World team can hold its head up high

World RB Guillame Bourassa (right) fends off Team USA LB Steele Divitto during Saturday's game. (Gary A. Vasquez /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Give credit to The World team for hanging tough during Saturday’s under-20 all-star game against Team USA at Lockhart Stadium.

Distinct athletic and speed advantages clearly were the difference in Team USA’s 17-0 victory, but think about that score for a second: The Americans scored just 17 points.

Hey, that’s a testament to some determination displayed by The World team, which was playing with another significant disadvantage: communication. The World team was made up of players from Canada, France, Sweden, Japan, American Samoa, Mexico, Germany, and Australia, so I can understand the problem that led to penalties and sloppy play in general. But holding the very athletic and talented USA team with a boat load of college-bound players scoreless until the final minute of the first half is saying something.

For The World players, though, I can only imagine how much will be gained from playing this game.

“USA Football and the NFL have done a really great job with this,” Football Canada CEO Richard Munro said. “It’s a threshold test of where you’re at in the game for all these World players. I think you see that they’re right there, knocking on the door, so this experience is incredible for them. They’ll go back to their university teams, high school teams in some cases, having learned a whole lot. It’s a phenomenal experience.”

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