News — kangaroos

Chicago at Nashville 2013

Chicago at Nashville 2013 0


Swans vs Kangaroos – Inaugural Wayne Schwass Cup 0

Chicago and Nashville are the titans of the central United States with a long and storied history, just like our professional counterparts in Australia, the Sydney Swans and the North Melbourne Kangaroos. Both USAFL Clubs have been an integral part of the growth of Football in the Central region, and in 2012, that rivalry is set to continue in a big way with the inaugural Wayne Schwass Cup on August 11.

Since 1998 Chicago and Nashville have played at least once every year, with Chicago holding the advantage of 9 wins to Nashville’s 8. Of the 12 MAAFL Championships, Chicago holds 4 titles and Nashville holds 3. Chicago is 6-0 in Chicago, Nashville is 5-1 in Nashville. The remaining games are on neutral grounds (such as the national championship tournaments).

This week the Roos travel north to continue that rivalry, but this time the stakes are very different. With both clubs strengthening their relationship with their professional namesakes back home, 2012 marks the inaugural Wayne Schwass Cup which Chicago and Nashville will now battle it out for every time they meet.

Wayne Schwass played 282 games for North Melbourne and Sydney from 1988-2002 and averaged over 21 possessions per game throughout his stellar career. Playing on the Wing, he was known for his blistering place and courage. His record speaks for itself, winning Best and Fairest Awards at both clubs, representing the State of Victoria 3 times and being named to the All Australian Team in 1999. He is a Premiership player with the Roos in 1996 (against the Swans) and was named to North Melbourne’s Team of the Century. Not only does this make him a great candidate to not only honor this Cup after and continue the Swans/Roos rivalry here and in the States, it’s his work since then that is just as impressive.

“Schwatta” was born in New Zealand, making him one of the very few who were born overseas to succeed at the highest level in Aussie Rules Football. He has since forged a name for himself as a highly respected Australian AFL media identity on TV, radio and in print with Triple M, Fox Sports and the Herald Sun. He commentated the International Cup in 2005 (NZ took the title that year), and helped found the Sunrise Foundation which supports those suffering from depression after his own experiences as a professional athlete.

So as the Swans/Roos rivalry grows here in the US, we’re proud to honor Wayne Schwass and his contribution to the sport of Australian Rules, to North Melbourne and Sydney respectively, and to the great work he performs through his foundation.

Chicago will be unveiling its brand new jumpers this weekend, at which time the Chicago United name is being retired, and the Chicago Swans will rise like a phoenix. With jumpers donated by North Melbourne being worn by Nashville, it’s the Swannies taking on the Roos USAFL style.

So with Nashville in strong form, and Chicago always strong on home turf rest assured it’ll be a tough match and the footy will do the talking. Stay tuned for the result as both Clubs look to add more silverware to their trophy room.

Check what Wyane Schwass said about the Wayne Schwass Cup here.


John Harrell Memorial Cup in Louisville 0

Thee opening weekend of our football season saw us set sail South down the picturesque 65 to Louisville for Kings of Louisville tournament between Nashville Kangaroos, Columbus Jackaroos, Ohio Valley River Rats & a mix up of the spares and a new team from Cleveland.

Some of the boys loitered overnight in Indianapolis; a few others couldn’t drive past the birthplace of John Cougar Mellancamp and set up camp in Seymour, IN. On paper the squad of 22 heading down looked really solid; which also included a number of star recruits donning the Chicago jersey for the first time. Congrats to those boys, Russ, Dennis, Xavier & Toby.

The scene was set on a sunny 70 odd degree day, with three quarter size grounds and 14 a side format proposed. Upon our arrival, we were informed that only 4 teams would play, with the lads from Cleveland not having enough players to make the trip.

So the schedule was set, Chicago Swans V Columbus Jackaroos and the Nashville Kangaroos V Ohio Valley River Rats. We ended up playing a full game against the Jackaroos, a game they were desperate to win, having never beaten Chicago previously. Chicago knew the Jacks would come out firing, and really took the game up to us. In a game where Chicago never really threatened saw Columbus ultimately run out winners by 5 points.

