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Eagle Men 7s Look To Vancouver

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Eagle Men 7s Look To Vancouver

Stephen Tomasin continues his strong run of form. David Barpal photo.

USA Men's Sevens Head Coach Mike Friday has made a few changes as the team moves from finishing th at the LA Sevens to the Canada Sevens in Vancouver, BC.

Ben Pinkelman and Joe Schroeder are ruled out due to injury. In come Malon Al-Jiboori and Maceo Brown, while Ben Broselle will be the 13th man. Friday told Goff Rugby Report last week how pleased he was with Al-Jiboori's attitude, as he had to basically work his way back into the World Series team. 

"He's been working really hard," said Friday.

Brown comes in more as a forward now, with the Eagles losing two of their tallest big men. Friday said he's been working to make Brown a more versatile player. (See the video interview below)

The Eagles looked quite good in LA, and they lost a quarterfinal to eventual tournament champs South Africa that they were very unlucky to lose. But they rebounded with an excellent defeat of France and then a workmanlike victory over Ireland.

“We were very disappointed to lose the title in LA and after disappointing Day One performances which are not how we go about our business," said Friday—the Eagles went 2-1 on Day One but fell behind in every game. "We had some very straight conversations at the end of that day. To then lose narrowly to South Africa in the Quarterfinal was even more disappointing as there were some moments both in and out of our control which were very frustrating. 

“However, I was very proud of the boys in how they worked on Day Two. To bounce back with two very uncompromising performances against France and Ireland to secure 5th, lays the minimum standard with which we approach Vancouver."

Friday said it's a tough loss to see Pinkelman, a player he calls "world class," and, he added, "Ben’s injury was compounded by losing Joe who was outstanding in LA."

Pinkelman is being held out partly as a precaution as he will be needed later. Schroeder has already undergone surgery.

“We are fortunate to have a highly physical animal in Malon, who was unfortunate not to make the roster in LA and was outstanding at the Los Angeles Invitational," said Friday. "With Ben Broselle, we bring another player who is again highly physical and possesses real speed as well."

Amazingly, the USA is in the same pool mix as last week, facing Samoa, Scotland, and Australia. 

USA Squad For Vancouver
1. Carlin Isles Wing 56
2. Malon Al-Jiboori Prop/Hooker 9
3. Danny Barrett Prop 53
4. Maceo Brown Center 13
5. Cody Melphy Halfback 5
6. Kevon Williams Halfback/Wing 26
7. Naima Fuala'au Halfback 7
8. Maka Unufe Center 42
9. Stephen Tomasin Hooker 36
10. Madison Hughes (C) Halfback 51
11. Perry Baker Wing 46
12. Martin Iosefo Center 45
13. Ben Broselle Center 6

The Eagles 7th in the World Series standings, just two points behind Australia and just four behind England.