Major League Lacrosse shocked the lacrosse community on April 1, 2019 when it announced that it was eliminating the Charlotte Hounds, Florida Launch and Ohio Machine, leaving many to believe it was an April Fool’s joke. The workers, players and fans of the organizations quickly learned this was not a poorly contrived prank – the league will continue on with just six teams, meaning roster spots are now at a premium.
MLL announced its dispersal list on April 24th along with the following statement: “Players who were on a PSAR for Charlotte, Florida or Ohio, but were not selected today, will move into the MLL player pool. They will be available to be picked up by a team before the first of two training camps. MLL will not enforce a 40-man capped PSAR for the first of the two training camps. After the first training camp, all PSARs will return to a maximum 40-man roster for their second training camp. MLL training camps will occur the weekends of May 10-12, May 17-18 and May 24-26.”
This means training camps that were already crazy due to the PLL’s creation will become even crazier as front office staff members try to assemble their best roster with these newly added additions.
Some teams like Boston and New York will most likely see success coming from the newly added veterans. Shawn Evans, whose Houdini-like ball handling still causes defenders to slam their sticks in frustration and who is used to changing teams, will probably help Boston the most. New York gets the solid addition of Kevin Crowley, who had another solid indoor season after being traded to the Philadelphia Wings.
Chesapeake finds its brotherly love as Nick Mariano joins his brother Tom Mariano. The Bayhawks also see a lot of solid returning players including Lyle Thompson who continues to be a fan favourite. The Bayhawks have a solid amount of players returning. They are also adding several players who have NLL experience like Thomas Hoggarth and Anthony Joaquim.
Atlanta and Dallas will probably have the hardest adjustment with their list of players. However, adding Ben Williams as an extra midfield/faceoff player is an added bonus for Atlanta Dallas adds Derek DeJoe who could hold his own at Syracuse and should be able to support Dallas in its midfield.
The Denver Outlaws are adding a lot of midfielders to their game including John Haus who recently won a gold medal with Team USA.
Major League Lacrosse reports that the following teams picked up these eligible players:
Sid Ewell, Freddy Freibott, David Manning, Christian Mazzone, Carlson Milikin, William Nowesnick and Ben Williams
Brendan Bomberry, Martin Bowes, Dominick Calisto, Shane Doss, Shawn Evans, Charlie Ford, Gregory Galligan, Scott Hooper, P.T. Ricci, Mike Skudin and Jake Withers
Jason Alessi, Zac Davliakos, Thomas Hoggarth, Anthony Joaquim, Tate Jozokos, Cameron Mann, Nick Mariano, Kenny Massa, Shane Morrell, Adam Osika, David Plumer and Colton Watkinson
Ryan Beville, Greg Danseglio, Derek DeJoe, Casey Dowd, Ryan Keenan, Robert Maddux, Bryce Wasserman and Greg Weyl
Dylan Alderman, Tim Barber, John Haus, Sean Lawton, Ryan Lee, Andrew Newbold, Hunter Schmell and Taylor Stuart
New York Lizards
Michael Begley, Scott Bieda, Alex Corpolongo, Kevin Crowley, Austin Kaut, Greg Puskuldjian, Noah Rak, Ben Randall and Ryan Walsh.
No matter what the final teams end up looking like, this season will be a telling one for Major League Lacrosse, its players and its fans.