The Reykjavik Einherjar from Iceland take on Finland’s Kuopio Steelers Saturday, May 11 in Reykjavik, Iceland to mark the first time the Icelandic team will face a team from the Maple League, the top league in Finland.
The Steelers were finalists in the Maple League in 2018.
This will be the top European team the Einherjar has faced.
The Einherjar were on a roll winning four of their last five games including an emphatic win late last year when they disposed of the Cologne Falcons from Germany’s third division, 50-0.They dropped their last game, 36-7 to the Empire State Wolfpack from New York in mid March.
The Einherjar’s reputation has been growing steadily over the past three years, making it a little easier to find games. Nevertheless, they continue to search and they are still the only football team in Iceland. And being an island nation with a population of only 300,000, located 1,200 miles north of London, England, Iceland is still as remote as it gets in terms of American football. So the Einherjar spend most of the year practicing, while they troll the international American football community for games.
This has not deterred the only team from Iceland though. In the past two years the team has hosted teams from the USA, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Germany and Great Britain, winning six games and losing three. They lost to the Carinthian Lions from Austria earlier last year in a tight game, 19-14. They traveled to Mallorca in late October 2017 to play the Spanish first division team the Mallorca Voltors. Reykjavík won the game,
The Steelers reached the Maple Bowl final, Finland’s championship game, in 2018 losing to the Helsinki Roosters.
According to head coach Pekka Utrianen, the team is traveling with a roster of 34 players and will only be missing two starters. Quarterback Seth Peters was second in the league in passing yardage in 2018 throwing for 2,450 yards and 32 touchdowns. He will be tough for the Einherjar to contain. The team has also added running back Gerard Johnson, who played in Sweden in 2018 for the Goteborg Marvels.
“I love the idea of flying to Iceland for a preseason game. It is great for team morale and bonding. Make no mistake, this is not a pleasure trip. This will be a valuable tool in our preparations for the season which starts May 23.”
Kuopio is also bringing a big contingent of fans, so up to 60 people are making their way to Reykjavik .