Is Team USA Making the Right Rider Picks to Avenge a Bitter Global Cup Loss?

Written by Marcus

Two Champions and an Outlaw.

In avenging a bitter loss to Brazil at last February’s PBR Global Cup, Team USA Eagles announced their first picks, and to say fans of the squad that won the first Global Cup in Edmonton in 2019 are psyched with Cooper Davis, Jess Lockwood, and Chase Outlaw is an understatement.

This year will be the fourth installment of the country vs. country competition – the only time the sport transforms from an individual competition into a team sport. Brazil took the last two Global Cups in Sydney, Australia and then at Jerry’s World nine months ago. The Americans are still smarting.

The PBR Global Cup returns to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 15-16, 2019. The thrilling tournament is known as “The Olympics of Bull Riding” is the only time the sport transforms from an individual competition to a team sport. The excitement in the chutes and throughout the arena at a Global Cup palpable, and the 46,000 fans nwho came last to AT&T Stadium in February set an all-time-one day event attendance record for PBR.

This year, PBR has given the coaches and assistant coaches more clout than ever before. They have the full autonomy of selecting the six athletes and one alternate rider who will don their country’s colors and compete against the rankest bulls in the world.

Team USA Eagles has a powerful coaching duo with the return of two-time World Champion Justin McBride pairing up with J.W. Hard as his assistant coach.

The first rider McBride announced was Cooper Davis. The 2016 PBR World Champion is seen to be an anchor of the team. Davis has been dubbed “Captain America” after coming through for team Eagles in clutch moments across the three previous Global Cups. After going 2-for-3 in Edmonton, and 3-for-4 in Sydney, both resulting in third-place finishes in the individual aggregate, the Texan was the No. 1 cowboy for Global Cup American debut when he went 3-for-4 to top the individual leaderboard, helping team USA Eagles finish second.

During PBR World Finals in early November, Davis sustained a wrist injury and still rode in the event and remained competitive, making it to the championship round.

Joining “Captain America” on the Eagles is 2017 and 2019 World Champion Jess Lockwood, who sustained a broken collarbone at the last Global Cup at AT&T Stadium in February that sidelined the Montana state high school wrestling star for a good chunk of the season. Lockwood made the best of the events he attended with four event wins and of course, put up four 90-point scores in T-Mobile Arena to roar ahead of Jose Vitor Leme to take his second world title. This will be the reigning world champion’s third Global Cup.

When he became the sport’s youngest-time champion at 22 in Las Vegas last Sunday, after drinking Coors Banquet from the Champion’s cup – he’s old enough to do that now – Lockwood said he was awed to now be in a class of multi-champion riders he idolized like Justin McBride. Lockwood made it clear he won’t be satisfied with only two world titles; he seems to only want to win more than ever and is a solid pick by the team.

Dubbed the “toughest athlete in sports” by USA Today, Chase Outlaw, rounds out the first three announced members of team USA Eagles. The Arkansas native, and fan-favorite has shown he can perform in the Global Cup. Outlaw, who finished third in the world in 2019, should play the role of getting riders fired before the event and during the event and will be a strong team-player

 So far, team, USA Eagles has a solid foundation as the coaches look to build out a highly talented and motivated team. The Eagles will be a team to watch as Cooper Davis has come through in clutch moments, Lockwood has a great attitude and is maintaining a sky-high riding percentage and Outlaw serves to pump up the team will make this team one to watch to go for the event title in 2020.

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