I’ll be arriving in Seattle later today to watch (for the first time) the spectacle that is the Emerald City Classic. Teams from around the country and the world will compete in one of the most highly esteemed tournaments of the club season. We have our locals, Revolver and Sockeye from San Fransisco and Seattle; cross country foes in Ironside and Truck Stop from Boston and D.C.; and finally Buzz Bullets and Urutau from Japan and Columbia. Despite missing some of the top contenders, this tournament should give us an early idea of who the contenders and pretenders are for this season.
Will Revolver continue their dominance from 2011?
Revolver’s only recent test was NexGen nearly a month ago, when they cruised to a 15-11 victory over the college superstars. Sockeye, Truck Stop, and Ironside will be a much bigger challenge than beating Boost Mobile in Cal States. What hasn’t changed for these guys is their ability to be loose and relaxed as a team. Martin Cochran said it’s one of the biggest positives on Revolver, that his teammates don’t worry or tense up come game time. Some of them were even arriving late for the Worlds Final in 2010. That’s right, no big deal.
Is Truck Stop for Real?
After finishing tied for 5th at Nationals last year, Truck is looking to break through to semis and further in Sarasota. While they failed to reach semis at Boston Invite, they made finals at Colorado Cup, only losing to Doublewide. The D.C. club looked like a well oiled machine vs. the NexGen crew and appear to be breaking into tier one. It will be interesting to see if they can handle some of the competition below them easily, (Machine and Ring) while playing up to teams like Ironside, Revolver and Sockeye.
Ironside, down and out?
Many have speculated from footage at Boston Invite that Ironside didn’t look as efficient, but for the most part the results have spoken. However, doubts have crept back in after a poor showing vs. the NexGen guys. We’ve seen some departures from the previous year’s squad, such as Will Neff and Adam Simon, but they may be getting a boost this weekend with George Stubbs coming back from the tour. Stubbs has been playing great, doesn’t try to do too much, and was most often faced with the task of marking the best offensive player. Ironside has a vice grip on the Northeast region right now, but will that show against Sockeye and Revolver?
Later tonight, we’ll get an idea of how some of the World Competition will shake out in the next year. The Buzz Bullets are back at ECC to take the tour against Revolver, Sockeye, Ironside and others. Urutau and Malaki will be thrown into the mix to see if they can handle this level of competition. It’s not at every tournament you get to see this wide of a spectrum.
Regional Matchups and the Rest
Sockeye and Revolver round one will take place this weekend, with Rhino looking to get through that backdoor. Ring and Truck will try to assert Mid Atlantic dominance in Southpaw’s absence. Machine and Streetgang are just getting started in 2011, and we’re going to get a taste of how well Elliot Trotter can flatball for Voodoo.
Look for me on twitter on No_Look_Scoober, providing score updates and the like. Also, check for me for audio play by play, especially at 7:30 Pacific for the Buzz Bullets – Revolver match-up.