The World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015 takes over the Onondaga Nation next month and in preparation for the historic event we will be taking a deeper look into each of the 13 nations that will be competing for the gold September 18th-27th, 2015!
This week, US Lacrosse announced the much anticipated final 23-man roster for WILC 2015. The United States will be heading to Onondaga Nation looking to improve on their 3rd Place finish at each of the previous WILC events.
Get to know the melting pot that is the United States box lacrosse team.[mks_separator style=”solid” height=”2″]
Preparations for the WILC 2015
What are some of your biggest concerns when traveling with the US national team to the Onondaga Nation?
No big obstacles or challenges stand in the way of the US Men’s Team from having a successful trip leading to the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015.
United States Lacrosse History
When was lacrosse founded in the United States and by whom?
Lacrosse has been played in what is now the United States for centuries. The first international team to represent the U.S. was in 1904 at the Summer Olympics with just Canada and the U.S. competing.
How long has box lacrosse be played in the US?
The earliest information about professional box lacrosse dates to the 1930s, but the sport is still in its infancy in many ways. The vast majority of lacrosse played in the U.S. is of the field variety.
What other events has the United States competed in internationally?
- World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2003 – 3rd Place
- World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2007 – 3rd Place
- World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2011 – 3rd Place
- World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015 – TBD
Team USA participated in The Nations 1980, the very first world championship for box lacrosse. Teams from Canada competed against the US, Australia, and for the very first time, the Iroquois Nationals. Team USA managed to beat Australia in a consolation game to end the event in British Columbia.
In 1985, the United States and Canada played a “best of” super series which led as predecessor to the early versions of the NLL. Games were scheduled across the US and Canada to see if pro lacrosse could draw a crowd, testing the waters for future leagues. Games played in Philadelphia pulled over 10,000 fans to the games.
Team USA also participated in a yearly friendly against the Iroquois Nationals known as the Bowhunter Cup from 2010-2013. Although the team was run by USILA at the time, the series saw different variations of national teams and development squads compete in the 4 years of the event.
2015 Players and Staff
In general, how would you describe the players on the US national team? What are the guys like off the field?
The majority of the team comes from field lacrosse backgrounds, but several have become star players in the indoor game in the National Lacrosse League.
They are excited to represent the U.S. in this event.
Which key individuals from your country should lacrosse enthusiasts look toward as an ambassador of the game? Why?
Casey Powell is one of the iconic names in the sport and will provide his leadership to the U.S. team. A member of the 2011 U.S. indoor team, Powell also played on the 1998 and 2006 U.S. teams that competed in the FIL field world championships.
Follow what Powell is doing to grow the game by learning more about the World Lacrosse Foundation!
Who would you say are the team’s most experienced players for the WILC?
First, Kevin Buchanan was one of the top shooters for the U.S. team at the 2014 field world championship and has played six years in the NLL. Kevin had 56 points for New England, his third year with at least 50 points.
Casey Powell was the National Lacrosse League MVP in 2010, only U.S. player to earn that honor. He is a multiple-time NLL All-Star and had 80 or more points for five consecutive years in the NLL from 2007 to 2011.
Albany alum Joe Resetarits is coming off a huge summer with the Brampton Excelsiors, earning Major Series Lacrosse MVP honors with 21 goals and 25 assists in 11 games.
Joe Walters has played the last seven years for Rochester in the NLL and had career-best totals in goals (20), assists (33) and points (53) in 2015. (He’s also one of very few Americans to ever win a Mann Cup in Canada)
Last, but not least, Drew Westervelt is an eight-year veteran of the NLL who ranked 22nd in the league in scoring with 68 points in 2015 for Colorado. Westervelt had a career-high 42 assists last year and has scored at least 25 goals for seven straight seasons.
Joel White is a five-year NLL veteran who scooped up over 100 loose balls in 2013 and 2014. There aren’t many better than Joel at picking up loose balls.
Ryan Hotaling will serve as the team’s most experienced face-off specialist, he won a career-best 217 draws for New England in 2015 and also had 10 assists and 115 loose balls.
Greg Downing is a strong seven-year NLL veteran. He has topped 20 caused turnovers in each of the last two years for the Swarm.
Seven-year NLL veteran, Brett Manney, played for New England in 2015 and set career-highs for caused turnovers (18), loose balls (64) and points (10).
Chris O’Dougherty is a six-year NLL veteran playing with the Stealth. O’Dougherty had a career-best 13 caused turnovers in 2015.
Jake Henhawk has the most international experience, having played on the two previous U.S. indoor teams.
Who is your coaching staff, what is their experience?
Head Coach – Tony Resch
Resch served as the Head Coach of the Philadelphia Wings from 1993 to 2001, leading team to four NLL titles (1994, 95, 98, 2001). He also earned the 2001 NLL Coach of the Year award and was a member of the 2008 NLL Hall of Fame class. He also served at an assistant coach in 2010 for the U.S. outdoor team in Manchester, England.
Coach Resch competed with Team USA, winning the 1990 Gold medal Perth, Australia as a player.
Offensive Assistant – Adam Mueller
Adam Mueller brings a solid 19 years of NLL knowledge as a player and as a coach. Mueller remains as the only NLL coach in history to take three teams to the post-season, as he did with the Philadelphia Wings, Minnesota Swarm and New York Titans. It was with the Titans that Mueller also earned earned the NLL’s Coach of the Year award in 2008.
His playing career spanned 11 years from the MILL to NLL, seeing time with the Philadelphia Wings, Baltimore Thunder, Albany Attack and Detroit Turbos.
Defensive Assistant – Chris Schiller
Chris was a former member of the U.S. indoor squad in 2011 and outdoor in 2010. When it comes to the field/box crossover, Chris brings a wealth of experience.
Schiller played 12 seasons with the NLL’s Rochester Knighthawks from 2001 to 2012 and with the Philadelphia Wings for 2012-13. Chris helped the Knighthawks to win the 2007 NLL Championship.
General Manager – Jimmy Butler
Lacrosse legend Jimmy Butler has extensive experience serving as the assistant general manager for the U.S. men’s outdoor teams in 2002, 2006 and 2010. In the NLL, Jimmy earned experience with the Orlando Titans while the franchise was in Florida.
Assistant GM – Tim Soudan
Tim Soudan is the current head coach of the MLL’s Rochester Rattlers, who he just led to a MLL Championship appearance. Tim also earned the 2014 MLL Coach of the Year. He has front office experience with the NLL’s Rochester Knighthawks and was a two-time goal medalist with the U.S. outdoor team in 1994 and 1998.
As a player, his professional career lasted 11 seasons with the Knighthawks and 3 seasons with the Rattlers.
Equipment Manager – Mike Fox
Mike Fox has over 35 years of experience in the sports industry. Mike was equipment manager for the U.S. indoor team in 2007 and 2011. He has also served as the equipment manager for the Philadelphia Wings from 2005 to 2014 and Boston Cannons from 2011 to the present.
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Thanks to Brian Logue and US Lacrosse for taking the time for this interview.