You are here

Head Coach Alex Magleby will have as many as 13 players under contract training, along with a few others who will be given some form of assistance while they work with the team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.

Magleby has also secured funding for as many as 19 or 20 players to come in for at least part of the month – some for a week, and others for longer.

The mix of players is an interesting one, with plenty of experienced athletes joined by college prospects, young players just out of college, recent U20 and High School All Americans, along with players who impressed during the club 7s season.

In addition, Magleby has invited a couple of football and rugby league crossovers. The coach told that he is contacted regularly by players in and outside the USA looking for an opportunity, and now the academy coaches in the Olympic Development Program are also getting contacted.

Magleby was especially complimentary of the work Andy Katoa has been doing as a sort of manager of player personnel. Seeing as Katoa has a football as well as rugby background, and can speak Samoan and Tongan, and a smattering of Fijian, he has been invaluable in scouting talent from all corners.

“Carlin Isles wouldn't be where he is today if Andy hadn't within a day figured out a way to get him training, playing, working, and a place to stay in Aspen in June,” said Magleby.

In addition, Former CRC co-MVP Nick Downer is now working in San Diego, and he is helping his former Dartmouth coach, Magleby, organize player data and track down potential prospects.

Apparently Downer was influential in recruiting one player to the extended camp.

Much of all of that is long-term, as is the creation of the ODP. Right now, Magleby is looking to get 12 players who can play together, and are the right mix of speed, elusiveness, teamwork, and power, with everyone being able to play defense. The extended camp, which could reach 35 players for part of the month, is a clear message that Magleby wants competition for spots, and he wants depth.

Some Notes on Players:
Rocco Mauer and Taylor Mokate do not appear to be back under contract. Mokate, who was injured in the fall, has struggled since a solid June saw him challenge for a place in the 15s national team. Mauer has also struggled to take control of his spot on the team.

Expect Mauer, Peter Tiberio (who moved back to Chicago in the fall) Zach Pangelinan and, eventually, some other previously-capped 7s players to continue to push for a spot. Word is that Nese Malifa, when he returns to 100% health, wants back in. Miles Craigwell is another, but his situation is tied up with his new job, which required him right now to reach certain sales goals. He cannot afford to miss work now, but is still a prospect for both 7s and 15s national teams.

Mike Palefau is living and working full time in Seattle, and is unlikely now to be playing international 7s anymore.

Several players who were scouted by Katoa and former USA 7s Head Coach Al Caravelli are getting another look, including some rugby league players, one or two guys who are dual passport-holders, and some players from Hawaii.

The big talent pool is college. We haven’t seen a lot of college 7s players waltz into the national team with a ton of experience. The new system will be a pathway for them. While the current semi-permanent pool of 16 players has only four college products in it, the next 16 have as many as seven. And the next group after that probably have ten collegiate in there.

When you have the likes of Pat Blair, Ryan Roundy, Don Pati, Jake Anderson, Cam Dolan, Zac Mizell, Garrett Brewer, Colton Cariaga, Dominic Mauer, Jimmy Kowalski, Glen Thommes, and Paris Hollis not in camp, you know there’s plenty of potential in that area, as well as high school, club, crossovers, and overseas.