Uruguay upended USA 'A' 26-8 in the final round of the Americas Rugby Championship, sending the shadow Eagles home from British Columbia winless.
In scoring just 14 points while conceding 88 to the Teros and equivalent Argentine and Canadian reserve sides, the Mike Tolkin-led squad was a competitive disappointment.
Yet the primary metric for any development side is whether players bolster the senior ranks. How many from the 26-man roster will make next month's European squad to face Russia, Tonga, and Romania? Shall they improve the test team?
Approximately 36 months remain before the next World Cup squad will be named. Most leading countries aim to have the balance of their team in place 18 months beforehand, in order to refine core strategies, test various player combinations and account for injuries, and so on. So, even if enlarging the scenario, the US has a little less than two full seasons.
It's also important to understand where these 'A' squad players are coming from.
Forwards Derk Asbun, Taylor Mokate, and Tony Purpura along with halfback Shaun Davies have already earned international honors, while Miles Craigwell and Zach Pangelinan have been 7s Eagles. Forwards Cam Dolan and Tom Katzfey plus scrumhalf Benny Mateialona have been among senior USA training squads.
The squad's average age was a bit over 24. That projects to 27 in 2015, more or less the same as the 2011 (27.6) and 2007 (27.9) squads.
The three youngest -- 21-year-olds Joe Cowley, Dean Gericke, and Gearoid McDonald -- either hold British passports or are playing abroad. The 2011 edition notably comprised the second-highest total of imported players, behind Samoa.
Next month, the US meets Russia on November 9 and Tonga on November 17, both in remote Colwyn Bay, Wales, and then Romania on November 9.
Americas Rugby Championship Squad
Forwards: Derek Asbun (Rosslyn Park), Nick Civetta (New York AC), Cam Dolan (captain, Life Univ.), Eric Duechle (Belmont Shore), Zach Fenoglio (Glendale),Graham Harriman (Chicago Griffins), Kris Headlee (Life Univ.), Tom Katzfey (Life Univ.), Stan Moaalii (Glendale), Taylor Mokate (USA Rugby 7s), Tim Paulsen (Chicago Griffins), Tony Purpura (Boston), John Quill (Boston), Nick Wallace (St. Mary's College)
Backs: Chris Chapman (Sydney Univ.), Casey Clark (undeclared), Joe Cowley (Life Univ.), Miles Craigwell (Old Puget Sound Beach), Shaun Davies (Brigham Young Univ.), Cornelius Dirksen (Life Univ.), Dean Gericke (Arkansas State), Gearoid McDonald (Old Belvedere), Benny Mateialona (Life Univ.), Zac Mizell (Arkansas State), Zach Pangelinan (OMBAC), Jack Tracy (Belmont Shore)