Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tofurky

USA Freestyle in 2013

Recommended Posts

Depeding on who you communicate with on this board, the US seems to have severely underperformed again this year. Coming off a nice Olympic finish in 2012, and without Burroughs wrestling yet, what happened to the US and where does the team stand on the world stage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a game of inches. This year the US lost some close ones they easily could have won (Esco for 3rd, Hump, Bergmans first match) and lost some of their better guys (Varner, Herbert, Obe). Things just didn't go the US's way this year. The future looks fine with great talent coming in.

For next year, working of tactics and decision making in tight matches will be key. Dlagnev especially will need to learn to wrestle his absolute best all thournament.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

55- Esco got a good 5th place finish, and he's a backup.

 

60- Humphrey had a good performance. Things didn't go his way, but that's what happens sometimes.

 

66- Metcalf had a bad draw. But he was not going to win a medal even if he had a good draw.

 

74- To be determined.

 

84- Gavin did as well as expected. If we were Russia, we would have had Sanderson or Herbert here. Heck, we might have had Ruth here because he would have grown up wrestling freestyle.

 

96- Bergman could have won his first match, but he wasn't going to medal either way. Varner did not go.

 

120- Dlagnev got a good 5th place finish.

 

It looks like the biggest problem is our best wrestlers not wrestling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't seen Burroughs' results yet, but I wouldn't say the team underperformed. Maybe they underpeformed in relation to the hopes of fans -- and certainly underperformed in relation to what USAW is aiming for -- but if we're being honest here, the performance has been about in line with the competitors' past results, and any realistic expectations.

 

Of the 6 guys, not one was ranked in the top 10 of his weight class by FILA, and only one had ever medaled before. That was Dlagnev, who took a bronze once. He's took 5th in '10 and '11. He took 5th again this year. Hard to act surprised. If anything, it can be said that Dlagnev overperformed a bit, as he had to beat the Iranian who'd beaten him 3 times in a row just to get to where he did.

 

Bergman did underperform in my opinion, going 1 and out in a match he ought to have won, but he also does not have any international wins that would suggest he was a medal threat. I hope he can get there.

 

Escobedo overperfomed. Few had high hopes for Blanc, and Escobedo stepped in as a backup. Esco has a few one-sided losses recently. Yet he really took the opportunity and dang near got a medal. 5th is no doubt a disappointment for him, but good relative to objective expectations.

 

Humphrey was about in line with expectations. On one hand, he beat out Coleman Scott who won a bronze last year. On the other hand, he doesn't have any notable international wins to put him on anyone's radar, nor did he fare that well on his last trip to worlds, so there wasn't any basis for high expectations. I loved watching his first 2 wins, the second of which may have been a bit of an upset. His loss to the Iranian was tough to watch, but not as one-sided as his last loss to that same guy. Its easy to say he "should have won" but just as easy to say the more accomplished Iranian should have beaten him more handily.

 

Gavin... also about in line with expectations. I'm a Gavin fan, but he has a long record of international results, which would seem to show he is competitive but not a significant medal threat. Gavin beat the guy he should have beaten, and then lost to the guy who was strongly favored, the #1 ranked Georgian. If there's a disappointment here, its that the Georgian didn't pull Gavin back into repachage.

 

Metcalf... again, if there's disappointment, it probably should be that the 2x world champ Iranian didn't pull him back into repachage. The result is frustrating, but anyone who saw Metcalf's last match with Teghavi would have been hard pressed to call Metcalf a favorite in this rematch. I still think that Metcalf is a medal threat with the right draw, as he does have some good international results, and has at least cracked the FILA rankings (#12), but he has his share of lopsided losses too. Getting the right matchups is key for him. So just as a good draw favors him, a bad draw kills him -- and that's what he got.

 

So... lets try to be honest about this. I saw lots of wild predictions for multiple medals these last few weeks, and its fine to be bullish as a fan, but if you set your expectations more objectively, its hard to say that the US team didn't live up to them. I guess we can be disappointed that we didn't overperform relative to historical results, as we did in the 2012 Olympics -- but overperforming is, by definition, not a realistic expectation.