A good tough hit out first up, from a team that had been nipping at our heels for a while now. Led well by a solid defense and an excellent game from one if the best center half forwards in the game.

That said, considering it was our first game of the season, and with blokes like Ponyboy sunning himself in WA, regular full back Hoyty plucking a few notes at some dive bar in Chi-town and ‘Big Bad’ Al McGlashan preserving his last hurrah for a home game, the boys needed to pick up the slack and fill the holes.

There were indeed some promising signs of good things to come from new recruit Russ, working his way around the ground in a tireless performance. Since defecting from Milwaukee a couple back, Pat Defors has become a rock solid defender for Chicago. And a big improver, who could make a push for this year’s MVP award, Jayson Schmelzer was in and under everything on Saturday. There were signs shown yesterday that Jays might be useful as a pinch hit midfielder in the future.


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Swans 0.0.0 7.3.45 0.0.0 5.4.34 12.7.79
Columbus 0.0.0 7.5.47 0.0.0 5.7.37 12.12.84
Goals Swans: Patterson (2), Bradley (2), St John (2), Schmelzer J (2), Ortiz, Edwards
Columbus: None
Best Swans: Schmelzer J, Edwards, Panek, Adams, Defors, Fitzgerald
Columbus: None

The second game was played in Nationals format, with 20 minute halves. Once again we battled hard in tough conditions; We really let ourselves down in the second quarter kicking 6 behinds. While the work rate was pleasing, we can’t allow teams to get four goals ahead and expect to peg them back later in the game. We did eventually run out of legs in the last few minutes of the game, however were still a chance to take the win with 90 seconds to go.

Solid efforts by newcomer’s Russ Adams and Toby Patterson, and regulars, Dave Fitzpatrick, Frank Bradley, Josh Edwards & Mike Panek gave us a lot of drive from their respective positions on the field.


Team 1st Half 2nd Half Final
Swans 0.0.0 4.10.34 4.10.34
Ohio Valley 0.0.0 5.11.41 5.11.41
Goals Swans: Meyer (2), Bradley, Schmelzer J
Ohio Valley: None
Best Swans: Adams, St John, Defors, Fitzgerald
Ohio Valley: None

MAAFL 2011 - Nashville at Chicago 0

Nashville were only able to muster up 7 players to make the trip up to Chicago. This resulted in a forfeit and the crowning of Chicago United as MAAFL premiers.

The travellers and Chicago put together two teams and played a heated match to get a good run in leading up to Nationals. The United jerseys won on the day and sent Drakey off to retirement with a win (with only his beloved Wrigleyville missing out on a Metro premiership the only blemish in his career).


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
United 4.3.27 1.2.8 4.2.26 2.3.15 11.10.76
Nashville 1.0.6 2.3.15 1.1.7 1.6.12 5.10.40
Goals United: Cassity, Meyer, Kasby, Jimenez, Enzinger, Drake
Nashville: None
Best United: Kasby, Jimenez, Swierupski, Wilhelm
Nashville: Brennan, Wolfe

2010 MAAFL - Chicago at Nashville 0


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Nashville 2.3.15 3.7.25 7.4.46 5.4.34 17.18.120
United 3.0.18 0.1.1 3.1.19 0.1.1 6.3.39
Goals Nashville: None
United: Meyer (2), Allen T, McKeegan, Hoyt B, MacGlashan
Best Nashville: None
United: Allen T, Hanisch, Deehan

United Bounce Roos in a Classic 0

CHICAGO, IL- In another game for the ages between these two classic rivals, Chicago outlasted a ferocious Kangaroo outfit but ended up paying a huge cost for the win with two big injuries, both broken ankles… and worse, to Chris ‘Bluey’ Carroll and Brett ‘Pablo’ Isadore. Isadore’s fracture is less severe but will sideline him for most of the season whereas big Bluey’s horrific injury in the dying moments could end one of the great American careers in MAAFL and US Footy.

