National teams for the U19 World Lacrosse Championships have finally been announced by all of the top contenders for medals, so it’s time to put those rosters out to the world, and to preview the action we’re likely to see in Coquitlam, British Columbia, just a little later this month.
2016 Top 3 U19 Rosters
From July 7th through July 16th teams from across the world will compete for glory at the U19 World Games for men’s lacrosse. Of course there are favorites! Without knocking some of the newer nations, here’s a look at how the Top 3 national programs have shaped up, just days before the event in the case of the Iroquois!
Please note that rosters will be cut down to 23 for the games, so the US will drop 2 guys, the Iroquois will drop 4, and the Canadians seem ready to go with 23 named players.
Iroqouis Nationals U19 Roster
Liam Anderson – Tuscarora Nation, Tuscarora
Tyler Armstrong – Mohawk Nation, Akwesasne
Sekawnee Baker – Squamish Nation, Squamish
Brody Bartell – Cherokee Nation, Cherokee
Matthew Bennett – Onondaga Nation, Onondaga
Tyson Bomberry – Oneida Nation, Six Nations
Percy Booth – Seneca Nation, Onondaga
Devon Buckshot – Onondaga Nation, Onondaga
Chaunce Hill – Seneca Nation, Tonawanda
Owen Hill – Seneca Nation, Tonawanda
Cam Horn – Mohawk Nation, Kahnawake
Doug Jamieson – Mohawk Nation, Six Nations
Ron John – Seneca Nation, Seneca
Mitch Laffin – Onondaga Nation, Onondaga
Colyn Lyons – Mohawk Nation, Onondaga
Teioshontathe McComber – Mohawk Nation, Kahnawake
Jonah Mohawk – Seneca Nation, Seneca
Tehoka Nanticoke – Mohawk Nation, Six Nations
Tonatiuh Salinas – Tuscarora Nation, Six Nations
Chase Scanlan – Seneca Nation, Seneca
Austin Staats – Mohawk Nation, Six Nations
Jerry Staats – Mohawk Nation, Six Nations
Trevor Stacey – Mohawk Nation, Kahnawake
Skye Sunday – Mohawk Nation, Akwesasne
Larson Sundown – Seneca Nation, Tonwanda
Skkylar Thomas – Mohawk Nation, Akwesasne
Sherman Williams – Seneca Nation, Seneca
It’s interesting to note that seven nations are represented here. Not only does the team draw from the five original Iroquois Nations, but they also draw heavily from the sixth, the Tuscarora, and have one player from the Cherokee and Squamish nations as well. It is worth noting that there are no Cayuga Nation players this year. I also believe we have also not seen an Ojibwe member since Jeff Shattler.
Ok, even if you only provisionally pay attention to the Iroquois program, you know this team has talent on the offensive end of the field. Nanticoke, Staats, Hill, Bennett, and a number of others are talented, tough, creative, and can flat out score the ball. Putting up goals will not be an issue for these guys, and the Iroquois offense is in very capable hands. Players like Staats also benefit from playing with, and around, Iroquois Senior national teams, and this always helps elevate the general play of the team, kind of like what happened in 2012, when the Iroquois beat the US for the first time ever in U19 field lacrosse:
Click HERE for more great video!
You also have a number of guys with a year of college lacrosse under their belts, and this also makes a huge difference. Matt Bennett’s 81 points at OCC last year put him as the team’s leading scorer. Larson Sundown and Cam Horn were two more stellar Iroquois U19 freshman for the Lazers. Jonah Mohawk and Sherman Williams just won a national title with Genesee, and both were key parts of their historic run. It’s not as sexy as some of the Canadian and US schools, but these kids can straight up ball:
Defensively, you may expect a different story, but that is simply not the case anymore.
Tyson Bomberry spent the last year playing pole for Syracuse. Brody Bartell was named to the NJCAA all tournament team in goal as a freshman this past year. Chaunce Hill saw time for Albany taking draws and playing LSM… and guys like Trevor Stacey add serious toughness and grit. Expect a couple of offensive guys to try their hands with a pole. If it really takes for someone, it will bode well for the Iroquois. If you think this is weird, maybe it is, but Senior men’s team members do it, so it’s not out of the question!
