2018 U24 'Livestream And Chill' Guide - Day 6
By Mark Evans
Finally USA are starting to dominate the livestream *audible sighs from the rest of the world*. Will any team be able to manage the upset win? Here's to hoping!
Yesterday was a little more 'chill' than 'livestream', but we're back today with a preview of the two locked in games to be broadcast to the masses!
Call up your date and ready your vitriol for USA, we are bound for a day of exciting plays and roller coaster emotions. You will laugh and you will cry, and if your 'Livestream and Chill' date has not left you by this point, then you should get married.
USA v Canada (Mixed) 9AM (12PM AEST)
North America's favourite matchup (no one else in the world really cares, sorry guys), eternal underdogs Canada will take on a USA mixed team that has yet to really be tested in any of their games.
Hot take: This game will be a blowout, USA wins 15-9.
The most any opposition has scored against this team is 8 goals, not even double digits, 8 goals. Like wtf, this must just be boring for them. The story for team USA this year has not been one of super star players, dominating foreign opposition, but rather a well rounded team full of role-players. As an example, in their closest game against GB, 19 of the 25-or-so roster registered an assist or goal stat. This is pretty incredible coverage, and speaks to a selfless, high rotation team.
However their dominance to this point could work against them, as Canada will no doubt apply more defensive pressure than USA has seen at this point. If they can weather the first portion of the game and adapt to the pressure, they will see success.
Players to watch:
Michael Ing #79: Bursting onto the scene last year with an old head on a young, very athletic body, Ing has impressed many with his composure under pressure and block-getting ability
Claire Revere #28 : A standout for Seattle Mixtape, Revere uses her speed to generate big yards for team USA, and will be a key goal scorer for them in this semi final.
Having lost to the Japanese earlier in the tournament, this side has shown more weakness than they're North American neighbours. That being said they have kept everyone else to a scoreline of 8, so this Canada side will be confident they can keep up with team USA in the semi.
Canada plays with a lot of fire, and they really ride that wave. From experience they have struggled to keep up the energy if they go down early in the game. Success for this team will come from early offensive holds and building a grinding defensive pressure that wears USA down over the course of the game.
Players to watch:
Frank Wang #28: Against the Bluebottles, Wang clocked a whopping 3 goals and 1 assist and will be a key offensive cog in this maple-chugging machine
Anna Thompson #19: A standout player on both sides of the disc, Anna has seen the big stage before, just coming off a universe point loss in the US Nationals mixed final. Look to her for a clutch layout block in a big moment of this semi final
USA v. Australia (Men) 11AM (2PM AEST)
This game has my heart all a-flutter. Can Australia pull off enough incredible plays to earn the upset win? Maybe? All of my fingers and toes are crossed but the 8-ball says 'outcome looks bleak.'
Hot take: Australia YOLO their way to an upset victory 15-13.
Australia Mens (Goannas)
The Goannas have not changed their tac since my last preview. The team is still seemingly playing with an "our defence is better than our offense" mindset, preferring to chance their hand with a risky throw on O, then earn the disc back with a spectacular play near the line.
Against any other team but the US, I'd say offensive consistency should be a focus area for this team. But honestly, if they're going to win this game, they need to keep playing as they have been, hoping that the kitchen serves up a main course of unbelievable plays with a healthy side of luck. They also need to keep that frenetic energy up for the whole game. There will inevitably be portions of the game where they are tied or down, and will need manifest the hype necessary for them to play well.
Players to watch:
Trent Thompson #9: A true athlete, Trent has been a defensive standout for this team, earning blocks at key moments in the Goanna's tightest games
Dan "Furious" Petrov #3: Petrov has been flirting with greatness for some time now, but it seems 2018 is the year that his mind (focus) has finally caught up with his explosive athleticism. Look to Petrov to get it done on both sides of the disc for this Australian squad.
Much like the mixed squad, this team has been largely untested, their closest game against Canada was won 15-11. I had caught up with a couple friends from this team over the NYE break as they made their way to Perth via Sydney, and their take was that while they lack the star power of recent years, they are a more well-rounded team.
If USA can capitalise on a few of Australia's early offensive errors, and really rub it in their face, then there is potential for this Goanna's side to fold.
Players to watch:
Jack Williams #11: Checking an incredible 4 goals and 1 assist in their game against Canada, Williams is a key downfield target for this side, with the hops and speed to make any thrower look good
Ben Sadok #3: This Callahan winner, is a little nugget of power. With throws coming out the Whazoo and the speed to match, this guy is a defender's nightmare