Nashville was treated to a beautiful day at Rogers Park with a disappointing crowd basking in a pleasant 70 degrees with a slight wind that had no real effect on the game but if it did, it was towards the southern end where Chicago, who won the toss on captain BJ Gambaros call, were kicking. An interesting decision by Nashville to only play 14 a side, despite bringing 20 blokes, left plenty on the bench for both teams and on a big ground, there was plenty of running ahead, particularly for the backlines of both teams as the two big forwards, the magnificently besparkling domed Chris Moerman from Nashville and the father to be in Roofy Ward for Chicago were both coming into the game in red hot form. Both teams opted for a spare man in defence to stifle the big men as Whitey took the first bounce to get her underway.

From the bounce, Chicago cleared and with a forward line more open than a Illinois politicians checkbook, gave Ambrosino plenty of room to move and the little fella swooped onto a ball and slotted a smart snap through (on the left boot by the way!!) to get proceedings going. Chicago continued to attack and when big Roofy tapped a loose ball to his coach, he took off like a gazelle and Drakes handball found the leaping leviathan (it’s a word, look it up!) who sauntered into an open goal to send shivers down the Kangaroo bench as Marty Thompson searched for answers. It didn’t take the kangas long to find those answers however and the boys from the the other side of the Mason Dixon hit back with a vengeance. Slated in pre game chats as a potential game winner, perennial Chicago pain in the butt Dee Vsetka started to get plenty of it and banged home Nashvilles first after a nice handball got him into open space. Seconds later, Nashvilles best in little Matty Langley broke free to snap truly and it was all Nashville as they dominated the center through the brothers Grimm in the Nemeths and Dave Walker (great to see him back after the injury too just quietly) was getting a tonne of touches too. The Kangaroo’s ageless legend, Jeff Persson showed he still has plenty left in the tank as he hit the bagman in Moerman with a cracker pass on the left tit which the follicularly challenged big fella slotted home from about 40 out. At quarter time, Nashville had shot out to a 3.4: 22 to 2.2: 14 lead.

The second stanza started much like the first with Chicago getting the jump on the Roos early in this, the 15th meeting of the two clubs. From the throw in, Roofy was able to gather and snap truly to wrest the lead back. From a center clearance, Ambrosino kicked a coaches manual perfect crumbers goal to get the crowd of around 50 going as the Chicago forwards started to appreciate the service given to them. Ward was the difference between the two teams and when a full tilt Ryan Hayse hit him on the lead, the big fella was able to slot home number three. When Roofy kicked his fourth after a big grab over Travis Quigley, the United had opened up a 19 point buffer and looked poised to take control of the game as their runners were starting to get on top and the backline was providng plenty of opportunities in transition as Nashville continued to bomb it into the big fella in Moerman, hoping he could beat 2 and sometimes 3 Chicago defenders. Matt Langley, who worked tirelessly all over the ground was winning plenty of the ball and received a free kick in front of goal which he duly slotted through to stop the Chicago momentum. Another free kick seconds later brought up another Nashville goal, this time through Moerman as the Kangaroos, as they had done in the first, hit back at their hosts. At the half, Chicago led 6.6: 42 to Nashvilles 5.8: 38

Langley, Vsetka and Moerman were the topics of heated conversation as the Chicago coaching staff looked to stem the tide of undisciplined free kicks and a center line for Nashville that was cutting Chicago to shreds. Drake came out of the forward line and into a ruck roving position after Pablo Iasadores injury. This sent Bradshaw up forward and then the two telling moves of the game for Chicago were probably Crabs Dhoory onto Matt Langley and a very quiet Drew Wolfe onto Chris Moerman to give the St Louis twins in Gambaro and Caroll room to move in the backline. Dhoory in particular was instrumental as he tagged and harassed Langley to perfection, slowing the little man down and stopping the free reign he was haivng at the stoppages where he was able to constantly hurt the United.

