USA U-23 Prepares for the 2015 World Under-23 Ultimate Championships

Posted: July 9, 2015 07:51 PM

Naperville, Ill. (July 9, 2015) – Four days. The United States Under-23 National Teams have had just four days to learn new systems, how they fit into those systems and each other’s tendencies and preferences. Knowing that off-field relationships fuel on-field performance, the teams have also worked hard to get to know one another as quickly as possible – spending as much time as they can with each other throughout the day: between practices, during meals and hanging around the dorms.

Each team has their own way of bonding. The mixed team likes pretty much any kind of game – disc ping pong, card games, war, etc. The men’s team started with mafia, and the women’s team has taken to spork assassins. (Shout-out to the local Taco Bell for donating the sporks.)

The off-the-field bonding sessions are bookended with two-a-day practices. Five or six hours a day are spent with cleats on, running ladders, learning new handler sets and zone defenses, and drilling, drilling, drilling. Countless variations of scrimmages test the teams’ abilities to implement everything they’ve learned.

Last night, the teams got to pit themselves against Chicago Machine and Chicago Nemesis. The local club teams were kind enough to pull together squads and make the drive to North Central College in Naperville after they finished their work days, so the U-23 teams could get an idea of how they measure up against someone other than themselves. Each of the scrimmages was exciting.

The U-23 women’s team looked great, coming away with a solid win. The open team gave up a couple of breaks to begin their scrimmage against Machine but quickly settled down. They traded points throughout, but closed out the game with three consecutive breaks to clinch a 13-12 win. The mixed team scrimmaged a combination Machine/Nemesis squad – Nemechine – and, after gaining a comfortable lead, allowed the combo team to come back. The game finished in a 10-10 tie.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, the teams will board a bus headed for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and make the journey across the pond to London. Competition begins on Sunday afternoon when the U.S. open team will take on Great Britain in the first showcase match (4:30 p.m. GMT), as part of the event’s opening ceremonies.

This is only the second time the U.S. has sent a delegation to the U-23 World Championships, and this year’s teams had a high bar set for them after the 2013 iteration’s performance in Toronto. Each of those teams won gold medals, and the mixed team won the division’s spirit award. But the 2015 rosters look to stand a great chance to match that outcome.

Each team’s schedule is different, a result of the varying number of competing nations in each division, but each team will play 10 games over the course of the week.

Competition runs from Sunday, July 12, through championship Saturday on July 18.

Follow Along:

*Check out the Twitter feeds for more insight into and information about Team USA's time at training camp.



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