New Castle News


November 27, 2013

Football News: Union grad to suit up for Team Europe — and Team USA

NEW CASTLE — Jordon Rooney will be a busy man next month. And that has very little to do with Christmas.

The 23-year-old will compete in a pair of football games a little over a week apart near the end of December. He’ll play for Team Europe in the Euro-American Challenge on Dec. 20 in Myrtle Beach and pull on the Team USA jersey eight days later in the CanAm Bowl in Minneapolis.


The 2008 Union High and 2012 Westminster College graduate will leave on Dec. 16 for the Euro-American Challenge and return to New Castle on Dec. 21, before leaving Christmas night for the CanAm Bowl.

“I have a busy schedule,” said the son of Mike Rooney and Jodie Sizer. “I’m not going to let the opportunity slip. I’ll be working hard up until the games. I’ll be ready mentally and physically.”

Rooney will suit up for Team Europe in the Euro-American Challenge, which only accepted 12 percent of its applicants and had 70 percent of its players earn a professional contract in 2013.

The event features recent college graduates from the United States and Europe and current/former professional players looking for a new contract.

“I got a message from this guy, who runs the Euro-American Challenge,” Rooney said. “He said European players aren’t as good as American players and they needed American players that had played in Europe to represent Team Europe. There’s a couple guys on Team USA that were in NFL camps this year. The competition is going to be intense.”

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Rooney found out about the CanAm Bowl while searching the Internet for games to play in. He sent in his film and was invited to play.

“I was looking online at different bowl games,” said Rooney, who received sponsorships from five local businesses to help cover transportation, meals and lodging for both events. “They were looking for players to play for Team USA to go up against Team Canada and I said ‘Why not?’ This could be a great experience for me. It’ll be great exposure.”

The Euro-American Challenge offers more opportunities than the CanAm Bowl, Rooney noted.

“The Senior Bowl is the next day and they’re having a job fair,” he said. “The game in Myrtle Beach (Euro-American Challenge), I’m looking forward to a little bit more, because there’ll be scouts there from every different level. I’m definitely excited.”

The CanAm Bowl does have its perks.

“Putting on the Team USA jersey is going to be kind of cool no matter what it’s for,” Rooney said. “It’s going to be weird playing against Team USA (in the Euro-American Challenge). My friends aren’t sure who to root for. I told them to root for me.”

American and international scouts will be in attendance at both events, but Rooney said it’s important to perform well in the game as well as on the practice field.

“I think it’s important to do well in both,” he said. “To be able to differentiate would be hard. My mindset is I’m going to perform well in practice and in the games. I don’t even think like that.

“When I was younger, I’d feel pressure in different situations. Now, I’m just so grateful for the opportunities that I don’t feel pressure. I feel like I’m giving myself no choice but to succeed. It’s more me embracing what’s going to happen.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Aloi.jpg Aloi's PIAA eligibility hearing postponed

    The wait continues for Nick Aloi. Aloi, who transferred from Ellwood City Lincoln High to Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School on Jan. 21, still does not know if he will get to play a full season for the Leopards’ basketball team

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers 12-7

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ManzielJersey.jpg Manziel scores as NFL’s top-selling jersey

    Second on Cleveland’s depth chart, Johnny Manziel already tops one NFL list.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Pedro, Steelers' Training Camp and LeBron

    Pedro Alvarez’s throwing woes have not subsided after the All-Star break and he has become a defensive liability, especially late in games.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsbur‘gh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC_Hoops.jpg Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe

    Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • pickle.tiff Pickleball players return

    Pickleball season is back, but some Neshannock Township residents said have no place to play.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • cutch.tiff Pirates Baseball: Resilient Bucs looking for post All-Star surge

    The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day — if still heated — pennant race. A season after shedding the yoke of two decades of failure with a stirring run to a playoff berth, the Pirates are just another solid if not spectacular team trying to keep pace in the jam-packed NL Central.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rankin.jpg High School Basketball: Rankin responds to parents’ complaints at Sharon

    Jason Rankin is in the middle of a coaching controversy in Sharon. Albert Stovall and Tracy Austin questioned the Sharon High boys basketball coach’s strategies during a Sharon City School Board meeting on Monday.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Boosting the Buccos and — yep — LeBron, too

    The final road trip before the All-Star break was a bit of a downer, as the Buccos finished 2-5 in the seven games with the Cardinals and Reds, but no one should feel too bad about where they stand today.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day