I spent a couple minutes with Tony Resch, the Head Coach of the 2015 USA Box Lacrosse Team, this weekend in CT. The US Team was there for a training camp, and to cut their 31-man roster down to 23 for the upcoming World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. (Team USA also scrimmaged the Vermont Voyageurs on Saturday night, and we will have highlights of the game up on Tuesday morning!)
Coach Resch was very up front about Team USA’s situation. He noted that the selection process is happening later for the US than many others. And he also noted that the overall box lacrosse experience of US players can be lacking. But Resch also felt they could put together a strong team, even in the face of these challenges.
Next steps for Tony Resch, and the rest of the US staff, include cutting the team down to 23-men, which should happen this week. After that, players will continue to train, and then over Labor Day Weekend, the team will hold another camp. Then it’s off to Syracuse to begin final prep for the 2015 WILC, where the Tony Resch and US hope to medal, and improve upon their position from 2011, when they took home the bronze.
Tony Resch Interview – USA Box Lacrosse
The competition at the WILC will be tougher than ever. Both Canada and the Iroquois look dangerous, and arguments can be made for either team as the overall favorite. Their rosters are loaded, box is their game, and historically, they are the best two nations. But the competition doesn’t stop there! The Czech Republic is strong and improving, and will be a good team in the Blue Division this year. Ireland should have an impressive tournament, where they could really prove themselves in later rounds. Serbia should have some punch, and England, Israel, and Finland are all improving. For me, Israel is the biggest dark horse and a team to watch closely.
Australia will be another tough out, and Turkey, Germany, and Switzerland will all give 100% in any game against the US. While I expect the US to beat some of these teams with ease, I won’t be shocked if one or two are a lot tighter than expected. An upset isn’t out of the realm of possibility either, especially when it comes to the Israeli, Czech and Irish teams.
At the end of the day, this US team will be good. They will be big. And they will be athletic. Still, where they end up in the final standings is anyone’s guess. The smart money is on another 3rd place finish, but almost anything is possible right now, and the US could conceivably finish anywhere from 1st to 6th. Both ends of that spectrum would make waves in the US, but for very different reasons. Good luck to Coach Tony Resch as the US tries land on the right end of the segment.