 

So I don't fault the athletes for performing, on the whole, about to their expected placement. The real question is what we can do to improve our performance in the other 11 months of the year, so that the high expectations that we always bring to the world tournament can have some objective factual basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BAC--This is a great post. Very informative.

 

My one question is about Metcalf. In college, he was so dominant, so aggressive. On the international level, he looks tentative. Is that because he is just not as quick as the international guys? Is it because in college he could break guys with bar arms?

 

Otherwise our guys who were very good but not great in college-- Humphrey, Gavin, Bergman-- the same is true internationally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about TheEducations's "If we were Russia..." comment, its interesting to think about the guys who we might be still competing for a world team spot, if the tendency to go MMA or retire early hadn't decimated our ranks.

 

55kg: Cejudo. Or maybe he's at 60, as its a tough cut. But man, he's in his prime. I'd mention Abas, but I guess he's a bit old now, and injury plagued to boot. Is Simmons done, or still in Greco?

 

60kg: Coleman Scott is still competing but it seems like he sort of mentally checked out after Beijing. Hope he can find his groove again.

 

66kg: Bubba J was a Jr. World Champ. Big potential, went MMA. Darrion Caldwell randomly entered the US Open with barely any freestyle experience and beat our Olympic rep (Schwab). Gone. Teyon Ware seemed to retire just as he was peaking.

 

74kg: Can't top Burroughs; moot point. But imagine the tangles with Askren if he hadn't gone MMA. Not to mention Mark Perry and Johny Hendricks.

 

84kg: Cael. Herbert. Enough said.

 

96kg: Where's Varner? Beyond that, Cormier and Lawal left too early... maybe they'd be a bit too old now, but they're doing just fine in MMA. Phil Davis too.

 

120kg: Kole Conrad had huge potential, gone MMA. Mocco and Rowlands too, though they stuck around a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thinking about TheEducations's "If we were Russia..." comment, its interesting to think about the guys who we might be still competing for a world team spot, if the tendency to go MMA or retire early hadn't decimated our ranks.

 

55kg: Cejudo. Or maybe he's at 60, as its a tough cut. But man, he's in his prime. I'd mention Abas, but I guess he's a bit old now, and injury plagued to boot. Is Simmons done, or still in Greco?

 

60kg: Coleman Scott is still competing but it seems like he sort of mentally checked out after Beijing. Hope he can find his groove again.

 

66kg: Bubba J was a Jr. World Champ. Big potential, went MMA. Darrion Caldwell randomly entered the US Open with barely any freestyle experience and beat our Olympic rep (Schwab). Gone. Teyon Ware seemed to retire just as he was peaking.

 

74kg: Can't top Burroughs; moot point. But imagine the tangles with Askren if he hadn't gone MMA. Not to mention Mark Perry and Johny Hendricks.

 

84kg: Cael. Herbert. Enough said.

 

96kg: Where's Varner? Beyond that, Cormier and Lawal left too early... maybe they'd be a bit too old now, but they're doing just fine in MMA. Phil Davis too.

 

120kg: Kole Conrad had huge potential, gone MMA. Mocco and Rowlands too, though they stuck around a while.

 

Good post (as was your earlier one). It's amazing how many of our very best guys stop competing when they are still in their physical primes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BAC--This is a great post. Very informative.

 

My one question is about Metcalf. In college, he was so dominant, so aggressive. On the international level, he looks tentative. Is that because he is just not as quick as the international guys? Is it because in college he could break guys with bar arms?

 

Otherwise our guys who were very good but not great in college-- Humphrey, Gavin, Bergman-- the same is true internationally.

 

NJDan, thanks.

 

I'm no Metcalf expert, but I think most of the explanation is that guys on the senior level have that "man strength" and won't get bulled around as easily. Its also true that Metcalf isn't as quick as some guys, so he needs to compensate for that. Metcalf's aggressive strategy in college was also driven in part by his superior conditioning, which would pay dividends at the end of the match, and that just isn't as true in shorter international matches. The prevailing view seems to be that the new rules favor Metcalf as they can lengthen the match, but there's still a big difference between 6 and 7 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I look at the brackets most of our MFS wrestlers lost to guys who also lost. I can understand a bad seed where you lose early but you expect your opponent to win out and send you to repechage. In multiple cases our guy lost to the opponent who lost to the next opponent who lost to the opponent. I was surprised how poorly the MFS team performed considering how good I know they are. And this despite the rule changes that by all accounts benefit the USA team. I truly thought the USA would dominate.

