It's Vegas for the 2015 World Championships which means home turf. I remember Dan Gable talking about how historically Russia has struggled in the Western Hemisphere which is incredibly relevant with this week's edition and the 2016 Olympics being held in Brazil. However, Russia isn't holding back anything heading in to this week as it appears to be sending their best. It is a tournament to qualify your weight class in the Olympics and that seems to have decidedly factored in to the World sending their best to Vegas.
The Americans aren't coming in to Las Vegas with a ton of momentum outside of the fact that it is comfortable to host. A disappointing 10th for the Freestyle team, 3rd for the Women, and one medal (albeit the first one on a long time) for the Greco squad marred the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent.
The Freestyle team does have a chance for a team title though despite the 10th place finish. Jordan Burroughs should win this tournament, and Brent Metcalf is a favorite to finally break through. I'm picking Jake Herbert as I feel his conditioning and experience will make him more prepared to win consecutive matches in the short time frame than anyone else in his bracket (even though the young Russian was that impressive in 2014). Many feel Reece Humphrey will pickup a medal in the non-olympic weight and James Green in a similar situation could surprise the world. This is a lot to go right, but it is very possible. Still besting a full strength Russian team and the Iranians is a lot to ask as their top to bottom strength should be still a tier ahead of the Americans.
The Women's team may have the best chance of the three American squads. The American women only have one team title and that was 1999. This year, Japan does not appear to be the overwhelming team that they have possessed in previous years. They appear to have some holes that they aren't accustom to having. The two stars will likely pick up their title, but the depth may not be there. Helen Maroulis & Adeline Gray are near unanimous favorite themselves. Russia, Mongolia, and Azerbaijan may be in the mix, but I feel it's USA & Japan to find out who has the best depth for the team title.
Our Greco-Roman team will try to build off of Andy Bisek's 2014 bronze medal that ended the drought. Hopefully Spencer Mango and Robbie Smith will add to the medal count with Bisek and get the Greco guys some momentum heading in to Rio.
So overall, I think the tournament will go well with a fair share of medals across all three teams for USA to build momentum towards Rio. It would be nice though to see a team title and I do really think the USA Women have a shot. I can't wait to watch all the matches this week!