In the most lop sided week of the season, New York finally met someone that could not beat them and the Rattlers are tied for third place without playing a game. Welcome to the craziness of the MLL as teams change their rosters and welcome their draft picks from college and almost all of the indoor players. This transition helped the Denver Outlaws as they returned their line up from last year’s championship run and beat the Bayhawks in a crucial game for second place. The defending champs are two games behind the first place Lizards and now that their roster is reset with last year’s key players they have the best chance to defeat New York. Rochester dropped both regular season meetings to New York and finds themselves tied for third with Boston, Chesapeake and Ohio. Charlotte and Florida are tied for last place and did themselves no favors this weekend.
Chesapeake’s loss this weekend dropped them into the 3-3 club of teams tied for third place. Coach Cottle and Coach Davis continue to make moves as Nicky Polanco was traded to Ohio and joins Jovan Miller as the newest gear in the Machine. C.J. Costabile took the majority of the face offs for the Bayhawks as they continue to have issues at the X. Charlie Raffa cannot come soon enough to help shore up that area for the Bayhawks. As I said last week, this may be Cottle’s best coaching to date to have this team in moving along and quietly in position to make a run for the playoffs as they continue to struggle with injuries and roster changes. Rest assured Cottle with Cottle at the helm; the Bayhawks will weather this storm as well and find themselves in the hunt for the championship.
New York has the least amount of indoor players on the roster and that appears to be working in the favor in the first half of the season. Boston is the surprise team of the season so far and even with trading away stars and veteran players their roster is set. The Cannon players with indoor commitments had their seasons end early except for Brodie Merrill. This scrappy Cannons team gave the Lizards all they could handle and are looking like a playoff team after their dismantling of the Charlotte Hounds. Charlotte appears to be in for a long year despite the good performances turned in by Brendan Fowler and Pierce Bassett. The Hounds need offense and they tried to get it in the form of a trade with the Florida Launch for attackman Kevin Cunningham. The trade makes sense for both clubs as the Hounds need offense and the Launch are now attack heavy with Lyle and Miles Thompson joining Casey Powell and Kieran McArdle.
The Thompsons did not disappoint in their debut for the Launch as they scored and their presence and Steven Brooks’ emergence have Florida looking like the best looking team with a losing record. Between the Hounds and the Launch, Florida has the best opportunity to turn their season around and get out of the cellar and make a run for the playoffs. The Thompsons may not be able to take the franchise on their backs just yet, but they will have one of the greats in Casey Powell and fellow Great Dane Brett Queener in goal. Florida is looking a little sunnier and not just because summer is around the corner. The rest of the Launch’s quality draft class will be reporting and help put some punch into the midfield and produce a more rounded offensive attack in the mold of a Rochester. Defenses around the league will no longer be able to key on Florida’s attack and with both Thompsons, Powell and McArdle that will create a lot of headaches and ulcers for defensive coordinators.
Even with the addition of the Thompsons and Chad Tutton, the Launch ran into a buzz saw as Ohio found their offense and avenged the previous loss to Florida. Ohio was last year’s offensive juggernaut last season but has lacked consistency this year. The Machine offense has struggled to get on track during certain games this season. Ohio needs to solve this problem quickly or they could find themselves on the outside looking in on the playoffs. Acquiring both Jovan Miller and Nicky Polanco from the Bayhawks may have helped address Ohio’s lack of depth on defense and short stick defensive midfield. This may be the catalyst the Machine needs to oil up for a playoff push.
As I noted earlier, this season has had many close game to this point, but for whatever reason this past weekend was an exception as the action proved to be one sided. Teams are now fighting for the last two playoff spots and wins are even more critical. The teams that are sitting pretty are the ones able to work around the early season issue of indoor and coaching commitments. This year may finally see both indoor and outdoor leagues move to an agreement about scheduling. As a fan we can only hope, but I would not hold my breath.