 

On a positive note:

Burroughs just dominated Yabav of India 7-0. (Yabav beat the Russian in the first round).

 

World Championship Bracket Page:

http://themat.com/section.php?section_i ... leID=26927

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I look at the brackets most of our MFS wrestlers lost to guys who also lost. I can understand a bad seed where you lose early but you expect your opponent to win out and send you to repechage. In multiple cases our guy lost to the opponent who lost to the next opponent who lost to the opponent. I was surprised how poorly the MFS team performed considering how good I know they are. And this despite the rule changes that by all accounts benefit the USA team. I truly thought the USA would dominate.

 

On a positive note:

Burroughs just dominated Yabav of India 7-0. (Yabav beat the Russian in the first round).

 

World Championship Bracket Page:

http://themat.com/section.php?section_i ... leID=26927

 

why would you expect the US to dominate? Burroughs is our only wrestler who has been dominant internationally. the rules didn't change that much. it's not like they added riding time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a wiseman once tweeted, "I am the bad draw!" upon learning he'd be facing Tsargush 2x world champ likely in the 2nd round, perhaps others should take note ... using your draw as an excuse needs to be ended by US wrestlers and fans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a wiseman once tweeted, "I am the bad draw!" upon learning he'd be facing Tsargush 2x world champ likely in the 2nd round, perhaps others should take note ... using your draw as an excuse needs to be ended by US wrestlers and fans.

 

tell that to the guys at the bottom of 96kg last Olympics. the structure creates a huge advantage to someone in an easy part of the bracket. yes I know yazdani blew his knee out, but when you hit 3 studs and have 15 minutes between 1/8 1/4 and 1/2 you are at a huge disadvantage. this has nothing to do with the us performance this year. israpilov and lasghari were both done by the time they got to the semis. the margin between these guys is razor thin. when someone comes in fresh you have a hard time overcoming that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a wiseman once tweeted, "I am the bad draw!" upon learning he'd be facing Tsargush 2x world champ likely in the 2nd round, perhaps others should take note ... using your draw as an excuse needs to be ended by US wrestlers and fans.

 

what are you implying, that confidence is the only thing holding back US wrestlers? that having a tougher draw does not put wrestlers at a disadvantage compared opponents who had easier draws?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's something really bothering me, and I wonder if its just me.

 

It was in Hump's first match, the one that he won, but could just as easily have lost.

 

But he got tossed for 3 on a textbook throw off a leg lace, exactly -- and I mean, exactly -- like the one that Jamil Kelly shows on Flo: underhook one side/overhook on the other; leg lace; arch your back and throw.

 

Kelly says -- on Flo again -- that he picked it up watching the Saitievs. And he took the time to learn it/pick it up because he saw a lot of Russians and wrestlers from former Russian republics using it. So he figured he better know it.

 

So it's a chestnut. And a known quantity, at that.

 

So my question is, how does Hump allow himself to get thrown for 3 with it?

 

I'm not singling out Hump. That to me is very revealing of the way the US prepares for world competitions. It's that I'm-not-going-to-worry-about-what-he-does attitude, I'm going to go out there and wrestle my match.

 

That's all well and good, but when you don't even bother to acquaint yourself, seemingly, with basic techniques that the other guy is using, how are you supposed to win?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's something really bothering me, and I wonder if its just me.

 

It was in Hump's first match, the one that he won, but could just as easily have lost.

 

But he got tossed for 3 on a textbook throw off a leg lace, exactly -- and I mean, exactly -- like the one that Jamil Kelly shows on Flo: underhook one side/overhook on the other; leg lace; arch your back and throw.

 

Kelly says -- on Flo again -- that he picked it up watching the Saitievs. And he took the time to learn it/pick it up because he saw a lot of Russians and wrestlers from former Russian republics using it. So he figured he better know it.

 

So it's a chestnut. And a known quantity, at that.

 

So my question is, how does Hump allow himself to get thrown for 3 with it?

