GRR: USA Men 7s
The USA is 1-0 in Men's Olympic Rugby pool action but it wasn't easy, or pretty.
The Americans seemed in control after about four minutes, but then started making silly errors that put themselves under pressure. Eventually, however, they needed just a couple of big plays, and they got them.
With the injury to Ben Pinkelman every USA forward on the Olympic 7s team will have to raise their game to compensate.
Some of the load will fall on the admittedly broad shoulder of Joe Schroeder. The powerful, long-striding Schroeder has slowly been getting more and more minutes with the USA team, and he brings an extra offensive dimension team. He is also an intriguing story.
Martin Iosefo came into this spring/summer USA 7s team assembly in the best shape of his life, and he is poised to make a big impact in Tokyo.
The Flyn’ Hawaiian was forced, like his teammates, to take time off during the COVID pandemic in 2020. For Iosefo, that time off coincided with his desire to re-format his training, and also support his wife’s career.
Traveling to Japan was a big long slog for the USA 7s teams getting ready for the Olympics, but they’ve made it.
The trip from San Diego to LA to Seoul (where they took COVID tests) to Tokyo and then on the Mimasaka took 36 hours. Grueling, for sure, but worth it.
Ben Pinkelman announces his withdrawal from the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
CHULA VISTA, Calif — USA Men’s 7s National Team player Ben Pinkelman was forced to withdraw from the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to a chronic back injury.