The Iroquois are not going to win 8-7 games at the U19s, but they will win some high scoring games, so the question becomes, can other teams keep pace? If the Nationals can win draws, give their offense extra reps, and bury the ball, they can play with, and beat, anyone.
United States U19 Roster
Over on the US team, you have a TON of current D1 freshman or committed D1 players. The youngest players on the field just graduated high school, but about 50% of the guys have completed a year of college. Here is a list by position:
Attack – Timmy Kelly (UNC), Simon Mathias (Penn), Mac O’Keefe (Penn State in 2017), Alex Roesner (Penn), Michael Sowers (Princeton in 2017)
Midfield – Dox Aitken (Virginia in 2017), Jared Bernhardt (Maryland in 2017), Ryan Conrad (Virginia), Bryan Costabile (ND in 2017), Tyler Dunn (Penn), Terry Lindsay (Duke in 2017), Austin Sims (Princeton), Brad Smith (Duke), Drew Supinski (Hopkins) Face Offs: Gerard Aceri (Penn State in 2017), Christian Feliziani (OSU in 2017), Austin Henningsen (Maryland)
Defense – Matt Borges (OSU), Hugh Crance (ND), Patrick Foley (Hopkins), Dylan Johnson (Denver), Noah Lejman (Penn), Jack Rowlett (UNC), Tommy Wright (Penn State)
Goalie – Phil Goss (Brown in 2017), Willie Klan (was OSU, now Syracuse), Jack Pezzulla (UNC in 2017)
My takeaways from this list are as follows:
- If the US does not DOMINATE face offs with their 3 specialists I’ll be shocked.
- With all this talent, UPenn had better be AWESOME for the next 3-4 years.
- Will the US rely too heavily on big, dodging middies?
- That’s a terrifying defensive unit.
- How cohesive will their offense be?
A ton has been written about these guys by US Lacrosse already, so I won’t duplicate their efforts. Bottom line is the US enters as the U19s as heavy favorites for pretty much everyone (Note: I said pretty much, not all!). If they don’t win it all, it won’t just be caused by someone else playing well, it will be caused by the US playing poorly, at least on some level. They can NOT play poorly. It’s a lot of pressure, but all of these guys are D1 players or commits. They know the drill by now.
Canada U19 Roster
Here is the Canadian roster, organized by position:
Caelahn Bullen / Goal / Calgary, Alta. / Calgary (ALA)
Kyle Hebert / Goal / Burlington, Ont. / Oakville (OLA)
Drake Porter / Goal / Aurora, Ont. / Newmarket (OLA)
Mathieu Boissonneault / Defense / Whitby, Ont. / Whitby (OLA)
Jeffrey Henrick / Defense / Orangeville, Ont. / Orangeville (OLA)
Kyle Kolwich / Defense / Oakville, Ont. / Oakville (OLA)
Ryland Rees / Defense / Port Coquitlam, B.C. / Port Coquitlam (BCLA)
Robert Stovel / Defense / Fergus, Ont. / Toronto (OLA)
Jackson Suboch / Defense / Mimico, Ont. / Mimico (OLA)
Riley Curtis / Midfield / Brampton, Ont. / Brampton (OLA)
Jonathan Donville / Midfield / Oakville, Ont. / Mimico (OLA)
Dalton Follows Midfield / Oakville, Ont. / Oakville (OLA)
Mackenzie Iaccoca / Midfield / Guelph, Ont. / Guelph (OLA)
Marshall King / Midfield / Victoria, B.C. / Victoria (BCLA)
John Wagner / Midfield / St. Davids, Ont. / Niagara (OLA)
Tre LeClaire / Midfield / Surrey, B.C./ Delta (BCLA)
Clarke Petterson / Midfield / Mimico, Ont. / Brampton (OLA)
Justin Inacio / Face-Off and Midfield / Oakville, Ont. / Burlington (OLA)
Matthew Kim / Face-Off and Midfield / Oakville, Ont. / Oakville (OLA)
Ben French / Attack / Brampton, Ont. / Oakville (OLA)
Ryan Lanchbury / Attack / Burlington, Ont. / Burlington (OLA)
Thomas Semple / Attack / Coquitlam, B.C. / Coquitlam (BCLA)
Jeff Teat / Attack / Brampton, Ont. / Brampton (OLA)
Ethan Walker / Attack / Peterborough, Ont. / Peterborough (OLA)
If you just look at the roster supplied by the CLA, you’re thinking so what, it’s ALL a team of box guys? Sure, it is, but it also isn’t. You see, Canadians play both versions of the game (box more often) and they are good at both versions. So good that some of these guys were on teams that beat some of the best US-based teams! I know… crazy.
