Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Team USA 84-man player pool

The 84 man player pool has been established for the next iteration of the USA's national outdoor lacrosse team. The pool will be cut to 40 and then eventually to the ILF mandated 23 man roster. It is interesting to note that neither Casey [pictured] nor Mike Powell are listed, although Ryan is still eligible.
Most of the guys on the list played at the top [Cuse/UVA/UMD/Hopkins/Duke] tier of college lacrosse but there are a couple of notable exceptions in division 3 players Stephen Berger [WAC] and Eric Martin [Salisbury] and division 2 player Tom Zummo [NY Tech]. All 3 of them are big time players in the MLL.
It is impressive that Brian Dougherty is still in the running even though he graduated from UMD 13 years ago but what is even more impressive is that Dman John Gagliardi is still being considered. I mean, let's face it, goalies can stand around for much of the game and they don't have to be in tip-top shape if they are naturals [like Doc]. Dmen are expected to be able to cover the best offensive players in the game and in order to do so, they need to be in top condition. Gags is something special in that respect because he has always been a beast but his skill and precision with the longstick never ceases to amaze me. For further proof [and the opportunity for young dmen to learn some new skills!] check out this video from Maverik and Lax.com:
It will be interesting to see where the team ends up in terms of roster but so far the 84 men selected are skilled athletes that will represent the USA with pride and determination. A lot less repeat players were selected and that makes some sense considering what happened during the last world championships where the US lost to our neighbor to the North.

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