Team Nordic getting set to face Team USA in International Bowl

The Nordic countries (Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark) are assembling a 45 player, U20 Team Nordic to play against the U19 Team USA in the International Bowl on January 12, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas (Dallas Cowboys Stadium).

The International Bowl is a collaboration of USA Football and football governing bodies in each competing country. It was held every year from 2009 to 2015 (with the exception of 2014) and pitted a Team USA against  a World Team. This year, besides Team USA and Team Nordic, the International Bowl (which encompasses a number of age groups) will also feature Team Canada, Team Japan and Team Mexico (Autenticos Tigres).

Team Nordic will only be playing against Team USA.

Each International Bowl features a series of practices, team activities, scrimmages and games high-school aged teams from the United States, Canada as well as other countries. This year Team USA and Team Canada will also be competing against Team Nordic and a Team Mexico.

Team Nordic

Team Nordic has been set up with a goal of developing and challenging the Nordic players on a scale that has not been seen before. Players will be given the opportunity to test their skills against some of the best players in the world, and at the same time get the chance to gain serious exposure.

Training camp will be held in the week leading up to the game after arrival in Dallas.

Team Nordic Coaching staff

Head coach for Team Nordic 2018 is Jim Criner, who has been coaching football since 1967. He was the head coach at Boise State University  from 1976 to 1982 and at Iowa State University from 1983 to 1986, compiling a career  college football head coaching record of 76–46–3 (.620). Criner was also the head coach of the NFL Europe’s Scottish Claymore’s from 1995 to 2000, and the short-lived  XFL’s Las Vegas Outlaws in 2001.

His 1980 Boise State team won the NCAA Division I-AA championship and his Scottish Claymores squad won World Bowl IV in 1996. Criner was later a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL under head coach Dick Vermeil, whom he assisted at UCLA in the mid-1970s.

Offensive Line coach for Team Nordic 2018 is Mike Barry who has coached football for more than 35 years, including coaching the offensive line for the USC Trojans, Tennessee Volunteers and Detroit Lions – and won the BCS National Championship in 1998 with Tennessee Volunteers.

Defensive Line coach for Team Nordic 2018 is ex NFL defensive lineman Björn Werner, who started playing football in his hometown of Berlin,before moving to Salisbury High School, and then Florida State. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Some of the top coaches from the Nordic countries are also involved including Jørgen Bennestad-Johansen, Head Coach for Norway’s U17, U19 and men’s national teams. Toumas Heikkinen, head coach of Finland’s men’s national team, Sebastian Brinkenfeldt, head coach of Sweden’s U17 national team and Lars Carlsen, head coach for Denmark’s U19 and men’s national teams.

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