WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 – PARIS, FRANCE – Sweden junior national team head coach JAN JENMERT is to lead a 45-player roster of the best American football players from around the world against USA Football’s junior national team in South Florida.
USA Football, the sport’s national governing body on youth and amateur levels in the United States, will hold the first "Team USA vs. The World" game in Ft. Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, January 30, 2010. The game will match USA Football’s 2010 Junior National Team – 45 of the country’s top high school seniors – against a "World" team composed of the best players aged 19 and under from outside the United States, spanning five continents.
Both teams will have practice opportunities in Ft. Lauderdale during the week of the game. The NFL has designated the "Team USA vs. The World" game as an official Pro Bowl Week event.
The Jan. 30 contest will kick off at 1 p.m. ET, immediately following AFC and NFC All-Star practices at Lockhart Stadium, which will be open to the public. Fans will not be charged admission to attend the multi-national showdown, which will be played under NCAA rules with 12-minute quarters.
"On behalf of IFAF and the 57 countries that love and play organized American football, we are delighted to have the world’s best high school-aged players compete in a great football setting like South Florida amid the NFL’s Pro Bowl and Super Bowl," said IFAF (International Federation of American Football) President TOMMY WIKING. "This will be an exciting day for our game on many levels. The players and coaches will hail from various countries and cultures, but they’re united by a passion for American football. It will be an exciting celebration of the sport."
World team head coach Jenmert has selected a coaching staff representing all four IFAF continental federations and seven countries – Australia, Bahamas, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico and Sweden They have already begun the process of selecting the best available players from around the world.
The head coach of USA Football’s team is CHRIS MERRITT, head coach of Miami Christopher Columbus High School. Merritt was the 2009 USA Football Junior National Team’s defensive backs coach that earned a gold medal in Canton, Ohio, this past July in the eight-nation IFAF Junior World Championship. The first such tournament in football history drew more than 40,000 fans to Canton’s Fawcett Stadium during the course of four game days. Merritt will lead a staff of nine American high school head coaches from five states and USA Football’s roster will be hand-selected through research and film study and will be announced before Jan. 1.
"USA Football shares in the enthusiasm for January’s game with the dozens of national football federations across the globe," said USA Football Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK. "This is a significant event for the sport’s continued international popularity and it will be an incredible experience for our players and coaches to represent the United States in America’s favorite game."
World team coaching staff:
Coach – Position – National team
Jan Jenmert – Head Coach – Sweden
Masato Itai – Offensive Coordinator – Japan
Warren Craney – Defensive Coordinator – Canada
Olivier Moret – Special Team – France
Salomon Solan – Defensive Lin – Mexico
Greg Marsh – Offensive Line – Canada
Shinichi Taked – Defensive Bac – Japan
Peter – Run – Strength & Conditioning – Sweden
Jan Jenmert, who has coordinated his country’s junior national program since 2005, coached Sweden to the final of the 2008 European Junior Championship in 2008 and to sixth place at the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship (JWC). He has also been the head coach of the Tyreso Royal Crowns since 1997 and was head coach and offensive coordinator of the Swedish senior national team from 1996 to 1999.
Offensive coordinator Masato Itai is the head coach of Kansai University and helped Japan win a bronze medal at the 2009 IFAF JWC as quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. He played receiver for the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe and was named to the all-star team of the 2007 IFAF Senior World Championship. Defensive coordinator Warren Craney also assumed that role on the Canada coaching staff that won the silver medal at the 2009 IFAF JWC. The Chateauguay, Quebec, native has coached with the Concordia Stingers of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) for eight seasons.
Special teams coach Olivier Moret coached France to seventh place at the 2009 IFAF JWC and third place at the 2008 European Junior Championship. He was the director of the French Pôle Espoir, which ensures young players can continue their academic studies while playing American Football. In 1987 Moret was a founder of the Amiens Spartiates, one of the most successful clubs in France.
Running backs coach Marco Ideluca has led the St. Leonard Cougars of the Canadian Junior Football League to six conference titles and two national finals since 2000. He has been a member of the successful Canada junior national team for seven years.
Defensive line coach Salomon Solano was on the staff of the Mexican team that took fourth place at the 2009 IFAF JWC. In 2008 he was a member of the Baltimore Ravens practice squad and has represented Mexico as a player at the junior national team level. Offensive line coach Greg Marshall is the head coach of the University of Western Ontario Mustangs and was a Grey Cup winning running back and head coach in the CFL. He led his team to the 2008 Mitchell Bowl and the 2008 Desjardins Vanier Cup.
Tight ends coach Peter Tos coached with the successful Bondi Raiders club, winning ten championships, and will be the head coach of the Australian under-19 team travelling to America Samoa to participate in the 2010 Samoa Bowl. Defensive backs coach Shinichi Takeda is the defensive coordinator for Osaka Sango University High School and the Japan junior national team that won bronze at the 2009 IFAF JWC. He is also the Head Coach of the Suita Marvies in the Japanese X-League Division 1.
Graduate Assistant Kris Kemp from the Bahamas is a wide receiver at Taylor University in Indiana and returns to the Bahamas each year to help instruct the Commonwealth of American Football League Summer Camp. He plans to pursue coaching positions to further the development of organized football in the Bahamas and is a volunteer GA on the world team. Nicklas Carlson from Sweden is the World team strength coach and coach Jenmert will appoint a second graduate assistant chosen from a developing IFAF nation in the coming weeks.