Team USA - U23 Scrimmage
Chicago Machine and the ladies of Nemesis traveled out to North Central College in Naperville yesterday evening for a series of scrimmages with the U23 National Teams. (U23 Rosters: http://www.usaultimate.org/about/usaultimate/international/wu23_2015.aspx)
With the scrimmage starting shortly after working hours, Machine was able to bring a small squad of 10 guys (as well as one practice player and two former players) to the scrimmage, which was played under the lights in North Central's football stadium. After a brief warm-up, and some light drizzle, Machine and the U23 Men's team faced off in front of a modest crowd of spectators.
Machine got off to an early lead, with a quick break on the second point of play. After trading for a series, Team USA broke back to remain on serve. Up 7-8, Machine broke again to take half. A few early second half breaks put Machine up 4, but TEAM USAU fought back, scoring four straight points to end the game, and win 14-13 at the cap. (Universe point featured turnovers by both teams.)
There were several big hucks from Machine's Goose Helton and Stephan Mance. Practice player Yiding Hou got player of the game honors, creating several D's while guarding handler resets, and punishing with throw and go movement on the turn. The scrimmage was the first opportunity for first year Machine player Noah Backer to get reps with the team, as he made his move to Chicago the weekend before.
Team USAU was incredibly spirited and welcoming, and looks to be in great position to accomplish their Goals in London next week. It is an incredible group of players they have collected, and a truly talented team with exceptional coaching.
After the conclusion of the Men's scrimmage and Women's scrimmage (between Nemesis and Team USA Women), Machine and Nemesis joined as one team to scrimmage Team USA Mixed. This was a rare opportunity for the Chicago Men's and Women's team's to take the field together. While both teams had a great time playing together, and having fun on the sidelines, the early on-field performance was rocky. Team USA Mixed took advantage of the early miscues and hit several away shots to build an early lead. Late in the first half Neme-chine started to click, and short series of breaks led to a 9-9 tie. The two teams would trade out, and end the game in a 10-10 tie, before coming together for a spirit circle.
We wish nothing but the best to these young athletes who will be representing us on the international stage. We have no doubts in their capabilities, and were more than impressed with their friendliness, spirit, and camaraderie, given their short time together as teammates. To follow their journey, their schedule and other information can be found at: http://wu23uc2015.com/ or you can follow them on twitter at: http://twitter.com/USAUltimateU23
Elite Select Challenge
We'll be following Team USA's success in London, and embraced the opportunity to tune up prior to our first tournament this weekend, the Elite Select Challenge in Columbus, OH.
More information, including seeding and pools for the Elite Select Challenge, can be found here: http://play.usaultimate.org/events/TCT-Elite-Select-Challenge/
Our Saturday pool includes: Madison Club (Madison, WI), Sprawl (Phoenix, AZ), and Garuda (Boston, MA). The top two finishers at the Elite Select challenge will qualify to play at the Pro-Flight Finale in Blaine, MN in late August.
Machine will bringing a 20 man roster to Columbus, with two players away at U23 worlds (Travis Carpenter and Tim Fergus) and two players recovering from injuries (Von Alanguilan and George Hughes). We will be tweeting and providing video highlights after the tournament.