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.