Underneath the brightest lights in New York City many of America’s top wrestlers will showcase their talents against the best the world has to offer as Team USA vs. The World All-Stars takes center stage in Times Square Wednesday evening.
Each of the USA stars competing will face a world-class opponent from one of seven international countries represented in this one of a kind wrestling showcase.
The United States squad will be tested in all facets, facing both mental and technical obstacles in what should prove to be one of the most exciting wrestling events ever witnessed on American soil.
Here is a match-by-match breakdown of Team USA vs. The World All-Stars.
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Nahshon Garrett (Team USA) vs. Georgi Vangelov (Bulgaria)
The Bulgarian Georgi Vangelov is no stranger to American competition having competed at the Dave Schultz Memorial International on more than one occasion. Vangelov did not place this year at the Dave Schultz dropping a 9-0 decision to Zach Sanders in the opening round and losing to Sandeep Tomar of India in the consolations. Vangelov does own a 4-3 win over University of Iowa youngster Thomas Gilman from the 2013 Junior Worlds where he ended up in fifth place. Vangelov will utilize heavy handed snaps to setup his outside shot attempts and implement excellent mat awareness as he attempts to counter the speed of Nahshon Garrett.
NAHSHON GARRETT KEYS TO VICTORY:
This will be a great first test for the young Nahshon Garrett in his senior level debut. Garrett has excellent speed, which he will need to utilize while looking for his outside double leg shot. If the 2014 NCAA finals is any indication Garrett will have his opportunities from the neutral position but he will need to convert on his shot attempts and look for the four-point move to come out victorious against the rugged Bulgarian.
61 kg/134 lbs. – Jimmy Kennedy (Team USA) vs. Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia)
Bogomoev has proven himself against the best in the world including the American he will face in Times Square. In a recent stateside tour Bogomoev picked up gold at both the NYAC and Dave Schultz International competitions, including a decisive 11-0 victory over 2013 World Silver Medalist Amit Kumar of India. Bogomoev met Kennedy in a dual exhibition last December defeating the talented American by technical fall. He possesses one of the deadliest reshots in the world and is even deadlier with his finishes. It will take a stingy and decisive performance to take down this impressive Russian.
JIMMY KENNEDY KEYS TO VICTORY:
Having already faced Bogomoev once before Kennedy will no doubt be prepared for what the Russian has to offer. Kennedy will need to adapt from their first meeting and be selective in his shot attempts. The key will be for Kennedy to be decisive on the feet and finish quick. Also trusting in his technique will prove well for Kennedy. He put on a show at the U.S. Open and will need more of the same to come out on top in New York.
65 kg/143 lbs. – Logan Stieber (Team USA) vs. Haislan Garcia (Canada)
Garcia is well versed in international competition having competed in two Olympics and four World Championships. He is well known for his toughness on the mat often times grinding out close victories. Garcia constantly looks to impose his will on the opponent with brute technique controlling both the spacing on the mat and the pace of the match.
LOGAN STIEBER KEYS TO VICTORY:
Everyone knows when the spotlight is on Logan Stieber is at his finest. Last year at this very event we witnessed Stieber take out then world number one Opan Sat of Russia in a thriller. Stieber is a wrestler willing to take chances and produce a high-octane affair. The key for Stieber will be to impose his will on the match and keep his energy up. Do not let the experience factor for Garcia come into play late in the bout and Stieber will have his chances to come out victorious.
65 kg/143 lbs. – Jordan Oliver (Team USA) vs. Borislav Novachkov (Bulgaria)
Many Americans will be familiar with the second Bulgarian to take the mat in Times Square as former Cal-Poly All-American Borislav Novachkov will take on the ever-dynamic Jordan Oliver. Novachkov wrestles with an unorthodox style of upper body shrugs and a great ability to extend scramble situations. He most recently took second at the 2014 European Championships owning a win over Olympic Champion Toghrul Asgarov of Azerbaijan. Novachkov appears to have made significant improvements since his college days and will be tested by Oliver’s slick technique.
JORDAN OLIVER KEYS TO VICTORY:
Jordan Oliver is no stranger to Novachkov as they have met on multiple occasions throughout high school and college. Now that both have elevated their game it will be important for Oliver to establish dominance early and often. Oliver must stay out of the scramble situations Novachkov thrives in with solid takedowns. Wrestling the full six minutes will be key as Novachkov has the ability to hit the big move at any moment during the bout.
65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf (Team USA) vs. Magomed Kurbanaliev (Russia)
The 2013 World Bronze Medalist from Russia will pose a tough test for Brent Metcalf. Kurbanaliev is a flat out gamer. He is quick with the arm drag and can score in a hurry. We have seen significant improvement from the Russian since he competed at the Rumble on the Rails and United 4 Wrestling last year where he dropped matches to both David Taylor and Jordan Oliver. Kurbanaliev is a 2012 World University Games Champion, Junior World Champion and Ivan Yarygin Champion. Quite an accomplished list for the 21 year-old who has made his way to the top of the world rankings.
BRENT METCALF KEYS TO VICTORY:
Metcalf has had an outstanding start to the 2014 season going undefeated at the World Cup and winning a U.S. Open title without surrendering a single point. Now comes his biggest test this year. In order for Metcalf to come out on top he needs to get out to a quick start. If he can build a nice lead heading into the second period he has the ability to put the hammer down with his relentless style and world class left handed high crotch. Expect this match to be one of the evening’s most thrilling affairs.
