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The Eagles took the Plate, or 5th, in the tournament, but in the overall standings they take 4th, as Canada moved past them thanks to a 2nd-place finish in the Netherlands, but the Eagles got by Australia.

Vix Folayan finished 2nd in Amsterdam with six tries, one behind Russia's imposing Baizat Khamidova, while captain Vanesha McGee scored four. Flayan ends up with 15 for the season, 5th on the circuit, while McGee and Nathalie Marchino scored 11.

"We definitely had a rough start to the day," said McGee about Saturday, when they opened their Cup quest with a 19-5 loss to Canada. "But we're pretty resilient and we fought hard to come back in the next two matches. We played with a lot of passion and heart, and I am so proud of this team. It's been a really good first year to the series and I think next year is going to be even better."

Certainly the value of the series for the USA was to find out where they stand. Over the course of the series season, they didn't win a tournament, but did win a Plate and a Bowl, while finishing 2nd and 4th in two other events.

Overall heir 5-1 record in Amsterdam was their best in a tournament (the next best being 4-1-1 in Houston), and throughout the series they won 15, lost 7, and tied once.

They scored 375 points in those games (an average of 16 points per game, or basically three tries). They gave up 269 (or jut under 12 a game, basically two tries).

What that all says is that the games are, generally close. But who were the Eagles beating? You'll see that they rarely played the top two teams in the standings, England and New Zealand. Facing those two powerhouses, the Eagles were 0-3 (average score 24-9). Only three matches against these teams is a shame, because it's those games that will help the Eagles get better.

Meanwhile they played Australia four times, beating them in three, but all very close (points for 51, points against, 39). They played Canada three times, losing twice and tying once. Count losses in London and Las Vegas (non-series tournaments) and you will see that the USA, while becoming a nemesis for Australia, has their own nemesis in their neighbors northward. 

The Eagles might well also be a nemesis for France, having beaten them three times this series, and they finally got to play Spain this year, beating them twice in close matches. And there's where the USA's standing is - they beat lesser teams like China, South Africa, Russia, Argentina and Brazil, winning the close ones against Spain, Australia, France (they lost their one match against the Netherlands), and losing regularly to the teams at the top - New Zealand, England, and Canada.

So the USA is the best of the second group at the moment, but that second group is competitive. They are yet to make the next big jump, but perhaps the World Cup will offer that opportunity.