Jeff Teat and Dalton Follows at the Hill Academy or Ben French down at IMG are two good examples of this, and both guys can absolutely play field lacrosse as well, or better, than any of their American counterparts. Jeffrey Henrick is headed to OSU to play D, Kolwich is headed to UNC, Ryland Rees was the starting LSM for Stony Brook as a freshman… and it gets even better through the midfield. Justin Inacio proved his worth at draws with the Hill Academy, Jonathan Donville is headed to Cornell… Basically, this team is loaded from front to back, and while the US is the favorite, Canada looks extremely capable of knocking the Americans off the golden pedestal.
So Who Is MY Favorite?
I love the Iroquois Nationals, and I think they’re going to be a ton of fun to watch, but I’m not sure they can withstand the depth and athleticism of both the US and Canada in potential back to back playoff games. Knocking off one is possible, but I think it’s a tall order and a huge upset for the Nationals to top both countries. So it’s back to the US and Canada… and I’m picking Canada to win it all.
I don’t have anything against this US team or its players, but until the US breaks the Canadians’ streak of THREE straight world titles (Men’s, Women’s U19, Men’s Box), the smart money is still on Canada. Did the US battle back after losses in 2012 to win gold? They sure did! But all three of these teams are made up of completely different players now, so I’m less interested in how a nation has done in past U19 events. I’m more interested in how national programs are faring in general, across the national teams (Men, Women, Box, U19, etc).
Sure, the US has won every U19 men’s title ever, but the US U19 women had won 4 in a row before losing to Canada in 2015, and “no one” saw that coming. Simply put, they are doing something very right at the CLA right now with their national team programs, so I’m picking the Canucks, as much as it pains me to do so.
In this particular tournament for the US, guys like Timmy Kelly, the defensive corps, the face off group, and a bunch of other aspects of the team all look great, but I’m just not sold on this group’s killer instincts, and the rest of the group in general. You look at the team line up and you’re thinking “these guys are all monsters”, but size and huge calves aren’t the only things that can make you a monster, and I’m not 100% sold that the other monster traits are there.
These guys will spin the ball like crazy, and they’ll rip time and room shots. No doubt. It will all look great in slow-mo and film sessions I’m sure and will make for some sweet videos. But will they take the big hit to score a goal? Will they scrap for loosies with reckless abandon? Or will they put themselves in the box trying to “out tough” their opponents? Will they pass up good shots because of an overly-restrictive system? Will all the hype come crashing down on these young men? How will they handle serious adversity?
WILL THE USA COME TOGETHER and play TEAM LACROSSE?!?!?!?!
What I see from the Iroquois is skill and flash. I see grit, toughness, and real national pride from Canada. But from the US? I see a bunch of guys who have made it already, and a lot of big names and blue chip recruits who haven’t really done all that much yet.
Maybe I’m wrong, and I hope I am!
Maybe the US will come out gangbusters, like in the days of old, and simply run the competition off the field. The feeling I get more and more is that those days are behind us, and calling the US the favorite right now just doesn’t actually make a lot of sense. For me, it’s Canada’s tournament to lose, and if the Iroquois get hot, the US could be looking at bronze. That would be a total shocker, but I honestly think it’s more likely than the USA cruising to easy wins.
I’ve never wanted to be proven wrong by a bunch of 18-19 year olds so badly. Show me the folly of my convictions USA U19 Team… it’s all on you now anyway.