USA v. Mexico: United States Power against the Speed of Mexico in Final Game of IFAF World Championship Opening Day

IFAF America’s USA (#1) vs. IFAF America’s Mexico (#3)

If there ever was a dream matchup in these world championships this is the one. The defending champion USA with all its power and might coached by former Boise State and Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins versus the underdog Mexico with its speed and athleticism. In fact in the last tournament in 2011, Mexico was the only team to give the United States a scare as the US had to hang on to beat the feisty Mexican squad 17-7.

This will be the third time the United States has participated in this tournament. They won the 2007 tourament beating a tough Japanese team 23-20 in double overtime. Then they had a far easier time in the 2011 edition in Austria, trouncing Canada 50-7 in the gold medal game.

Dan Hawkins is feeling comfortable about his team as kick off approaches:

“This will be an interesting game because you don’t know – you really don’t. I like our chemistry, I like our attitude. I think our guys have worked really hard and I like our players. We know Mexico is very talented, very well coached, so it will be interesting.”

“Our players have grasped everything pretty quickly and it has surprised me how fast they’ve bonded with each other. Those two things have been amazing and have really surpassed what I anticipated. We’re on the same page Xs and Os-wise and as a team. ”

This will be Mexico’s fourth tournament as they captured the silver medal twice (1999 & 2003) losing to Japan in both games. They then finished fourth in the 2011 tournament, again losing to Japan, that time in the bronze medal game.

IFAF WCs - Mexico-USA poster

Mexican poster promoting the Mexico-USA game

Although this Team USA edition will no doubt be even better prepared with Hawkins in charge and his son Cody, who played quarterback on the 2011 team, serving as quarterbacks coach. The fact that it will be held on the hallowed grounds of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Tom Benson Stadium, makes it all the more inspiring for the American players.

The U.S. team conducted a nine-day training camp at the University of Akron from June 28-July 7 while Mexico held their camp at home and arrived in Ohio on Tuesday, practicing for the first time on Wednesday afternoon at Walsh University.

Mexico head coach Raùl Rivera Sànchez:

“Preparations began four years ago at the end of the 2011 tournament.  That moment we started working towards this tournament.  About 250 players were reviewed to get to this roster of 45 men.  We are happy and we know that we have a good team.”

Kick off is Thursday July 9. 7 PM EDT, 1 AM CET, 6 PM in Mexico.

All twelve games will be broadcast live and streamed globally on ESPN3 in the United States, on ESPN International broadband channels where available, and at


Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.