About the Team
The Eagles face long-odds to repeat in the 7’s version debuting at Rio but recent form does not count them out.
After finishing 6th in the 2014/15 HSBC World Sevens Series, the USA was forced to qualify for this summer’s games by winning the 2015 NACRA Men’s Sevens Championship held last June in Cary, NC. The Eagles easily won their Pool over Mexico, Jamaica, and Barbados. Mike Friday’s team then defeated the Cayman Islands in the semifinal and Canada in the final.
“We are very much looking forward to the challenge of Pool A, and it will be a tough one,” Friday said. “We are under no illusion of how all these teams play, and will be ready and eager for the opportunity and challenge ahead as we know we will have prepared thoroughly and will have also developed our own game on both sides of the ball.
“Whilst we respect all three of our group opponents, we will fear none of them, as we have a great balance and blend of power, pace, and physicality to our squad.”
Rugby being included at Brazil has helped increase the exposure of rugby in general and rugby 7’s specifically in the U.S. Carlin Isles, a former football player and sprinter, is the face of the team.
“Carlin is one of the first global celebrities to come out of sevens,” Brett Gosper, CEO of World Rugby said of the 26-year-old. “He’s the face of America’s ambitions in the game.”
But it is not only Isles getting headlines.
Nate Ebner put his NFL career on hold with the blessing of his team, the New England Patriots, to chase his dream. And Perry Baker’s ability earned his a place on the London 7’s ‘Dream Team’ and caught the attention on global sportswriters.
It may not only by fans in the U.S. cheering for the Red, White, and Blue. UK sportswriter Ian Stafford has speculated that it would be a great thing to happen to world rugby if the USA wins in Rio.