The USA Men’s Sevens team will compete in their second tournament of the 2019-2020 HSBC Sevens Series in Cape Town from December 13-15 on NBC Sports Gold. The USA Men currently are in eighth place in the 2019-2020 HSBC Sevens Series standings.
This year’s format of teams exiting the tournament after a loss in the quarterfinals is controversial. Places 5-8 are then determined based on team point differential in all matches. It means that four of the sixteen teams play six matches while the others play four. It provides fewer opportunities for reserves to gain valuable playing time and will negatively impact the true strength of the teams with luck a larger factor than performance.
As a result of the USA’s performance in Dubai, the team was drawn into a pool of death, with last season’s first-place team in Fiji, the second-ranked USA, and fourth-place South Africa. This year after round one, the includes first-place South Africa, eighth-place USA, ninth-place Fiji, and sixteenth-place Japan in the pool meeting for a chance to compete in the knockout stages.
During his tenure, the team won its first gold medal in London in 2015, the first gold on home soil in Las Vegas in 2018, and qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo as the result of last season’s second-place finish.
HEAD COACH MIKE FRIDAY
“We are obviously disappointed with losing that quarterfinal against New Zealand in Dubai. On reflection, we lost the small moments in that game through some growing pains and learning experiences for some of the less experienced boys.
“While that’s hard to take now, it will stand us in good stead moving forward as the rest of the squad comes back into contention and we grow our competitive depth.
“We were ultimately not in control of where we really finished once we lost the quarterfinal and as a result have ended up in an insanely tough pool in Cape Town. This is another huge challenge but also an opportunity for the players to experience those moments where games of sevens are won and lost.
“One guy we know who will certainly up for the challenge not only mentally but physically will be Danny Barrett. He is a warrior on the pitch who plays with ferocity and intent every time he puts the shirt on. The USA is so fortunate to have a player of Danny’s caliber on the team.
“He is hugely proud representing his country and we are hugely proud of him to not only have achieved this 50 tournament cap but the continuing way he represents for his country and teammates. This Dawg well and truly has earned his place in the pack and no doubt when he takes the field that competitive edge and juice will be at boiling point.”