The league has welcomed a new leader of the pack with the Rochester Rattlers entering the week as the new number one. The Denver Outlaws have finally been overtaken atop the standings, for the first time in two years. Heading into the last games of the season, the play off is all set except for the fourth seed. Right now it is a battle between Ohio and Boston.
1: Rochester Rattlers – Rochester has been the hot hand since the All Star break. Winning 75% of their contests with the emergence of some new stars, namely Mike Manley and Jordan Wolf. Look for Rochester to reclaim the title with a youth filled roster this coming Championship Weekend.
2: Denver Outlaws – Denver has four losses, which is monumental given their last two years in the league. They have done everything but win it all. The veteran defense will look to shut out their competition heading into Championship Weekend and hopefully Eric Law can get some help this coming semi final contest after last years dominating effort.
3: New York Lizards – New York has a lot of young talent that will be looking to reclaim the title. Max Seibald, Rob Pannell, and Drew Adams are all looking to overcome the loss in the World Games with Team USA with a win to capture the MLL Championship.
4: Ohio Machine – Ohio looks to hold off Boston in the final week of the season to claim its first spot in Championship Weekend. Given the success of Charlotte last season, the Machine would like to make a run for a couple more weeks in the backs of some impressive young stars and the staple of a couple talents like Kyle Harrison.
5: Boston Cannons – Since their title run, the Cannons just cannot keep the momentum in a forward motion. Age is catching up with them as it looks like the end of the road for players like Kyle Sweeney and Ryan Boyle. The talent is there with players like Will Manny, but the next draft could determine if they will be in the top four in the next few years.
6: Florida Launch – After a 3-1 start to the season, the Launch have fallen on hard times. Two wins and six losses since the good start have Florida’s team looking to next year already. Can Casey Powell make one more season in the MLL or is it a complete youth movement next season?
7: Chesapeake Bayhawks – The Bayhawks hit hard times this season with the amount of injuries sustained. It was great seeing Brian Spallina return to the field this past weekend. They will likely have to make some moves in the offseason as it will be hard to imagine Coach Cottle continuing with Spallina and Polanco. Given last weekend’s line up it looks like they will still be the oldest team in the league, but have a few new pieces to infuse into the system.
8. Charlotte Hounds – Last years title appearance has long since been in the rear view mirror. Moving Matt Danowski to midfield likely curbed a good amount of scoring with Justin Ward and the rest of the college players having played eight months of consecutive lacrosse. The weary legs of the team have run out of gas. If they can find consistency, they could be atop the league with the youth and talent that they have.
– Brian Davies