LIVESTREAM Finland: Wasa Royals @ Kuopio Steelers, Aug. 28, 18:30 EEST (17:30 CET, 11;30 ET)

Friday night football returns in Finland’s Maple League as the Kuopio Steelers will be battling the visiting Wasa Royals for sole ownership of first place in the final game of the regular season. Both teams were undefeated before loosing last week and are hungry to get back to their winning ways and secure a home playoff game.

The Wasa Royals were blown out by the Helsinki Roosters last week 49-13. The Royals offense struggled and will need their playmakers to step up and produce early and often against an athletic Steelers defense. Quarterback Brandon Gwinner and receiver Alpha Jalloh both played well in the second half of last weeks game but were largely ineffective against a tough Roosters defense. Look for Wasa to get their run game going against the Steelers and feed running back Tom Suoste the rock.

Reciever Alpha Jalloh had some thoughts on the matchup:

“We execute our game plan we know what is take for us to win this game. Yeah the last game hurts, we didn’t have our best players. Whoever we have on the field knows their responsibilities and has to get it done. The mindset for both teams is, they want home field advantage and we want home field advantage as well. So that’s what we both are playing for because we are the teams that travel the furthest.”

Wasa Royals @ Kuopio Steelers, Aug. 28, 18:30 EEST (17:30 CET, 11;30 ET)

Defensively the Royals were burned in the run game by new Roosters import Mike Gentili. They will need to have a better showing from their run defense against the Steelers speedy running back Lamar Carswell. Two bright spots for the Royals were defensive back Lamin Latikka who had 6.5 tackles and 2 tfls, and big defensive lineman Carlos Carrasco who had 4 tackles and a sack. These two need to play well if they want to slow down Lamar Carswell and the Steelers explosive offense.

The Kuopio Steelers were upset by the Seinajoki Crocodiles 14-7 last week in a close defensive game. The Kuopio’s offense was held to only 34 yards rushing and quarterback Seth Peters compounded the problem by throwing 2 interceptions. The Steelers had been averaging 52 points a game before last week so their poor offensive showing came as a surprise to many. Look for Peters, Carswell, and the entire Steelers offense to bounce back this week and get their confidence back.

Defensively, the Steelers were led last week by linebacker Kadel King who had 6.5 tackles. King is part of an athletic defense that will look to force turnovers against a Wasa offense that fumbled 3 times last week. Edge defender Semmie Radji who had 5 tackles last week had some thoughts on what a home playoff game would mean to the Steelers organization.

“It would mean a lot, we only had two home games instead of three in the regular season. We want to put on a show for our home crowd and the Steeler family.”

Depending on how the other games shake out one of or both of these teams will have a home playoff game. But the winner of Friday’s matchup secures that privilege. Both the Steelers and the Royals are still in control of their playoff destiny even after suffering frustrating losses last week. Look for both teams to be locked in and playing as if this is already a playoff game.

Watch the game live here. Wasa Royals @ Kuopio Steelers, Aug. 28, 18:30 EEST (17:30 CET, 11;30 ET)

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Kuopio Steelers starting lineup and roster

Wasa Royals starting lineup and roster


Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and