LIVESTREAM Finland: Helsinki Wolverines @ Kuopio Steelers, July 17, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 09:00 am ET)

The Kuopio Steelers (3-0) will host the Helsinki Wolverines (1-3) in this Saturday afternoon Maple League matchup.

The Wolverines hope to pull off the upset as they enter a rowdy Steelers stadium known as one of the toughest places to play in Finland.  Expect the Steelers to put on a show for their faithful fans today.

Kuopio’s defense has only given up 27 points in three games. A fierce defensive line does its best to recreate the famous 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers “Steel Curtain defense” as NCAA division 1 lineman Ikeem Allen and Dutch native Semmie Radji mix well with talented Finnish players Janni Lindqvist and Aatu Suhonen forming the Maple League’s toughest defensive front. Today, these pass rushers will have a challenge as the Wolverines have recently signed an athletic dual-threat quarterback in Jordan Williams who hopes to evade Finland’s most dominant pass-rushing unit.

Helsinki Wolverines @ Kuopio Steelers, July 17, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 09:00 am ET)

Former Portuguese football league MVP Joey Bradley leads the Steelers from under center. The well-traveled passer has a wealth of weapons to play with as Jeffrey Alexandre, Hannes Harju, and Isaac Marshall provide him with speedy sure-handed receivers. In the backfield, the combo of Maple League rookie Le’anthony Reasnover and veteran Tuuka Lehtonen is averaging 150 yards per game on the ground. Expect the Steelers to pound the rock today as Helsinki’s defense gave up over 250 yards rushing last week.

The Wolverines announced on Tuesday that the club has signed Williams of Central Methodist University (NAIA) as their new quarterback. The 6’2″ passer was an all-conference dual threat putting up over 2,000 passing yards and adding 10 touchdowns on the ground. It will be interesting to see how quickly he can adjust to his new teammates. Williams faces a tough task as his first game with the Wolverines comes against the defending champions and a fierce pass rush. No doubt he will be targeting the league’s leading receiver Curtis Slater who has done it all playing both ways.  Finnish receiver Juuso Alakoski and fullback Asko Mantymaki are also weapons that could help the Wolverines silence the Steelers crowd. Star tailback Breon Allen is still nursing his knee injury and the Wolverines will need another skill player to step up help this offense in his absence.

Defensively, Helsinki struggled to stop the run last week. Defensive back Dejion Lynch went down with an injury and his status for today is questionable. The Southeastern Louisiana University (NCAA D1 FCS) product has been one of the Wolverines‘ top defenders and will be missed greatly if he cannot suit up. Look for veteran Erik Irvin to step up and be a leader if Lynch can’t play. Defensive lineman Benjamin Banks Egbudiwe needs to wreak havoc today if the Wolverines hope to slow down the Steelers‘ offense.

The Wolverines will have to play well in a tough environment as they make the trip to Kuopio. These two teams met in the Maple Bowl last season with Kuopio claiming the title in a rainstorm. This time around, Helsinki looks to earn their second win of the season as the league’s halfway point rapidly approaches.

Watch the game live here. Helsinki Wolverines @ Kuopio Steelers, July 17, 15:00 CET (3 pm, 09:00 am ET)

Kuopio Steelers roster (click to enlarge)

Helsinki Wolverines 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