Men's Sevens Aim for Strong Start in Dubai
USA Men's Sevens Aim for Strong Start in Dubai
CHULA VISTA, Calif. - The USA Men's Sevens team will depart for the United Arab Emirates today where they will prepare for the first event of the HSBC Sevens World Series, an eight stage circuit spanning five months and five continents. The Series kicks off on December 3 in Dubai where the USA will take on Argentina, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe in Pool B.
Head Coach Al Caravelli expects a positive start and wants to set the expectations high for the exciting Eagles squad he's named to travel to Dubai and South Africa.
New Zealand is coming off their fourth consecutive Commonwealth Games Gold and finished second place in the Series last year. The USA has never beaten New Zealand, but Coach Al Caravelli believes they have put together a winning formula.
"Every time we play New Zealand, it boils down to execution under pressure. That is something we have been poor about in the last couple of times we have faced New Zealand where we spot them three tries.
"Then we realize we can play with them in the 2nd half but the lead is too large. So we have worked very hard on our mental strength and performing in pressure situations," said Caravelli.
Argentina, have been dealt losses by the Eagles in the past three outings, but Zimbabwe has beaten the USA in all three outings dating back to 2001; a record Head Coach Al Caravelli and his squad will aim to end in Dubai.
"We want to play our way into the cup rounds. To do that, we will play and target every play and every minute of every game as a small battle. If we win enough of those battles, at the end of the game we will have won that particular engagement. We do that enough times and we will be in the cup quarters. We have never beaten New Zealand or Zimbabwe, so we need to better than that to advance. That is our goal."
You can expect to see two things from the Eagles squad traveling to Dubai and South Africa: great defense and incredible fitness. Caravelli has been hard at work evaluating players and making sure he has a squad that will give the USA the best chance at notching wins in the 2010-2011 season. There is no shortage of physicality and pace in the squad. Some new blood in the squad should be exciting to watch. Much of the squad brings international sevens and fifteens experience, an asset to the younger and less seasoned Eagles.
MAKING A HABIT OF WINNING
The Eagles showed flashes of brilliance and immense talent on the World Series circuit last year and show no signs of slowing down this season. Since 2002, the USA's world ranking has steadily climbed from 27th to 10th. The Eagles are scoring more tries and racking-up more wins every year, a trend that looks likely to continue.
GOALS FOR DUBAI AND GEORGE
"We want & will play to our potential & if we do that we will be in the quarters. That is the minimum we expect of ourselves, play & perform to our expectations," said Caravelli.
"Traditionally we have not done well in Dubai. We have drawn the line this time out. We are setting to right our ship. Jumping out to a good start in Dubai and George sets you up well for the rest of the season. It is much better than chasing everyone else. Based on our past there is no way but up."
With the inclusion of rugby sevens in the 2011 Pan-Am Games next year and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the USA is expected to climb further as youth rugby and collegiate rugby develop while simultaneously receiving support from the United States Olympic Committee.