LIVESTREAM Finland: United Newland Crusaders @ Seinäjoki Crocodiles, July 31, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 9:30 am ET)

The United Newland Crusaders (0-4) will travel to western Finland to take on the Seinäjoki Crocodiles (2-3) in this Maple League matchup.

Both teams are coming off of losses and eager to bounce back. The Crusaders have shown a commitment to winning by making some intriguing roster moves that should help them down the stretch. It will be interesting to see how their new talent meshes with the rest of the team today against a veteran Seinäjoki squad today.

Seinäjoki looks to find a rhythm offensively as new quarterback Zack Greenlee debuted last week in a tough loss. Greenlee’s big arm has the potential to get this offense to click, especially off of play-action. The Crocodile’s new quarterback will certainly be searching for French receiver Benjamin Plu, as the former CFL pass-catcher is coming off of a big game last week. On the ground, running back Christian Powell remains one of the Maple League’s best running backs, rushing for 680 yards so far this season. Powell projects to have a big game today as the physical back faces a Crusaders defense that has struggled against the run, giving up an average of 166 yards per game.

United Newland Crusaders @ Seinäjoki Crocodiles, July 31, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 9:30 am ET)

Defensively, the league’s leading tackler linebacker Jaska Varinen matches up well against Crusaders running back Kam Harris. Varinen’s sure tackling along with massive defensive end Filip Zacok should be able to slow down this Crusaders run game and get the victory today. On the back end, athlete Nathaniel Robitaille is eager to get his hands on another interception as the Crocodiles X factor in all three phases, catching passes, returning kicks, and all while being Seinäjoki’s number one cornerback.

The Crusaders defense played well last week holding the Wolverines to only 14 points. Veteran linebacker Michael Hall and Irish athlete Finn Kearns aim to contain this Christian Powell and this powerful Crocodiles running game. Karri Salonen is another player to watch as the home-grown talent was able to snag a clutch interception last week.

The Crusaders announced the addition of four new talented players. Three of these new faces should help this defense. First and foremost, former North Carolina Central (NCAA D2) defensive back Nolan Corpening and Czech defensive lineman Marek Danik both join the Crusaders from the Prague Black Panthers. Corpening is likely to play all over the field coming off of a standout season playing receiver, returner, and defensive back earlier this summer in the Austrian Football League. The third player joining the defense is Hungarian defender Zoltan Golita. Golita is a young defensive back flying to Finland after a phenomenal season for the Budapest Cowbells in the Hungarian Football League. Fans can expect his talents to improve the Crusader’s secondary immediately.

Offensively, veteran quarterback Robert Johnson is determined to earn the Crusaders their first-ever Maple League victory after leading them to Finland’s top league last season. Johnson, a former Texas Tech (NCAA D1) receiver will look to involve running back Kam Harris in the run game. Harris put up an impressive stat line racking up 572 total yards and six touchdowns in four games this season.

The Crusaders management was not done adding players as an extremely rare mid-season transfer has occurred. Cedric Johnson, the younger brother of quarterback Robert Johnson will join the Crusaders for the remainder of the season transferring from the Helsinki Wolverines. The versatile veteran is a proven wide receiver but has shown the ability to make an impact from multiple positions including quarterback. Johnson should help the Crusaders receiving core as Canadian receiver Jonelle Tolbert remains sidelined with an injury. Expect Robert to be looking his brother’s way as the quarterback-wide receiver duo had success together in Finland as recently in the 2019 season.

The Crocodiles are eager to get the home victory today after last week’s tough loss on the road. Seinäjoki fans expect new quarterback Greenlee to play much better this week after spending more time with the team. However, the Crusaders have shown that they are a resilient bunch determined to fight until the final whistle. The skilled additions to their roster should make this a highly competitive game between teams eager to make a statement.

Watch the game live here. United Newland Crusaders @ Seinäjoki Crocodiles, July 31, 15:30 CET (3:30 pm, 9:30 am ET)

Seinäjoki Crocodiles roster (Click to enlarge)

United Newland Crusaders roster (Click to enlarge)

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football