It's a star-studded start as Beat the Streets and USA Wrestling today announced the first two American stars for the highly-anticipated Team USA vs. The World All-Stars international wrestling competition at New York's Times Square, May 7. Jordan Burroughs and Helen Maroulis, two decorated and popular standouts, will compete at the event, which will feature top U.S. competitors against a World All-Star team featuring select wrestlers from across the world. The purpose of this event is to elevate the profile of the great sport of wrestling and to raise funds to support the operation of over 140 youth development wrestling programs in New York City, serving nearly 3,000 student-athletes.

Burroughs is considered by many the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the world. He ran off a 69-match win streak to start his Senior career before losing his first match, the longest streak in U.S. history. His current Senior-level record is 81-1. Burroughs has won the last three World Cup titles, as well as the 2011 Pan American Games. He was a two-time NCAA champion and a Dan Hodge Trophy winner as the nation’s top college wrestler for the Univ. of Nebraska. He won a New Jersey state title for Winslow Township High School.

In addition to her World silver medal, Maroulis has competed at four Senior World Championships. She was a 2011 Pan American Games champion and has won five U.S. Open national titles. Maroulis also boasts three Junior World medals during her career. She won four WCWA women’s college national titles, and is a native of Rockville, Md.

Matches involving the other Team USA members, as well as exhibitions involving the young Beat the Streets athletes prior to the international competition will be announced as they are set. The Beat the Streets children will take to the mat at 4 p.m., followed by Team USA vs. the World at 5:30 (match order TBD). The evening concludes with the Beat the Streets Award Gala at 7:30 p.m. at Best Buy Theater (1515 Broadway). 

The USA vs. the World dual requires a ticket for reserved seating in Times Square, but is an outdoor event. Pedestrians and non-ticket holders are encouraged to watch. Admission tickets may be bought in advance at www.btsny.org or 212.245.6570. A ticket is required for the Gala. More details are available at http://www.btsny.org/gala/2014-gala.

The world-class competition has twice before been held in Times Square. Last year the event moved to historic Grand Central Terminal, where it was also a huge success. Dubbed “The Rumble on the Rails,” it featured dual meets between Team USA, Russia and Iran and was an important part of the international Keep Olympic Wrestling effort, which resulted in wrestling retaining its status on the Olympic Games program.

This will be the fifth straight year in which a major international-style wrestling competition will be hosted as part of the Beat the Streets Gala activities.  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. In 2011, the United States defeated World champion Russia, 5-2, the first sports event ever held in historic Times Square. In 2012, another U.S. vs. Russia dual meet was held in Times Square, along with the U.S. Olympic Team Wrestle-off for the 60 kg/132 lbs. position on the U.S. Olympic Team in men’s freestyle. All of these events have been great showcases for international wrestling and have received major media coverage.