Team USA opens first-round play in the IFAF U-19 World Championship against American Samoa Saturday at 8 p.m. CST at Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas. USA football will stream the contest live on YouTube.
The defending champs, the top-seeded American team will seek a better result in this tournament than the loss suffered at the hands of the World Team in the International Bowl back in February. In 2009, the national team kept the gold medal at home in the states by winning the tournament held in Canton, Ohio, outscoring their opponents 174-3.
Made up of top prospects from around the country, here's a look at Team USA:
U-19 World Championship 2012 - United States (via usafootballeducation)
Head coach Steve Specht believes that his team is ready to go.
"We've had a great week of preparation," said the Cincinnati St. Xavier head man. "I really think that these kids have exceeded our expectations to get ready to play this games. We're ready. We've been here a week, and now it's time to play."
Team USA will be led by captains Brayden Scott, a 2013 quarterback out of Tahlequah, Oklahoma who has committed to Memphs, and Sharpstown, Texas linebacker Reggie Chevis, a Texas A&M pledge.
As for American Samoa, the team from the small Pacific Island has had quite to journey to even reach Austin:
U-19 World Championship 2012 - American Samoa (via usafootballeducation)
To American Samoa head coach Sausee "Pooch" Ta'ase, the process has brought his team together.
"To play in this game brought all of these little high schools together on the small island of American Samoa," said coach Ta'ase. "The players have united, became a family, one brotherhood. ... to go against the United States of America, who invented the game of football."
American Samoa defeated Australia in the Oceania qualifying to reach the World Championship and has several players Team USA needs to key on to come out with a victory -- running back Faafouina Sitagata, who ran for over 100 yards against Australia, and safety Shalom Luiana, who starred on special teams against the Aussies by scoring punt and kickoff return touchdowns.
In action earlier in the day, Austria defeated Panama 40-0, while Japan bested France 27-6. Canada and Sweden will face off in the 5 pm CST match-up, which will also be available live via YouTube.
The winner of the Team USA-American Samoa contest will go head-to-head against Austria on Wednesday at 8 pm CST.