High school football players and coaches from 21 states and Washington, D.C., have been selected to play for the 2011 U.S. Under-19 National Team, assembled by USA Football. The U.S. team will compete Feb. 2 in Austin, Texas, against a team composed of 45 of the best players age 19 and under from outside of the United States spanning four continents in the second Team USA vs. The World game.
Forty-five American high school seniors and 13 high school football coaches from across the country will represent the U.S. in the game to be held on National Signing Day. Team USA's roster presently stands at 42 athletes with the remaining three roster spots to be announced soon.
A national team exemption granted by the NCAA allows high school seniors to play for USA Football and not have their participation count as one of their two permitted all-star game appearances. Team USA vs. The World is recognized as a national team competition.
Team USA vs. The World is sanctioned by the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the Paris-based federation composed of 59 countries that possess a national federation dedicated solely to American football.
USA Football is the sport's national governing body and the official football development partner of the NFL and NFL Players Association.
USA Football's 2011 Under-19 team is led by Darren Allman, head coach of Austin (Texas) Westlake. Allman led Westlake to the Texas Class 5-A (largest school division) state final in 2009. He is 57-19 (.750) overall in six seasons as a head coach.
"This roster holds tremendously talented players, but its blueprint is centered on the assemblage of a true team, a national team," Allman said. "Representing the United States in our country's favorite sport is a high honor - our coaches and players understand this. We'll be prepared to face a strong opponent on Feb. 2 and to celebrate football on an international scale."
Greg Marshall of Canada is the World team's head coach. His 12-member staff consists of assistant coaches from Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, Mexico and Sweden.
The U.S. Under-19 team defeated The World, 17-0, in January 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The U.S. also won the gold medal at the IFAF Junior World Championship in Canton, Ohio, during the summer of 2009.