The U.S. team will include:
"We have a great American team for this event," said USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones. "When the Russians come to town, we don't mess around. We are putting a strong team out there."
The U.S. team will be coached by Jones, along with past Olympic head coach Bobby Douglas of Ames, Iowa. Mike Novogratz of New York, N.Y. is the Team Leader.
Russia is the reigning World Team Champion in freestyle wrestling. Its lineup for the New York City dual meet features a European champion and four Junior World champions and will be very competitive.
Nariman Israpilov, a 2009 European champion, is on the Russian roster at 55 kg/121 lbs. Past Junior World champions in the Russian lineup include Israpilov, plus Magomedmurad Gadzhiev at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Andrey Valiev at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Shamil Akhmedov at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Rounding out the Russian roster are young talents Rasul Murtazaliev at 60 kg/132 lbs., Aniuar Geduev at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Barsag Kesaev at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. All three have won medals at the Ivan Yarygin Memorial Grand Prix, considered one of the world's toughest international competitions.
A U.S. lineup featuring an Olympic champion and three past Hodge Trophy winners will face a Russian lineup showcased by four Junior World champions.
"Russia is the bullseye for us, and we are excited for every chance we can get to wrestle against them," said Jones. "We know that in our preparation to be the best in the world, we have to knock the Russian wrestlers off. They are very good. We have to be at our very best and ready to go when we face them."
Each year, the Beat the Streets Gala is held to celebrate wrestling and raise funds for Beat the Streets Wrestling, Inc., the successful program which has provided wrestling opportunities for thousands of middle school and high school students in New York City.
This is the second straight year in which a major Olympic-style competition has been featured as part of the Beat the Streets Gala. In 2010, an all-star challenge featuring top U.S. wrestlers was held on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan.
The Beat the Streets Reception and Awards Ceremony is set for the Hard Rock Cafe, 1501 Broadway in New York City, starting at 7:30 p.m. There will be a live musical performance by country music legend John Rich at the function.
2011 BEAT THE STREETS GALA
New York Is Wrestling
Battle on Broadway
Duffy Square Times Square at 46th Street in New York, N.Y., May 5
USA vs. Russia Freestyle Dual Meet matches
55 kg/121 lbs. Henry Cejudo (USA) vs. Nariman Israpilov (Russia)
60 kg/132 lbs. Shawn Bunch (USA) vs. Rasul Murtazaliev (Russia)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. Brent Metcalf (USA) vs. Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs. Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Aniuar Geduev (Russia)
84 kg/185 lbs. Jake Herbert (USA) vs. Andrey Valiev (Russia)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. Jake Varner (USA) vs. Shamil Akhmedov (Russia)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. Tervel Dlagnev (USA) vs. Barsag Kesaev (Russia)
ABOUT BEAT THE STREETS
The Mission of the Beat the Streets Wrestling Program is to expand and develop wrestling in the New York City Metropolitan area from the youth through the Olympic level. Our dream is to provide opportunities for boys and girls in the activity of wrestling, building lifelong skills. If you share this mission and would like to volunteer to help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.