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USA National Lacrosse Team – Who Makes the Cut?

USA National Lacrosse Team - Who Makes the Cut?The ILF (International Lacrosse Federation) will hold the Men’s Lacrosse World Championships from July 10-24th, 2010 in the English City of Manchester and countries across the world are putting their best through the tryout paces.

At this point, the USA National Lacrosse Team has been narrowed down to 84 players and the final selections will take place after a series of intra squad games are played on the Campus of newly minted Division 1 NCAA program, Bryant University, which is located in Smithfield, RI. The final tryouts will take place from June 7th until June 10th and the full schedule of games as well as the full tryout lists can be found here on the USLacrosse website.

Obviously the games themselves will play a huge roll in who gets selected but there is no way that the"Rhino" Powell“Rhino” Powell. He slept on my couch this one time. people responsible for choosing the team don’t already have some pretty solid ideas of who they would like to see make the final cut.  Do not take the last statement to mean that the process is cooked in any way, shape or form.  All I am implying is that the coaches of Team USA will have a certain style of play they are looking to impose on other teams and will need to find guys who can fill those roles.  Certain players are also considered locks more or less to make the squad.  These are guys that have been around, played before and are still in great shape and at the top of their game.  When one of these “lock” players is selected it is often the case that one or two other guys will then move up in the minds of the selection committee because they play well with the aforementioned “lock” selection.

My lock picks for the USA National Lacrosse Team:

Ryan Powell – no MLL this summer for the Rhino but he’s got a lot of club lax to play and as an example I am SURE he will go to Vail and rip it up.  Neither Mikey nor Casey are playing in the MLL and only Ryan is invited to this tryout and I just can’t imagine a US team without a Powell on it. LOCK it up.

Ryan Boyle – MLL and NLL star.  Can quarterback and offense and score himself.  He’s a constant threat to take it to the hopper or dish it out and make you pay.  Great COD on this kid and he has a motor that just keeps running. put him in a LOCK box.

Matt Danowski – silky smooth finisher and feeder.  Kid has a fantastic lacrosse knowledge that comes from his father [the current Duke coach], unbelievable athleticism and hands as good as a Native American.  He can do it all and will impress everyone on the biggest stage, especially when he is the 2nd or 3rd or even 4th  biggest threat on the field. GoldiLOCKs.

Kevin CassessePolanco, Mundorf and Cassese all in one shot…Kevin Cassesse – do it all middie with a great knowledge and understanding of the game.  Has looked adversity in the eye and he didn’t blink when he was the interim coach at Duke.  Plays hard but with a lot of skill and is a great leader.  Any team would love to have him. gLOCK 9.

Paul Rabil – you can’t teach size, speed and athleticism.  Strength Coach Umberger might disagree with me here but I’m not saying you can’t work on it… I’m just saying certain guys are born with it and THEN work on it and Rabil is one of those guys.  He will present matchup problems for EVERY other country out there with his size, speed, swim moves, physical play and CANNON of a shot on the run.  He will have games where he will drop 5 or 6 goals as a middie and that is rare when playing against the best. LOCK your block off.

John Gagliardi – it is hard to imagine a US team without Gags on it.  He provides excellent leadership, has a TON of experience and still plays against the best in the MLL every week and excels while doing so.  liggity-liggity-LOCK.

Kyle SweeneyGags is a living legend! Kyle Sweeney – Sweeney is big, athletic, has a great stick on defense and is a threat to score.  He can play SSDM, LPM, Close D and have a ton of success in all 3 positions.  The Americans have a big advantage over most other countries [except Canada] when it comes to long sticks and Sweeney is a big part of this.  Almost Ginger LOCK.

Brian Dougherty – Doc is old and old school but that doesn’t keep him from getting the job done.  When he is on, Doc is one of the best keepers EVER… on an off day he’s more like just All-World.  Doc is passionate and the thought of donning the red, white and blue will bring out the best in the old man.  LOCK it up, throw away the key.

