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Final Lineup Announced for Tomorrow's USA vs. Brazil Team Competition

July 15, 2009, 2:05 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - USA Judo is pleased to announce the lineup of athletes who will compete in both the men's and women's divisions of an exhibition team competition against players from Brazil at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

The competition will be Webcast live on www.usjudo.org with a special guest commentator and also will be televised in Brazil. 

This event will be the first of a series of team tournaments for U.S. athletes against all-star teams from other nations with the next being held in Miami later this year. 

Both teams include a mix of younger players as well as Olympic and World Team members.

Among the players to watch are the following:

Travis Stevens (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) and Guilherme Luna (BRA) will face off for the third time in a year and second during the past week. 

Luna upset Stevens in the finals of the 2008 Pan American Championships in Miami, but Stevens looked to have the upper hand in their first-round match at the Belo Horizonte World Cup in Brazil on Sunday when he led throughout the match until lost to Luna by a penalty in the final minute.

Two-time World Champion Joao Derly will represent Team Brazil in the 66kg division where he will compete against 20-year-old Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) who placed fifth at the Brazil Grand Slam two weeks ago in Rio de Janeiro in the 60kg division.

Reigning Junior World Champion Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE) won her first A-Level medal over the weekend when she placed third in the 78kg division at the Belo Horizonte World Cup.  Harrison will compete against Rafaela Nitz (BRA) who placed seventh at the World Cup.  The two were on opposite sides of the draw, however, and this will be their first match-up.

Jeanette Rodriguez (Davie, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), a 2007 Pan Am Games medalist as a 48kg player, has since moved up to the 52kg division where she placed fifth at the Belo Horizonte World Cup.  Rodriguez will compete against Taciana Rezende de Lima (BRA), a two-time Pan Am medalist who won the World Cup on Saturday in the 48kg division.

A complete roster of both the U.S. and Brazilian teams is as follows:

Team USA

Women's 48kg
Veronica Prado (Coral Springs, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), 2007 Senior Pan Am Team member at 44kg and fifth-place finisher at Belo Horizonte World Cup

Women's 52kg
Jeanette Rodriguez (Davie, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), 2007 Pan Am Games bronze medalist and fifth-place finisher at Belo Horizonte World Cup

Women's 63kg         
Christal Ransom (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center), 2008 U.S. Open bronze medalist

Women's 70kg
Katie Sell (Colorado Springs, Colo. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Boulder Judo Training Center), 2009 Senior National Champion

Women's 78kg
Kayla Harrison (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE),
2008 Junior World Champion and bronze medalist at Belo Horizonte World Cup 

Men's 66kg
Aaron Kunihiro (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE), 2009 Pan Am bronze medalist and fifth-place finisher at Brazil Grand Slam at 60kg

Men's 73kg
Andrew Porras (Miami, Fla. / USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami), 2009 Jose Ramon Rodriguez Championships silver medalist

Men's 81kg
Travis Stevens (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE), 2008 Olympian, two-time Pan Am Champion and bronze medalist at Brazil Grand Slam

Men's 90kg
Jacob Larsen (Santa Rosa, Calif. / USA Judo National Training Site at the Olympic Training Center / Team FORCE), 2008 U.S. Open silver medalist

Men's 100kg
Shintaro Higashi (Scarsdale, N.Y. / NYAC / Kokushi Budo Institute), 2007 Senior National Champion and fifth-place finisher at Belo Horizonte World Cup

Men's +100kg                              
Daniel McCormick (Wakefield, Mass. / NYAC / USA Judo National Team FORCE), 2008 Olympian, 2008 Pan Am bronze medalist (Open) and bronze medalist at Belo Horizonte World Cup

Team Brazil

Women's 48kg
Mayara Gomes

Women's 52kg
Taciana Rezende de Lima, two-time Pan Am medalist and 2009 Belo Horizonte World Cup Champion at 48kg

Women's 63kg
Hellen Aguiar

Women's 70kg
Marcia Lima Vieira, 2005 Pan Am silver medalist

Women 's 78kg
Rafaela Nitz, seventh-place finisher at the 2009 Belo Horizonte World Cup

Men's 66kg
Joao Derly, two-time World Champion

Men's 73kg
Felipe Amaro Braga, 2008 Brazil World Cup bronze medalist

Men's 81kg
Guilherme Luna, 2008 Pan American Champion

Men's 90kg
Eduardo Santos, seventh-place finisher at the 2008 Olympic Games

Men's 100kg
Leandro Goncalves, 2008 Brazil World Cup Champion

Men's +100kg
Walter Santos, three-time Pan American Champion

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