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Team USA braces for football tilt with American SamoaJun 30, 2012 It's been a great week of preparation for Team USA's under-19 football team said its coach Steve Specht.
But just as it's not easy to assimilate another team's speed, it's not possible to copy an opponent's brawn either.
Team USA will battle one of its largest opponent in the first round of the eight-team, 12-game IFAF World Championship when it takes on American Samoa 8 p.m. today at Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas.
All games will be stream live on USA Football’s YouTube channel and archived for future viewing at www.YouTube.com/usafootballeducation.
American Samoa is not only large, but skilled as well. Just ask an all-star team from Australia, which was eliminated 93-7 by American Samoa in an Oceania qualifying game.
Samoa is led by 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back Faafouina Sitagata, who carried the ball 12 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Australia.
Free safety Shalom Luiani (6-0, 195) is also a talented player as he showed against Australia with touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns.
"To play in this game brought all of these little high schools together on the small island of American Samoa," American Samoa offensive coordinator Tupulua Taase said. "The players have united, became a family and are one brotherhood."
Team USA, who won the gold medal in the first World Championships in 2009, are led by quarterback Brayden Scott (6-3, 200), who completed 158 of 253 passes for 2,270 yards and 26 touchdowns for Sequoyah (Tahlequah, Okla.) last season. He has verbally committed to Memphis.
The team's top defensive player might be linebacker Reggie Chevis (6-1, 247), who recorded 12 sacks last season for Sharpstown (Houston, Texas). He has already committed to Texas A&M.
"I really think that these kids have exceeded our expectations to get ready to play this games," Specht said. "We're ready. We've been here a week, and now it's time to play."
The winner of this game plays the winner of Austria and Panama at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Here's a schedule of games (all times CT):
Saturday, June 30
No. 4 seed Panama vs. No. 5 Austria, 9 a.m.
No. 3 Japan vs. No. 6 France, 11:30 a.m.
No. 2 Canada vs. No. 7 Sweden, 5 p.m.
No. 1 United States vs. No. 8 American Samoa
Tuesday, July 3
Japan-France loser vs. Canada-Sweden loser, 5 p.m.
Panama-Austria loser vs. USA/AMS loser, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 4
Japan-France winner vs. Canada-Sweden winner, 5 p.m.
Panama-Austria winner vs. USA/AMS winner, 8 p.m.
Friday, July 6
Seventh-place game, 5 p.m.
Fifth-place game, 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 7
Bronze medal game, 5 p.m.
Gold medal game, 8 p.m.
NOTES: Chevis and Scott are among five captains selected by USA teammates. The others were offensive lineman Hunter Bivin of Apollo (Owensboro, Ky.), running back Conor Hundley of St. Xavier (Cincinnati) and linebacker Cory Jasudowich of Cheshire Academy (Conn.). ... Flag bearers for the USA are linebacker Justin Bridges-Thompson of
Spartanburg (S.C.) and lineman Tyler Colbert of Southwest (Fort Worth, Texas). ... William Proctor, a cousin of Bridges-Thompson, is currently serving his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. Colbert's father Lamonte Colbert served as a U.S. Air Force sergeant from 1986-92. ... Instead of starring for the U.S. this week, Jasudowich could have easily been competing in the X Games in Los Angeles instead. He raced his first dirt bike at age 4. Three years ago, the 6-foot-2, 235-pounder had to choose between racing and football. Shoulder pads won out over brake pads. "That was a big part of my life when I was younger," Jasudowich said. "It was an adrenaline rush. Sitting on a bike about to race is like when you get up on the line. ... You feel the adrenaline racing dirt bikes just like you do on the first play of the game." ... USA Football, the sport's national governing body in the United States, hosts more than 100 football training events annually offering education for coaches, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association. ... USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competitions and provides more than $1 million annually in equipment grants and youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.
Steve Alic and Todd Bell contributed to this report.