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (Team USA) vs. Marcia Andrades (Venezuela)
The Venezuelan Andrades has squared off against Helen Maroulis multiple times in recent years most recently at the 2013 NWCA All-Star Classic, won 8-0 by Maroulis. Andrades is a two-time Olympian and seven-time World Team Member so she does have significant international experience but she will need to come in with an extremely solid strategy to slow down Maroulis.
HELEN MAROULIS KEYS TO VICTORY:
For Maroulis all she needs to focus on is letting the match come to her. She has defeated Andrades multiple times, which will definitely play into the mental aspect of this match. Maroulis simply need to not force anything, stick to her game plan and not let the atmosphere affect her and she will be a force in Times Square.
74 kg/163 lbs. – David Taylor (Team USA) vs. Yabrail Hasanov (Azerbaijan)
Yabrail Hasanov has the grit to match anyone in the world. He is a two time World Bronze Medalist and finished second at the World University Games last year. Both Hasanov and his American opponent David Taylor lost to Russian World Champion Denis Tsargush at the World University Games, Hasanov coming away with Silver and Taylor with bronze. The two did not meet at said tournament. Hasanov lost to Jordan Burroughs in the quarterfinals of the 2013 World Championships and pushed the two-time World Champion and Olympic Champion the entire match. He is soundly built and brings plenty of muscle and experience to the table in what will be a clash of styles against Taylor.
DAVID TAYLOR KEYS TO VICTORY:
David Taylor is know for his high flying offensive genius and lightning quick ankle pick, but Taylor will be challenged by the strength of the Azerbaijani. It is important for Taylor to not get frustrated in his offensive game and continue to look for his opening. We all witnessed Taylor push Burroughs to the brink at the U.S. Open so now it is time to see how his style will transcend to another proven top international competitor.
86 kg/189 lbs. – Ed Ruth (Team USA) vs. Taymuraz Friev (Spain)
Friev is a seasoned international competitor at 27 years of age with multiple international victories under his belt. He posted his best World Championships performance last year placing fifth. Friev likes to stay heavy on the head and make his opponent work before looking to strike. Again it will be another clash of styles as he takes on the aggressive Ed Ruth in New York.
ED RUTH KEYS TO VICTORY:
For Ruth the key will be adjusting from his folkstyle attack to a freestyle approach. At the U.S. Open, Ruth gave up many counter points of his own offensive attacks, therefore controlling his finishes is a must. It is important for him not to get trapped underneath his opponents, but instead secure his outside angles to get the easy takedown. Ruth has all the tools necessary to be great at this level and he will get a sure fire test from the Spaniard. If Ruth controls the pace of the match and executes his technique quickly and effectively he will excel in this bout.
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (Team USA) vs. Atsamaz Sanakoev (Russia)
Russia will send out yet another bright young talent in Times Square to face off against the dominant Jordan Burroughs. Sanakoev and Burroughs met in the finals of the Stepan Sargsyan International last year where Burroughs won a squeaker 7-6. It remains to be seen how the experience of already wrestling the champ will play for Sanakoev. He has sound counter offensive technique and is clingy in all holds. Keeping Burroughs in the ties will be his go to in his attempt for the upset.
JORDAN BURROUGHS KEYS TO VICTORY:
For Burroughs the plan is simple keep doing what you are doing. He has maintained greatness internationally for the past four year and is not looking to stop now. Burroughs has faced this Russian before and knows what to expect. Look for Burroughs to keep that high pace and finish shots crisply in order to negate Sanakoev’s counter game. Expect nothing less than the will of the champion to win out in this one.
97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder (Team USA) vs. Khadjimurat Gatsalov (Russia)
There is no more credentialed wrestler still in active competition than Russian great Khadjimurat Gatsalov. A fine mixture of speed, strength, agility and mental toughness, Gatsalov is truly an all-time great. He owns five World Championships and an Olympic Gold Medal and is coming off yet another dominating World Championship performance from a year ago. There is no doubt he is the favorite against the young American Kyle Snyder.
KYLE SNYDER KEYS TO VICTORY:
The best thing going for Snyder is he has nothing to lose going against this Russian giant. If he is able to wrestle free he could have an opportunity to make a match of this. Do not forget Snyder has proven himself against world level competition winning the Junior World Championship last year. If he can stay in the match early on and gain confidence, watch out, it could be very interesting.
69 kg/152 lbs. – Randi Miller (Team USA) vs. TBA
Miller’s opponent will remain a mystery until the two wresters toe the line in Times Square, but rest assured it will be yet another world class matchup.
RANDI MILLER KEYS TO VICTORY:
The 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Randi Miller has made her mark since returning to active competition in 2013. Most recently she capped off an impressive U.S. Open securing gold and has her sights set on returning to World prominence, a journey that continues in New York. Look for Randi to control the pace and ties while implementing her physical technique as she squares off against one of the world’s elite.
It is sure to be a night to remember as the United States takes on the World tonight. Be sure to watch the action from Times Square on NBC Sports Network at 10:30 p.m. EDT and stay tuned to TheMat.com for extensive coverage from the New York.