniors, active women and men who train and play in meanwhile five teams, but also passive and honorary members. Right from the start, the Angels also cultivated the social as well as the training and tournament operation. The atmosphere in the club is relaxed and friendly.
The Wellington Wildcats are the regional team and current National Champion's for Men's Ultimate Frisbee in New Zealand.
Whoever said a tie is like kissing your sister had some pretty weird ideas about stuff I guess. Machine’s 5th place finish after a quarterfinals collapse, on the other hand, seems a bit more apropos. Whatever. Let’s take a look.
Machine tipped off against Guerrilla, the Bay Area squad we last met at Pro Championships last year, and got outlasted and outran. This time was different, though it started the same. Guerrilla broke on two of the first three O points. Machine’s D was equal to the task, breaking on their first D point and then three more times for a 7-4 halftime lead. Breaking twice out of half could have been enough, but the Rowdy Boys added another for a 13-7 win.
Game two saw a revamped Philly Patrol, and the Machine O line cleaning things up. The O line would hold 8 of 9 possessions, and the D line, whose hot first half saved a lackluster second, cruised to a 13-7 win. Highlights include the only O line turn being immediately snatched back on a Kyle Rutledge Callahan.
A third round bye sent Machine to cheer on Nemesis against Underground, but the fellas had to leave too early to warmup for game three against Truck Stop to see the Chicago sisters’ epic comeback.
The Truck Stop game started auspiciously, with holds and D pressure, but the DC crew got the first break. Machine broke back and held for a 7-6 halftime lead. The temps were spring and the turf was HOT, but the D got a short field turn and punched in the break out of half to widen the lead. The game turned into a slog with long points but less D pressure. Machine had chances for more breaks, but couldn’t convert, as sloppy O line play led to two breaks in the final three points to give Truck Stop the 11-10 win. Fortunately the format granted Machine a bye to he quarterfinals against regional rival High Five.
After La Crewx shotgunned some La Croix's, the Rowdy Boys took to the Boulder Creek to cool off after a long day. Highlights include Wets with the gentlest jump into a creek that has ever existed.
Lighting delays in the last round Saturday pushed start times forward, but the squad looked sluggish arriving at the fields. Up 12-10 in a game to 13, the Rowdy Boys saw this one slip away 12-14. I don’t want to talk about this one so here’s a picture of the last few points.
After the L, Machine faced off against WUCC hopefuls Doublewide, with Kurt playing no favorites and cheering on both squads. Machine ratcheted up the D pressure in a big way and found turnovers and breaks in bunches. The O brought things back by the second half and the squad prevailed in a capped game, 12-9.
That left only Dig to play for 5th. Former Machine friend and current Dig friend Noah Backer and his Ironside transplants couldn’t figure out the D line’s bucket of looks and the Rowdy Boys took half 7-2. Great handler D and zone discipline continued to frustrate, and the teams traded to a 11-6 Machine win capped by a huge AJ Nelson layout from Travis Carpenter for the final goal. Other highlights include two shade tents blowing onto the field during a point. Scary. Hug someone you love, folks.
So okay. 5th. Missing some friends. And we could use them for this extra large helping of Humble Pie. And so how was it? The Cup, the wins, the Ls? The pie? What else can we do but repeat the quiet words of a legendary Alaskan cannery cook.
Chicago Machine will kick off the 2018 club season with the Pro-Elite Challenge this weekend in Denver, CO. (Tournament Details: http://play.usaultimate.org/events/TCT-Pro-Elite-Challenge-2018)
Machine's first opponent of the season will be Oakland Guerrilla, who wasted no time taking to Twitter to commence the trash talk. The pool also features games against Philadelphia Patrol and Washington DC Truck Stop.
Ultiworld will be on-site recording tape delayed footage of select PEC games. Though Machine is not slated to be filmed as of yet, if they advance into bracket play, it is possible they may be recorded on Sunday, or live streamed via USA Ultimate’s coverage of the finals.
Machine will be sending a roster of 21 players along with coach Andy Neilsen. Five players will be missing due to various reasons (Pawel Janas and Jack Shey will be missing Saturday due to their commitment as captains of the Chicago Wildfire, Ross Barker and Nate Goff will be missing both days, and Kurt Gibson will be in attendance, but competing with Austin Doublewide as a pre-requisite for his eligibility to play with Doublewide at the World Championships later this month).
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.
Machine appreciates it's supporters, and as a thank you for your support, we are giving away three new Machine discs, while also sharing our 2018 roster!
Below is link to a game where you will be tasked with matching a Machine player's name to their corresponding childhood picture. Spoiler Alert: All of these guys were very cute kids. Also, this game is difficult.
2018 Machine Match Game - https://www.sporcle.com/games/machineultimate/machine2018
Three ways you can win a disc:
- Be the first to submit a screenshot of a successful 100% score on the game
- Be the lucky winner of a random draw among those who scored 100% between now and Friday, June 15th at 11:59pm CT
- Be the lucky winner of a random draw among those who shared the Facebook post or Re-Tweeted the Tweet
- You must retweet this Tweet OR share this Facebook post to be eligible
- All submissions must come in the form of a screenshot, shared via a response to the original Tweet or comment on the original Facebook post
- Maximum of one disc per person
- You must live in the United States
Winners to be announced/notified on Monday, June 18th.