Welcome back to, Who Does It Better? We will showcase one match-up each week in which we put two people, places or even things up against each other and ask you, the reader, Who Does It Better? It’s all good-hearted fun though, and that should be pretty prevalent by our match-ups. Know of a good match-up we should feature? Let us know!
In honor of Throwback Thursday, we are dedicating today WDIB to some early MLL expansion teams. Back in 2006, the MLL made a major attempt to expand the league in emerging areas and started four new teams – Chicago Machine, Denver Outlaws, Los Angeles Riptide, and San Francisco Dragons. The league was booming, interest was at an all-time high, and most everyone was super excited to hear about all these new teams.
Unfortunately, when the economy went south in 2008, four teams went defunct, including our two contenders today. Thankfully the league has rebounded and is growing again, but we still have some great memories from watching both of today’s contenders play. With that, today’s match-up will feature the San Francisco Dragons vs. the Los Angeles Riptide.
Both of these squads played in the MLL for three seasons a piece and did pretty well, as you will see. Both rosters featured outstanding talent and the team’s presence alone was sure to help spur on more growth in each of their respective hometowns.
Please remember! This is all in good fun, we love everyone featured in this series and couldn’t be more appreciative of their contributions to our great game!
Los Angeles Riptide
The Los Angeles Riptide were the beach boys of the MLL for a few years. I remember watching their games on ESPN2 and being completely envious of the atmosphere at the Home Depot Center and how sunny and warm it always looked. After picking Michael Watson (model of the MLL logo) to start off the MLL Expansion draft the Riptide would enjoy three solid seasons in the MLL, even making a Championship appearance in 2007 against the Philadelphia Barrage (also RIP).
The Riptide’s roster featured some great talent with players such as Kyle Harrison, Xander Ritz, Matt Russell, Sean Lindsay, Brett Hughes, Graham Gill, Tillman Johnson, Jesse Hubbard, Chazz Woodson, Anthony Kelly, and so many more. It’s really no surprise that they performed as well as they did! [Roster information from Lax.com]
San Francisco Dragons
About five and a half hours north of the Riptide was our other main west coast presence for three years, the San Francisco Dragons. The Dragons started off hot in 2006, making it all the way to the MLL Semifinals before losing to the Denver Outlaws. San Franciso called Kezar Stadium in SF home, you may remember that from the Lehigh vs. Ohio State game this past fall.
The Dragons’ roster featured some solid talent with Ryan Powell, Chris Rotelli, Matt Alrich, Lewis Ratcliff, Greg ‘The Beast’ Gurenlian, Kyle Hartzell, Brendan Loftus, and more as well.
What’s better than a grainy promo video from 2008?
Know of a good match-up for our next ‘Who Does It Better?’? Hit me up on Twitter at @KriegShawLAS.
Who ya got lax nation, the Dragons or the Riptide? Los Angeles or San Francisco? Who DID it better in this week’s battle on the West coast?