Ten Wins Added to U.S.A. Record on Day Three, Now 23-0

Posted: June 21, 2016 02:44 PM
London, U.K. (June 21, 2016) – The U.S. is now 23 games into the 2016 World Ultimate and Guts Championships in London. The five teams representing the U.S. have encountered a couple speed bumps along the way, but overall, Team U.S.A. has been dominant on the world’s largest stage. Twenty-three games, 23 wins. 
All five teams ended day three finished with pool play, and some divisions – men’s, mixed and men’s masters – began power pools today. 
The men’s team squared off against the Czech Republic and South Africa today. Neither game ever felt at all contested. Despite teams employing a variety of different tactics, whatever they think might slow down the U.S. offense, opponents can’t come close to shutting down all the weapons available up and down the men’s roster. The men should get their first true test tomorrow morning. They’ll take on Australia, who also won their pool, is still undefeated and hasn’t truly been tested yet, at 9:30 a.m. local time. 
Whatever questions the mixed team had about themselves at the end of the day yesterday, they’d shaken them off by the time their first game rolled around this morning. In their first two games of power pools, focusing more internally – on their game and their own team – than they did yesterday afternoon and rolled through Hong Kong and Germany. The mixed team had been looking forward to facing Germany who had looked strong through the first two days and might have challenged Team U.S.A. a little more. They traded the first four points, and Germany looked sharp. At 2-2, each team had several unforced turnovers before Reid Koss decided to make things happen. He got one great layout D, controlling his body to avoid the receiver and the foul, but the U.S. turned it back over. So he got another D. That one was the first of two U.S. Callahans in the game, and the first break point. One point shouldn’t break a team for an entire game, but that’s what seemed to happen. The Germans didn’t score again. Sam Kanner got the second Callahan – a layout block on the initial centering pass – which put the U.S. up 11-2. It was truly an impressive performance from the mixed squad. Their last power pool game comes against Ireland tomorrow morning at 11:30. 
The women’s team finished out pool play against Finland and Singapore. Finland put up a bit of a fight in the first round of the day, finding some success with their deep game (those tall Nordic receivers certainly don’t hurt). The seven points they put up this morning equals the total points put up by Team USA’s five other opponents combined. After getting to wait around all day – they were lucky enough to draw the 9:30/5:30 game schedule today – the U.S. women routed Singapore 15-0. While the rest of the teams in their pool finish up pool play tomorrow morning, the U.S. are finished until bracket play gets underway tomorrow afternoon. They’ll face Colombia, who already clinched the top spot in their pool, in a game for seeding, at 3:30 p.m. local time. 
The men’s masters team played the most exciting game of the day, their last game of pool play against Denmark. No one expected the game to be easy, but down a break, Boneyard became the first U.S. team to lose a half here in London when Denmark took the game to halftime up 8-7. But Boneyard has shown this week that they’re a second-half team. So they did what they do. Casey Degnan got a great layout D on an in-cut that gave the disc back to the U.S. right on the goal line. Boneyard punched it in, getting their break back and tying the game (again) at 8-8. Another break put them up 10-9, and they kept the momentum going. Their defense really started to force turnovers, and as it has been all week, the defensive offense has been solid – taking care of the disc and making the most of their chances. They had a chance to break for the win but couldn’t convert, and it took a couple turns each way before Boneyard finally closed out the game 15-12. It was a chippy game on both sides, and execution certainly wasn’t perfect, but so far, each time they’ve been tested, Boneyard has a found the grit to push through. They had a much easier second game – an eventual 15-7 win against Switzerland – that may be their last "easy" game. They’ll take on Great Britain and Australia tomorrow, the second and first seeds in their respective pools, in what should be great match ups. 
After a tight game against New Zealand yesterday, the women’s masters team really seemed to find their form on day three. They defeated a solid German team 15-7 before moving onto the showcase field in a live-streamed game against Japan. They also got a reinforcement in the form of Alicia White before the Japan match up. White arrived just as the team had finished up against Germany and was cleated up for Japan. Even on a standout roster like the one the U.S. women’s master’s team can boast, White makes a noticeable impact. But back to the game – many of the U.S. women have been playing Japan internationally for years – with Fury, Riot, etc. – so many expected to this marquee match up to be a barn burner. As it turned out, not so much. The U.S. really worked the field well, showing better disc movement and spacing than they had in their earlier games. And as usual, their height played a role against the shorter Japanese women. The U.S. got out to a 4-0 lead and didn’t look back. They ended up closing out the game 15-4. With big hitters like Genevieve Laroche, Crystal Davis and VY Chow leading the way, they head into power pools tomorrow morning. Like the men’s masters team, they’ll meet Australia and Great Britain on day four. 
There is an odd mix of antipathy toward and fascination about the U.S. teams here in London. Many other teams view the U.S. delegation like most people in the States view the Yankees or the Patriots – "Who are you rooting for? Anyone but the U.S.A." But it’s also always easy to pick out the fields where a U.S. team is playing. Other players and fans migrate toward the U.S. games during their bye rounds to get an in-person glimpse of so many of the athletes they’ve seen on ESPN, Ultiworld, YouTube or the like, the people they’ve seen jump over a guy or make the SportsCenter Top 10, and to see what all the fuss is really about. They might not always admit it, but I think they usually walk away pretty impressed. Honestly, it’s hard not to be.
It will be interesting to see if the attitudes progress as the week does, which reminds me of the article Isaac Saul wrote for the USA Ultimate magazine (pg. 13-15) about Revolver last year after they won another national championship. 
"By the time the finals rolled around, I and most of the fans at Nationals had – once again – given up on hating Revolver…I found myself exhausted of hatred for Revolver. Even the fans at the game got tired of booing. The truth is, I didn’t hear a single bad word about Revolver all week. And by the time they got done completing yet another dominant run, I didn’t have a single bad thing to say about them."
Not that many American sports fans ever really relent on disliking the Yankees or the Patriots, but thankfully, ultimate is still a different game. Hopefully by the time the U.S. teams leave London, we will have earned some more good opinions, no matter how begrudgingly given. 
It might seem a lofty goal, but we might as well as add one more of those to the list. 
USA Tuesday Results
Men def. Czech Republic 15-1
Men def. South Africa 15-4
Mixed def. Hong Kong 15-2
Mixed def. Germany 15-2
Women def. Finland 15-7
Women def. Singapore 15-0
Men’s Masters def. Denmark 15-12
Men’s Masters def. Switzerland 15-7
Women’s Masters def. Germany 15-7
Women’s Masters def. Japan 15-4
USA Wednesday Schedule
9:30 a.m. – Men v. Australia
11:30 a.m. – Mixed v. Ireland, Men’s Masters v. Great Britain, Women’s Masters v. Australia
1:30 p.m. – Men v. TBD
3:30 p.m. – Women v. Colombia, Men’s Masters v. Australia
5:30 p.m. – Mixed v. TBD, Women’s Masters v. Great Britain


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