2014 MLL Season Preview: Denver Outlaws

Photo Credit:  Aaron Cook, Denver Outlaws

The Denver Outlaws are ready to start their 2014 season in Florida on April 26. They will face the Florida Launch in their inaugural game at Florida Atlantic University Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida. The Outlaws are pumped for the season to start. Training camp went well, they picked up some great collegiate players in the draft earlier this year, and practices have been upbeat, and productive.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Outlaws General Manager Tony Seaman on his thoughts about training camp, their upcoming season, players who made the roster, and their game against the Florida Launch.

I asked Tony about the open try-outs held on March 30. Four of the players who attended—midfielders Noah Molnar, Nic Bevacqua, and Sam Spallitta, and face-off specialist Nick Maggio—of those four, I noticed that only Noah Molnar made the cut for the 2014 Active Roster. Could you tell In Lacrosse We Trust why the other players were not signed, and what made Noah stand out and in turn become one of the newest members of the Outlaws 2014 Active Roster? Seaman said:

“Noah Molnar had a terrific open try-out and was brought to our first training camps along with Maggio, Spallitta, and Bevacqua. Noah was very impressive and was invited to Baltimore for our second training camp. He played very well in both scrimmages against Charlotte, and Chesapeake, and is currently part of our 25 man roster. He will dress for our first game against Florida this Saturday.”

So, how have training camp and practices gone so far? Who were the stand outs in each of the position’s: Midfielder; Attack; Defense; and Goalie? Tony remarked:

“Our training camps have been very competitive, and this past weekend we were able to scrimmage both Chesapeake, and Charlotte in game-like conditions for three quarters. We were very encouraged by the way our players handled the scrimmages, and are very much looking forward to the start of the real season this coming weekend against Florida. Schwartzman, and Cipriano were both very good in goal for us making some excellent saves, and starting our transition breaks to the offensive end. Terry Kimener, and Justin Pennington played well at the midfield, and Jeremy Sieverts proved once again why he is an outstanding player. Lee Zink is not only the best defensemen in the MLL but is an outstanding leader as well. Chris Bocklet did a great job at the attack position.”

Were the collegiate acquisitions what you hoped for? Of the nine players picked in the draft, who are the standouts, and why? Tony said:

“It’s really too early to know about our college draft choices until their season wraps up in the next two weeks and we can get them into practice with our guys after that. Right now Ben McIntosh from Drexel is having a great senior year and one of the scoring leaders in the country. Jeremy Noble is also enjoying an outstanding year for Denver University, as is Jamie Faust in the goal for Denver.”

With the first regular season game coming up on April 26, against the newest team to the MLL, the Florida Launch, what Launch players are the Outlaws going to watch out for? In your opinion, who are their strongest shooters, how you feel Brett Queener stacks up against Jesse Schwartzman, and who should the Outlaws look out for on defense?

“Florida has a very talented squad with an attack of Woodson, Cunningham, Kaleikau, and no one is more dangerous than Casey Powell. We expect the Florida Launch to give us all we can handle, and they have a great goalie in Queener and an ex-Outlaw, Fullerton. This should be a very tough game.”

How do the face-off guys compare? Is Anthony Kelly still going to be the FOGO or will a new player be handling that position? Tony replied:

“Anthony Kelly is as fit as I have ever seen him, and had a great weekend against Charlotte and the Bayhawks. I expect him to be as good as he can be this coming weekend. You never know with face-offs and how our guy matches up with the other team’s FOGO but I’ll put my money on Kelly.”

Any ideas on the starting line-up for Saturday’s game or is it kept under wraps until game time? Tony said, “Not sure of our starting line-up until after Friday night’s practice.”

I’d like to thank Tony for always providing In Lacrosse We Trust with his insights into the Denver Outlaws. My next article will detail the Outlaws 2014 Roster. I’ll be attending practices before the home games for player interviews and more updates on the Denver Outlaws.