Major Cuts Leave 16 Americans, 23 First Nations on NLL Rosters

Going into to the 2017 NLL Training Camps, I reported that 29 Americans were in the hunt for a spot on one of nine NLL rosters. On Friday, teams were forced to whittle the lineups down to a maximum of 20 Active and 4 Practice players, while also assigning the remainder to the Injured Reserve (IR), Physically Unable to Perform (PUP), or Hold Out lists. Everyone else became a Free Agent and is up for grabs.

After the dust settled from each of the NLL’s teams reporting in, we’re left with 16 Americans remaining, while 14 of the original list were let go. I’m sure you noticed that doesn’t equal 29, right? Joel White was left off the original post as he wasn’t publicly claimed by the Swarm on NLL.com.

Of the 16 Americans left, only 9 are activated, with 5 on a practice team, 1 on the IR, and 1 Hold Out. Mariano, Neumann, and Davis-Allen are the only three rookies to get a shot, all of which are assigned to the practice roster. Mitch Belisle of the Georgia Swarm was the only American to officially retire this offseason, while about half of the players not making a roster have varying levels of NLL experience.

Americans on NLL Rosters

Brent Adams Norwalk CT United States Colorado Mammoth D IR
Kevin Buchanan Cockeysville MD United States New England Black Wolves F Roster
Liam Byrnes West Islip NY United States Georgia Swarm T Practice
Isaiah Davis-Allen Alexandria PA United States Georgia Swarm D Practice
Greg Downing Auburn NY United States Colorado Mammoth D Roster
Tim Edwards Jamesville NY United States Colorado Mammoth D Practice
Brett Manney Newtown PA United States New England Black Wolves D Roster
Nick Mariano Yorktown Heights NY United States New England Black Wolves F Practice
Kieran McArdle Ronkonkoma NY United States Toronto Rock F Roster
Jarrod Neumann Springfield MA United States Colorado Mammoth D Practice
Chris O’Dougherty Kinnelon NJ United States Vancouver Stealth D Roster
Nick Ossello Wheat Ridge CO United States Colorado Mammoth F Roster
John Ranagan Yorktown NY United States Georgia Swarm D Roster
Joe Resetarits Hamburg NY United States Rochester Knighthawks F Roster
Tom Schreiber East Meadows NY United States Toronto Rock F Roster
Joel White Cortland NY United States Georgia Swarm T Hold Out

First Nations Athletes on NLL Rosters

I’ve seen graphics and tweets floating around Twitter claiming 25 Americans actually made it. While I love the sound of that, the numbers are a bit skewed. In reality, 9 of those listed are actually from various First Nations, all of which have signed their playing rights internationally to the Iroquois Nationals. Lacrosse was a gift to all of us from the First Nations and seeing how they have their own National Team, I feel it’s only appropriate to recognize that these athletes don’t list themselves as American or Canadian.

The following 23 athletes don’t compete with either country, although their listed hometowns fall within the borders of either the US or Canada. They’ve registered themselves with the Iroquois, regardless if they are Haudenosaunee or not. Of the group, 17 guys earned a spot on the active roster, while 4 were assigned to a practice team, 1 on the IR, with 1 hold out.

Gowah Abrams Basom NY First Nations Buffalo Bandits G Practice
Adam Bomberry Six Nations ON First Nations New England Black Wolves D Roster
Frank Brown Salamanca NY First Nations Georgia Swarm F Roster
Jordan Durston Wallaceburg ON First Nations Buffalo Bandits F Roster
Angus Goodleaf Kahnawake QC First Nations Rochester Knighthawks G Roster
Vaughn Harris Six Nations ON First Nations Calgary Roughnecks F Roster
Brayden Hill Six Nations ON First Nations Georgia Swarm T Practice
Warren Hill Six Nations ON First Nations Georgia Swarm G Roster
Cody Jamieson Six Nations ON First Nations Rochester Knighthawks F IR
Dougie Jamieson Oshweken ON First Nations New England Black Wolves G Roster
Mason Jones Gowanda NY First Nations Georgia Swarm G Hold Out
Greg Longboat Six Nations ON First Nations Rochester Knighthawks D Practice
Seth Oakes Akwesasne NY First Nations New England Black Wolves F Roster
Quinn Powless Six Nations ON First Nations Rochester Knighthawks F Practice
Johnny Powless Six Nations ON First Nations Georgia Swarm F Roster
Jeff Shattler Toronto ON First Nations Saskatchewan Rush F Roster
Sid Smith Six Nations ON First Nations Rochester Knighthawks D Roster
Randy Staats Six Nations ON First Nations Georgia Swarm F Roster
Hiana Thompson Onondaga Nation NY First Nations Georgia Swarm F Roster
Lyle Thompson Onondaga Nation NY First Nations Georgia Swarm F Roster
Miles Thompson Onondaga Nation NY First Nations Georgia Swarm F Roster
Jeremy Thompson Onondaga Nation NY First Nations Saskatchewan Rush T Roster
Zed Williams Silver Creek NY First Nations Georgia Swarm F Roster

Together, the US and First Nations claim 39 athletes of 231 total players currently belonging to a club. That’s slightly under 17% of a Canadian dominated field. Canada boasts 152 active, 22 practice, 9 PUP, 6 IR, 2 hold outs and 1 protected player.

With the two team expansion on the horizon for the 2018-19 season, we can only hope that the Americans and First Nations athletes who were cut can find a proper home. There’s dozens of guys that didn’t make one of the 9 lists, for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t bring their own benefits to any given team. This year featured an enormous pool of experienced Canadian box lacrosse players also fighting for those same limited positions. Hopefully as the NLL grows, teams will start to take more chances on American athletes in hopes that they can develop great field lacrosse players into stars in the box.

It’s been years since we’ve had an American goalie in the league, and we’re still likely many years off. Yet, runners like Tom Schreiber, Kevin Buchanan, and Chris O’Dougherty (to name three) have perfectly adjusted to the confined space and became staples of their respective teams. As the indoor game continues to boom in the States, I don’t see the trend of Americans trying to crack NLL rosters going anywhere. Let’s all stay optimistic and supportive as players from around the globe continue to give box a try.


Although I’ve kept close tabs on the issue, sometimes I get things wrong! If you notice anyone missing, or that doesn’t belong, drop me a note and I’ll make it right. By this point, I’ve got to know a decent chunk of both lists and have watched the vast majority play quite a bit of lacrosse at any stage. Without having clear and concise databases to reference, the research was all done by hand, memory, and an occasional Google search.

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