I paid $35 for the “all-in” online streaming package (it was well worth it and high quality!), watched a TON of games, and can now confidently name a 2016 U19 All Star Team. In fact, I can now name TWO teams of stand out players! Sure, it’s the day before the final rounds games are played, but we’ve seen a TON of lacrosse so far. Maybe we’ll do a medal round All-Star team as well!!!!
Each of our 2016 U19 All Star team picks will be limited to TEN players only. One goalie, 3 longpoles (D or LSM), 3 middies (F/O, OMids, and DMids all together), and 3 attackmen. Ten total, no more and no less. That’s how many players can be on the field at one time, so that’s how many all-stars we name. Simple, elite, and old school.
The 2016 U19 First Team will be made up of the absolute best players out there FROM THIS TOURNAMENT. You need to have been an absolute standout over the last 8 days, and all the players on the First Team will come from the top 3 teams, I can tell you that right now. The 2016 U19 Second Team is a LITTLE more liberal in its selections, but not much. You’ve got a couple guys from teams outside of the Top 3, but only those few who TRULY were impressive. You really needed to be a standout to make the cut here, but you don’t have to play in the Blue Division. For the first team, that’s pretty much a requirement. It’s simply a different level of lacrosse.
2016 U19 All Stars – First Team
ATTACK – Austin Staats (Iroquois), Tehoka Nanticoke (Iroquois) Jeff Teat (Canada)
Yes, the US has some good attackmen, no question, but these three have stood out as difference makers for their teams against the rest of the competition. Is the US somehow hurt by being so good all around? Not later in the list for sure, but here… Possibly. For me, what puts Staats, Nanticoke, and Teat at the top of my list are next leveel stick skills, an ability to take over a possession by themselves, and the sheer joy I get out of watching them operate. It doesn’t hurt that all three are in the top 10 for scoring, and all three will likely have double digit goals and assists by the end of the event. Staats could conceivably have 35+ points after all seven games are done, and they were not easy points to score. He’s a man amongst boys…
So is Nanticoke actually:
— Lacrosse Film Room (@LaxFilmRoom) July 15, 2016
Ok, one more:
— Lacrosse Film Room (@LaxFilmRoom) July 10, 2016
MIDFIELD – Jared Bernhardt (USA), Ryan Conrad (USA), Tre Leclaire (Canada)
The US midfield is ridiculous. Big, strong, fast, fundamental, unselfish, and just flat out dominating. I honestly could have put 3-5 different guys up on the 1st team for the US, and if were handing out All-Star nods like candy, the USA would have at least 3-5 guys on the 1st team. But I’m not. I’m making this special, and limiting it to ten guys, which means only 3 middies, and for me Bernhardt and Conrad are just on a slightly different level of excellence. Tre Leclaire is also performing really well, and gives Canada a truly legitimate weapon and point of focus from up top. He’s got great hands and sees the game really well. He’s been a pleasure to watch.
Tre Leclaire – crafty passing:
— Lacrosse Film Room (@LaxFilmRoom) July 9, 2016
DEFENSE – Patrick Foley (USA), Jack Rowlett (USA), Ryland Rees (Canada)
When it comes to defenders, it’s a similar situation to midfielders. The US is simply LOADED with talent, and almost any of the guys on the D end could be on this team. For me, Foley and Rowlett have been the best of the bunch, and while this is wildly subjective, it is what it is. Rowlett has been a beast in the middle, and Foley is a GB and CTO machine. Sorry to Johnson, Lejman, Crance, and Borges. All have played great! Canada’s Rees is on the list for being a great defender, but also an offensive weapon. With 4 shots (all on cage), 3 goals, and a helper, all in the round robin games, Rees has done work on both ends of the field, and done it well.
Goalie – Willie Klan (USA)
Plenty of goalies are playing superb lacrosse, and while Klan benefits from the strongest D in the tournament standing in front of him, he is also a big part of why they are so good. He bails out mistakes, clears with confidence, and leads his team as well as any keeper in the games. Defense is a team game, the US does it the best, so they get the First Team selection. Klan is also dynamite in between the pipes, so the honor is well deserved. His GAA of 3.36 through 5 games is ridiculous.
2016 U19 All Stars – Second Team
ATTACK – Gordon Purdie Jr. (Australia), Timmy Kelly (USA) Michael Sowers (USA)
Kelly and Sowers lead a strong US bunch for me, and a couple other guys could definitely be in the conversation here, but Kelly is a calming presence and Sowers scores big goals. They get the nod for these reasons. When Australia looked most dangerous, the ball was in Purdie Jr’s stick. He’s an Adelphi guy, so he’s the real deal at any level. He’s confident, tough, and skilled, and stood out amongst offensive players not playing for the Big 3.
Michael Sowers dodges from X & draws a slide, Simon Mathias buries it curling up from GLE a couple of passes later pic.twitter.com/lSDgB5zPWy
— Lacrosse Film Room (@LaxFilmRoom) July 8, 2016
MIDFIELD – Skkylar Thomas (Iroquois), Austin Sims (USA), Riley Curtis (Canada)
Thomas and Curtis can score the ball with the best of them. We’re truly talking about two elite level middies here. Sims was a defensive beast for the US, and a clearing machine. His composure and experience really keeps the US playing even level lacrosse. I also like Panting (Australia), Orenstein (Israel), Dong (China), Corrie (Scotland), Ready (England), and Graham (Australia) as good midfielders from outside the Big 3, but none were so good that I could bump them over any of the 3 guys I named.
DEFENSE – Noah Knopf (Israel), Andrew Song (China), Dylan Johnson (USA)
Knopf was the best of Israel’s solid defense, and he also scored some points. He’s headed to Harvard, and his match up with Purdie Jr was a fun one to watch. He’s a ground ball machine. Dylan Johnson was strong for the US and the only US pole to garner any points in two assists. He’s another one of many strong defenders on Team USA, and I like his game. Song is a total outsider pick, but when matched up with lower level teams he generated a TON of turnovers. Just a TON. Pretty sure he hails from Takeaway City. Plus he also plays some shortstick, and he’s quite simply deserving of the honor. He made China that much better and added some points along with being a one man human clear robot.
Goalie – Luke Dobson (Australia)
I could have gone a lot of different ways with this pick, but Dobson is a big body, confident, and makes good saves. He’s calm on the clear and makes an undersized Aussie D that much better. Goaltending was one of the Australian strengths, and Dobson proved he’s a top level keeper.
Ok, so who were some of the OTHER top players I may have missed? Hit me with them in the comments and tell me WHY they should have been selected! These are my Top 20 players from the tourney… do you have a different list? I’d love to see it!