Nashville came out hard but the Chicago defence stood tall with Drew Wolfe revelling in his new role on the dangerous Moerman with several goal saving spoils frustrating Mustard De Jongs Nashville twin. Roofy, leading hard, was able to snap truly and kick his fifth as he threatened again to break the game open off his own boot. From the ensuing bounce, big EP, playing his first game in Chicago colors, found Drake who, after dodging a few tacklers and surprising all with his agility, hit a running Betty Palmer in space who dutifully nailed Chris Bradshaw who went back and went BANG to set the dingoes amongst the Kangaroos as Chicago again looked set to run away with the game. But this is a well coached, desperate Nashville team who hate losing, particularly to us and they once again were able to hit back as Chicago started to look tired. Mischa Nemeth started getting kicks and their other big Australian, Justin White, was taking mark after mark. Vsetka was awarded another free kick in front of goal to get some reward for the hard work being done by the Roo boys. They continued to attack but the Chicago defence hung on desperately, continually forcing the Roo forwards into hurried shots and never giving them the space they wanted. A late bomb on the siren brought up Chris Bradshaws second of the game, a very important goal in the context fo the game as it was against the flow and stemmed the Nashville pressure as both teams went into the orange break with Chicago leading 9.7: 61 to 6.13: 49.

Both coaches pleaded with their tiring charges but it was Nashville that came out best and if not for some huge work by the Chicago backs in Gambaro, Carroll, Uhlmann, Oscar, Rocky Deeham and Wolfe, Nashville could have stolen this one. As it was, Nashville youngster ‘Whippet’ Liepply kicked the quarters first, a ripper of a snap from a Nemeth handball that surprised no one more than young Whippet himself whose clebrations saw him take off down Western Avenue with an impressive series of cartwheels, handstands, round outs and plenty of high fives to anyone within a mile radius. Whippet had another chance seconds later but was unable to slot that one through. Chicago was desperate and it was the big man that stepped up again, Roofy bringing up the two finger salute with another smart snap.

The game was delayed for 20 minutes after the sickening injury to Bluey Carroll saw the paramedics cart him off and the Chicago coaching staff were scrambling as they looked to fill the humongous void left by him and his mate BJ who accompanied him to the hospital. A free kick to Moerman 15 out sent shivers through the crowd but he missed and from the kick in Chicago were able to clear down the outer wing where Uhlmann found Drake who was in a tonne of space. He popped it over to Nolan Mc Keegan who centered for Chicago. Some to-ing and fro-ing eventually saw the ball fall back to McKeegan who banged home the winner for Chicago as De Jong breathed a massive sigh of relief on the sideline. Chicago continued to attack as their depth showed through and they were able to run out the game, winning 11.7: 73 to 7.17: 59

This was probably the most important game of the season as it puts Chicago in the drivers seat to claim their third MAAFL title in as many years. Nashville will rue missed opportunities as they try to beat Chicago on the road, a feat not yet accomplished. The game however, was a tribute to both teams and an excellent example of Australian Football with tough, uncompromising styles on both sides of the ball. In a tale of two forwards, it was Roofy Ward who ruled the roost and put his stamp on this game from the outset as Moerman battled hard against a determined Drew Wolfe whose second half was instrumental in this win, keeping the big fella to just 2 for the game. Carroll and Isadore are huge losses that Chicago must overcome if they are to come out of the deep freeze in Minneapolis with a win in three weeks.


Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
United 2.2.14 4.4.28 3.1.19 2.0.12 11.7.73
Nashville 3.4.22 2.4.16 1.5.11 1.4.10 7.17.59
Goals United: Ward (6), Bradshaw (2), Ambrosino (2), McKeegan
Nashville: None
Best United: Ward, Ambrosino, Carroll, Deehan, Wolfe, Doorhy V, Gambaro
Nashville: None

Drew Wolfe

Stacy Elmore (missing an absolute sitter of a goal 2ft out under no pressure)