Maccabi USA has announced its squads for the Open and sevens competitions at this summer's Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Coach Shawn Lipman, Assistant Coaches Gregory Schor Haskin and David Rudzinsky, with Managers Barry Seidel and David Danker, have been working with the Rugby applicants over the last year to develop an elite team through intensive conditioning and fitness training.
Final trials took place January 30 - February 3 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. Over 40 applicants for the team gathered for intensive fitness training, which included a rigorous workout with the U.S. Navy Seals at their facility on Coronado Island and culminated with a match against the San Diego Aztecs,
Attending the trials to support the selection process were Maccabi Rugby legends, former 2001 captain and 2009 coach Craig Levine and Gary Puterman. Levine won gold in 1997 and captained the silver medal team in 2001, and Gary was a three-time gold medallist and member of the 2009 team. Marc Stcherbina, a two-time Commonwealth Games medal winner in Rugby and world-class professional player was at the trials to support the coaching staff.
This elite level team includes current and former International and U.S. National Team athletes: Dallen Stanford; Kevin Swiryn and Zach Test.
In preparation for Israel the team has attracted the support of Alan Ozdamar, the strength and conditioning coach for the US National Olympic rugby team, and Integrated Athletics International, a leading speed, conditioning and muscle reactive therapy group, under the leadership of Mathias Narducci. With their support the team will be training under Olympic and world class standards. John Dibatista, a leading sports psychology and leadership consultant, will also be working with the squad on mental preparation and leadership training.
Jeff Simon and Josh Kaplan will co-chair the USA Open Rugby section. Simon said: "Shawn and the entire management team have done an amazing job of building a foundation for our rugby program where we have been able to attract the best Jewish Rugby players from the USA.
"We have high expectations for the team to take gold medals in both Rugby 15s and Rugby 7s. This will be an amazing experience for all the athletes, both on and off the field, as there is no other event in the world where the most elite Jewish Rugby players gather for International competition and have the opportunity to compete against the best in their sport as well as to experience the culture and history of Israel."
USA rugby squad:
Zack Abbott (Ann Arbor, MI)
Gabe Adler (Los Angeles, CA)
Ross Biestman (Oakland, CA)
Jared Braun (Berkeley, CA)
David Cohen (Marietta, GA)
Joel Cohen (Rockville, MD)
Seth Cohen (New York, NY)
Shawn Cox (Austin, TX)
Matthew Crawford (Walnut Creek, CA)
Aaron Davis (Team Vice Captain, of Venice, CA)
Elliot Dillon-Herzog (Evanston, IL)
Raymond Fleser (Narragansett, RI)
Taylor Howden (Denver, CO)
Joji Kurosaki (Portland, OR)
Max Levine (San Francisco, CA)
Guy Matisis (Weymouth, MA)
Tanner Mohr (Davis, CA)
James Murray (New York, NY)
Jacob Poliakoff (Poway, CA)
Alan Roniss (Long Beach, CA)
William Rudman (San Francisco, CA)
Michael Rudzinsky (Reading, MA)
Ross Silverman (Santa Barbara, CA)
Joshua Slater (Denver, CO)
Dallen Stanford (Team Captain, of Santa Monica, CA)
Kevin Swiryn (Bellevue, WA)
Zach Test (Redwood City, CA)
Jasper Wilson (New York, NY)
Roman Wilson (Norman, OK)
Ilya Wortman (Boston, MA)
Head coach: Shawn Lipman (Hidden Hills, CA)
Assistant Coach: Gregory Schor Haskin (Miramar, FL)
Assistant Coach: David Rudzinsky (Reading, MA)
Manager: Barry Seidel (Encino, CA)
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator: David Danker (Foster City, CA)
Medical Trainer: Sarah Sall (Philadelphia, PA)