 

I'm not singling out Hump. That to me is very revealing of the way the US prepares for world competitions. It's that I'm-not-going-to-worry-about-what-he-does attitude, I'm going to go out there and wrestle my match.

 

That's all well and good, but when you don't even bother to acquaint yourself, seemingly, with basic techniques that the other guy is using, how are you supposed to win?

 

Humphrey is the best thrower on the U.S. team, and arguably the best thrower among active senior-level U.S. freestyle wrestlers. I have no doubt that he knew full well what might happen when he got in that position, but it was worth the risk as Humphrey was looking for a throw himself. The difference between him and most other U.S. freestylers is that Humphrey isn't afraid of getting into those positions since he can give as good as he gets. We saw that later in the same match, when they tangled upper body again and Reece put him on his back. Any guy that likes to go upper body necessarily realizes that, by putting himself in positions to get a throw, he is often putting himself at risk of getting thrown himself.

 

So I disagree with the Humphrey example, but I appreciate the point about many other U.S. freestylers being at risk in upper body situations. Part of it is lack of the more intricate nuances of those moves, but part is just a lack a comfort level with those situations. The highly protective "slam" rules of folkstyle wrestling, coupled with the inherently high risk of upper-body situations, have led many youth and college coaches to teach their guys to avoid seeking out upper-body situations. That's a real problem when guys get to the senior level, since its a big part of the freestyle game among international wrestlers.

 

For those that remember, check out Humphrey's throw at about the 8:00 mark of this college match:

 

http://www.flowrestling.org/coverage/23 ... lo-Hofstra

 

...Of course it got ruled a slam. :-/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two things I am noticing that seem to be prevalent in the conversation about this every year:

1. Outside of 74 kilos, there is very limited depth at most every other weight for the United States.

2. There's a lot of talk of guys who retired/possibly retired/were injured. To me that's a lot of excuse making, but then also goes right back to point numero uno.

 

Also, as a team, where does the US sit? I don't mean with points and all, but as a full on team? Are they still a top three or five power? Are they outside of the top 10 nations in men's Freestyle?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll admit to being a homer for the coaching staff. That being said, in the US, Year 1 of the 4-year Olympic cycle is the least meaningful, with all of the retirements and pending weight class changes. Besides Bourroughs and Dlagnev, I don't think we can expect any of these guys to be on the roster in 2016, particularly with Stieber, Dake, Ruth and others coming.

 

Still, great performance by Bourroughs, and nice work by Escobedo and Humphreys in their 1st shots at Worlds. Dlagnev has three more years to figure out how to consistently beat the best in the world. Although I like Gavin as a wrestler, I just don't think he, Metcalf and Bergman can really cut it at this level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Metcalf may no possess that natural strength that greats use to will their opponents.

 

-I agree, look at some of these guys; they are just beasts-powerful and quick. The Iranian was just too strong for Metcalf. Then look at the 96 kg finalists; we don't have anyone near their strength level. Burroughs has both strength and quickness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How often do we see an athlete lose first round at the NCAAs then wrestle back to be an AA or event take 3rd. We often hear about how they had a great tournament but this is often not an option at the Worlds.

 

It is hard to say any of these guys had bad showings. Just like high school kids transitioning to college, a lot of people don't realize how elite the world level guys are compared to our top collegiates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Metcalf may no possess that natural strength that greats use to will their opponents.

 

-I agree, look at some of these guys; they are just beasts-powerful and quick. The Iranian was just too strong for Metcalf. Then look at the 96 kg finalists; we don't have anyone near their strength level. Burroughs has both strength and quickness.

 

I'd like to know where they get their strength.

 

I watched Lashgari, the Iranian, just horse -- I mean rag-doll -- Sokhiev, the past world champ who beat Herbert.

 

Now, Herbert is a big, strong guy, but I'm pretty sure he couldn't horse Sokhiev like that, even tho' Sokhiev was flat out exhausted.

 

That Lashgari is a beast, and not even one of the Iranian's best wrestlers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Salas did the same thing to Sokiev. Sokhiev hasnt competed in a year and is known to quit on matches. However I will agree that the Iranians have gotten noticably more powerful. With several Iranians (on GR team) having failed drug tests I don't think its out of bounds to bring up the possibility (I knwo someone did, not sure if it was on this thread).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...