Attackmen who have a good shot: Alrich stars indoor and out and can straight up shoot the rock.  Corp is young but can play Mid too so he gives you some much-needed flexibility.  Goldberg has a lot of hype surrounding him as one of the next big “playas” on the MLL scene.  Both Leveille brothers from Cuse could make the team with ease as they are very much like Boyle in that they can do it all.  Mundorf is trying out for the US team even though he played for the Australian National team 3 years ago.  Although he is a GREAT player, I think this is a mistake as he was a lock to play for the Aussies but he is a stellar player and has a good shot if he can prove his scoring ability during tryouts.  Smith snuck in there as a former Div 3 player from Salisbury but the guy can do it all and puts the bread in the basket plain and simple.  Walters has played on the US team before and has a good shot but in my humble opinion he is a little one-dimensional and is more of a liability than asset.  Woodson is a freak athlete but I don’t know if his game will suit the slow down pace of International lax.  Yeatman is a bit of a surprise to even make the list but he has size and his back in style of dodging could work well with the International stick dimension rules and the lack of big time D men in other countries.

Middies who might make the cut: I really like Stephen Berger as a middie.  He is only 5’11” and 175 lbsStephen BergerBerger is tough to stop or so but he has an amazing COD up top and has really perfected the topside middie roll dodge.  He’s got a great stick and is a dominant player in the MLL. Not a guy you fear when you look at him at first, but a guy you certainly respect after he goes 4-3 against you.  Bratton has to have a shot.  too fast and shoots hard [although not always accurately!] Christmas could easily make it as he adds great dodging ability and speed.  Cocchi is a great D mid and former pole who creates transition and works tirelessly.  Crotty is silky smooth and distributes so well from the midfield. he has a great knack for making those around him that much better.  Erwin can play D and then take it the full length of the field and score.  He’s an athlete and throwback to older days. Fiore has great size and a monster rip.  Glynn was impressive all year as a FO man and O mid.  Hardy has the pedigree and Kelly could be a great FoGo to match Sninder of Canada, which the US will need to win it all.  I like Shanahan, Schiller and Miller even though they are some of the older guys trying out.  Shanny won the Tewarraton and both Schiller and Miller have been around and will beat you in so many ways.  I can only see one or two of them making it with my money on Shanahan as the closest to the LOCK pick because again, he can really do it all and do it well.  Max Seibald has got to be up there as he is unbelievably fast and more than willing to run you over.

Defensemen who have a shot:  I like Cook and Curtis because they are old school, hard nosed team players but the team may be looking for some youth so these guys are on the bubble with young guns like Ehrmann stepping in.  Defense relies on experience though so we might see an older D… one never can tell!  McClay will compete as will Passavia.  Both of these guys can be dominant when they are on.  Reid and Spallina are both intimdating, aggressive defenders who lay the wood.  Expect AT LEAST one of them to make the squad as a constant enforcer.  I like PT Ricci’s chances as he has a phenomenal stick and pushes the rock downfield with the best of them.  McDevitt, McKee, Nadelen, O’Hara, Driscoll, Clausen, Bocklet and Cinosky will all have some tough competition on their hands as they would have to best each other AND guys like Zink, McElduff and Hulme who can all dominate on good days.

The keepers who could make it are as follows: Fullerton is great and young.  He played at Army so, along with save machine Jarboe who played at Navy, the chance to represent your country AGAIN might prove to be a huge motivating factor.  Turner, Garrity and Scherr have a good chance as well as all of these guys can shut the lights off when they are really on.

Nicky PolancoNicky LOVES lax! Nicky Polanco couldn’t try out due to injury.  Polanco loves Team USA and loves lax.  this is a huge loss for the team if they can’t find a way to get him on the squad regardless of tryout rules.  Another Dman out b/c of injury is Hughes, also a great player and big loss.  Eric Martin is also out and this kid adds a level of intensity and toughness that will be much needed against teams like Canada, Australia and the Iroqouis.  Kyle Harrison is also hurt and is a huge loss as he has experience and he has speed to kill.