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USA Names Men's 7s Olympic Squad

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USA Names Men's 7s Olympic Squad

Madison Hughes captains the USA in Tokyo. David Barpal photo.

CHULA VISTA, Calif — USA Men's 7s Head Coach Mike Friday has announced his full 15-man roster for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, pending approval from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

Led Madison Hughes at Captain, the team features 12 starters, one alternate and two traveling reserves. 

Seven of the 12 starters competed at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 where the United States men fell shy of the medal rounds by a points differential of one. 

The Tokyo-bound squad features a wealth of experience with athletes who racked up many accolades over the years. Four players have made more than 50 appearances in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series including Captain Hughes, Danny Barrett, Carlin Isles and Folau Niua. 

Isles is famously known as the fastest rugby player in the world and is the USA Men’s all-time leading try scorer. Barrett brings a notorious physicality and strength that ‘s made him a household name. In 2018 he was featured on ESPN’s SC Top 10 for an incredible leap into the tryzone. He also led the World Rugby Sevens World Series in tries twice (2018 and 2019) and is the first USA player to 200 career tries. 

Niua is the most capped USA Sevens player of all time with 69 World Series tournaments. In 2019 he was nominated as World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year alongside Stephen Tomasin who will appear in his first Olympics next month. 

The squad also features 2017 and 2018 Player of the Year Perry Baker who, alongside Isles, has more than 200 tries in the aforementioned World Series. 

Brett Thompson will support the team as an alternate with Malacchi Esdale and Naima Fuala’au traveling as reserves. 

“This selection process has been incredibly competitive and that is a credit to the entire squad, especially off the back of what has been a hugely difficult year for the world," said Friday. "We’ve worked hard as a group to adapt and overcome all the adversities we’ve faced both individually and collectively. We look forward to representing the USA Rugby Community as we chase our spot on the podium." 

“Our pool is being positioned by others as the pool of death and we recognize the magnitude of task in front of us with South Africa, Kenya and Ireland. As a squad, we are both determined to meet and rise to this challenge. The entire pack — both 15 selected for Tokyo and our greater residency squad — will push one another over the coming weeks to ensure we are fully ready to represent this country with pride.”

When Friday started with USA Rugby in 2014, the program was near relegation in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Since then, they rose from a near dead-last position to being statistically one of the top-four teams in the World. 

Ruggamatrix America: Questing for Gold

In 2019, the final full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, the USA Men claimed seven medals in 10 tournaments, holding a No. 1 World Ranking until the final event where they finished No. 2. 

The USA Men depart for Japan in mid-July and spend the first week training in Mimasaka. Following the pre-Olympics camp, the squad will transfer to Tokyo for the Opening Ceremony which takes place July 22. 

Men’s rugby competition runs from July 26-28. The USA will face South Africa, Kenya and Ireland in Pool C with a full schedule to be announced in the coming weeks. All matches are broadcast on NBC’s family of networks. 

2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Rugby Sevens Team
Perry Baker West Palm Beach, FL Wing 47
Danny Barrett Pacifica, CA Prop/Hooker 54
Maceo Brown Tempe, AZ Utility 14
Madison Hughes (C) Lancaster, MA Halfback 52
Martin Iosefo American Samoa Center/Prop 46
Carlin Isles Massillon Jackson, OH Wing 57
Matai Leuta Monterey, CA Forward 40
Folau Niua East Palo Alto, CA Halfback/Flyhalf 69
Ben Pinkelman Denver, CO Forward 37
Joe Schroeder Westfield, IN Forward 12
Stephen Tomasin Forestville, CA Utility 37
Kevon Williams Houston, TX Halfback/Wing 27
Brett Thompson
Tempe, AZ Forward 32
Naima Fualaau
(Traveling Reserve)
Hayward, CA Halfback/Flyhalf 8
Malacchi Esdale
(Traveling Reserve)
Newark, DE Center/Wing uncapped
2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Rugby Sevens Staff
Mike Friday Head Coach    
Phil Greening Assistant Coach    
John Hood Head of Physical Performance    
Dave Gardner Head of Analysis    
Kevin Ng Head Athletic Trainer    
Kim Zucconi Massage Therapist    
Scott Novack Team Leader