Just hours after the opening ceremony for the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships the United States, and Canada will face off against each other. This could surely be an early look at what may be the Championship matchup.
The U.S. is led by captain Kevin Leveille, with the support of many stars like Paul Rabil. It took the U.S. coaching staff headed by Richie Meade 11 months to get the roster down to the final 23. With only a handful of return players from the 2010 Championship squad, the U.S. is still stacked with plenty of talent. The team has been training the whole time with tons of friendly games, scrimmages, and practices.
Team Canada seemed to take a different approach to the World games, but is still full of many talented players. They even took the two-goal win over team U.S. in the Duel of Denver. Looking to avenge their loss in the 2010 finals in England the Canadians are not going to lie down for anyone. Even with the late removal of John Grant Jr. from the lineup the Canadians pose a strong threat with most of their roster playing for teams in the MLL. Long gone are the days of Canadian Lacrosse being a box only sport.
One thing is for sure heading into this one, the Americans will come out with a strong defensive effort with players like Kyle Hartzell, Lee Zink and Tucker Durkin to only name a few. The firepower for the Canadians will still keep them on their toes—Kevin Crowley is sure to have a great tournament, as is Zack Greer. Look out for Jordan McIntosh stepping in for John Grant Jr. who was denied a medical exemption from the tournaments governing body.
If history has anything to say about any game these two teams will play in against each other, those in attendance or watching via ESPN you are in for a treat. Keep your eyes on the ball, for the entire game as it may just come down to the last possession, as there is no shot clock in international play. The team to posses the ball the most has the best chance of winning the game, the opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net will come naturally to either of these offensive squads.