|Photo: Colleen McCloskey|
Prop: Chris Baumann, Tony Purpura, Ben Tarr, Alex Maughan, Dino Waldren
Head coach John Mitchell is going to have some selection decisions at prop. Chris Baumann should be the starter once again and we think that it's Tony Purpura that starts along with him. Purpura had an excellent match against Brazil. Dino Waldren, Alex Maughan, and Ben Tarr could all push their way into the starting line-up against what should be the weakest scrummaging team in the competition but we think it's Baumann and Purpura.
Hooker: James Hilterbrand, Peter Malcolm
Peter Malcolm got the surprise start last week and he could start again against Brazil. However, we think that James Hilterbrand takes over this week with Malcolm and early sub off the bench.
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Lock: Siaosi Mahoni, Nick Civetta, Nate Brakeley, Cam Dolan
The introduction of Cam Dolan to the team could easily shake things up in the locks. Lock is probably his best position but he can also slide in on the back-row. One of the thoughts Mitchell may have is whether or not he wants to change up the solid partnership Nick Civetta and Nate Brakeley have developed. They have functioned really well together and with both available for only a shorter amount of time it may be prudent to pair them up again. That said, we think that Dolan starts alongside Civetta. Siaosi Mahoni may get time off the bench after returning from injury.
Back-row: Todd Clever, Tony Lamborn, Al McFarland, John Quill, Cam Dolan
Back-row could largely depend on whether Dolan starts in the locks are slides in at No. 8. If he's at No. 8 we think that John Quill and Tony Lamborn get the start at the flanker positions. Quill had a good match against Uruguay, as did Lamborn. Todd Clever could start once again but he nearly cost his team the match with his reckless tackle that was thankfully only a yellow. Al McFarland was also decent against Uruguay but Dolan is projected as the long-term starter. We think it's Lamborn, Quill, and McFarland starting.
Scrumhalf: Nate Augspurger, Shaun Davies
We expect scrumhalf to rotate this week with Shaun Davies getting the chance to start. Nate Augspurger had a good outing against Uruguay but also had some mistakes. With both players so even we think Mitchell rotates his squad with Davies getting a shot.
Fly-half: Will Magie, Ben Cima
There are two thoughts that go into what we think Mitchell is thinking at fly-half. One, he could go with Ben Cima once again to get the young player some experience. Brazil should be the weakest team in the competition which would give Cima another perfect chance to ease his way into the team but the U.S. did lose to Brazil last year. The other thought is that Magie played so well at the position last weekend that he should get the chance to take over the starting spot. We think it's going to be Magie.
Center: Bryce Campbell, JP Eloff
Center seems pretty straightforward although it depends on what is being done elsewhere. Bryce Campbell seems like a sure pick at outside center and has been a favorite of Mitchell so far. If the Eagles stick to a player with fly-half abilities at inside center that job should go to JP Eloff. It's possible we might see a player like Mike Te'o slip in there or Ryan Matyas but our guess is Eloff.
Wing: Spike Davis, Deion Mikesell, Ryan Matyas, Andrew Turner
The Eagles are going to have wholesale changes on the wing with Blaine Scully headed back to his club and an injury keeping Zack Test out. Deion Mikesell has been brought in as cover while Andrew Turner, a player with experience in England, comes into the team. Spike Davis wasn't involved last week and could be a good candidate to start this week. The same goes for Matyas. If we had to guess we would predict it's Turner and Davis getting the starts.
Fullback: JP Eloff, Mike Te'o
Fullback may depend on what is done elsewhere on the roster. Our guess is that Mike Te'o gets the nod at fullback once again. Eloff is a candidate as is Will Magie who played some fullback for the Denver Stampede. It wouldn't shock us if Magie started here but we think he slots in at fly-half.
Here's who we have:
1. Tony Purpura
2. James Hilterbrand
3. Chris Baumann
4. Nick Civetta
5. Cam Dolan
6. Tony Lamborn
7. John Quill
8. Al McFarland
9. Shaun Davies
10. Will Magie
11. Andrew Turner
12. JP Eloff
13. Bryce Campbell
14. Spike Davis
15. Mike Te'o
16. Alex Maughan
17. Ben Tarr
18. Dino Waldren
19. Todd Clever
20. Saoisi Mahoni
21. Nate Augspurger
22. Ben Cima
23. Ryan Matyas