With the Denver Outlaws coming off their best season in franchise history, and an impressive record of 14-0, the first ever regular season undefeated team in MLL history, setting 21 team records, and 10 MLL records during the 2013 season, GM Tony Seaman provided his thoughts on the LXM/MLL, the Outlaws, their fans, acquisitions, and upcoming season which is set to open on April 26, 2014 at Florida Atlantic University Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida against the Florida Launch, who begin their inaugural season in the MLL.
I asked Outlaws GM Tony Seaman what his thoughts were on LXM/MLL players playing in both leagues. Tony said, “The MLL always wants the very best lacrosse players in the world to play in our league, and I think it’s terrific that we have an agreement with the LXM that allows their players to be drafted, and play in the MLL.”
What are your projections of spectator support this summer with Denver being the center of the FIL? He said:
“We have terrific fans in the Denver area. They are very savvy, very passionate lacrosse fans, and I believe that every opportunity which allows them to watch good lacrosse no matter what the level, the support will be there as long as the product is a good one. No one promotes the game better than our Denver Outlaws organization with top notch marketing, fan friendly entertainment value, and our product is the best in the world. I am sure that we will continue to be well supported as will the World Games this summer.”
Can you tell us your thoughts on the acquisitions from the January 10, 2014 Supplemental Collegiate Draft and how you feel these top-notch collegiate players can make an impact on the team? He said:
“We looked at this year’s college draft as an excellent opportunity to add depth at a number of positions on our roster, and at the same time bring in players that hopefully can make an impact on our season. We drafted nine college players, and here is a short resume on each:
James Connelly—Defense—University of Delaware—Big strong defenseman who brings some size and toughness to our defensive end of the field.
Colin Dunster—Midfielder—Bryant University—A goal scorer who has an excellent stick, and all around lacrosse ability.
Terry Ellis—Defensive Midfielder—Denver University—A very good defensive midfielder who runs the field well, and brings a lot of local flavor to our team.
Jamie Faust—Goalie—Denver University—One of the outstanding goalies in the country who has been a big time stopper for DU.
Nick Fernandez—Defensive Midfielder—Princeton University—Very fast defensive middie who might be as fast as anyone in college lacrosse which is a huge benefit for our transition game.
Brent Hiken—Face-Off Midfielder—Lead all Division III teams in successful face-off percentage as a junior. He currently plays for last year’s National Champions Stevenson University.
Ben McIntosh—Midfielder—Drexel University—A prolific scoring midfielder who has been a leader on the offensive end throughout his college career.
Jeremy Noble—Midfielder—Denver University—Our first-round pick, and an outstanding two-way midfielder who plays both ends of the field, a terrific scorer with great game sense, and a passion for the game.
Ty Souders—Defense—Lehigh University—A big strong tough defensive player who has been a shut-down guy for Lehigh for the past two years.”
What are your thoughts on how it might affect the beginning of the 2014 season with the possibility of several Outlaws players still playing in the NLL? Tony said:
“With six of our players playing in the NLL, it is very important for us in the beginning of the season that we use available players to the best of our ability until we get the NLL players back in our line-up. We have been very successful at doing just that over the past two years, and it is a major concern that we need to keep being successful with.”
What strategies do you have to try and equal the record-breaking season of 2013, and what can the team do to get past that infamous first game of the playoffs? He said:
“We go into every season with one goal in mind, and that is to win the MLL championship. No one has been better in the regular season than the Outlaws in my two seasons with the team, and last year’s undefeated season is something that will probably never be repeated. As good as we have been in the regular season the playoffs have been very frustrating for sure. Two years ago we lost in the championship game, and two key injuries contributed to that defeat with Mundorf breaking his ankle, and Bocklet breaking his hand. Being upset by Charlotte in the semi-finals this past season was a hard pill to swallow, but to beat any team in this league three times in the same season is difficult enough. I wish I had an answer as it certainly has kept me up many a night trying to come up with an answer.”
My final question to Tony was his thoughts on the players who were chosen to play for Team USA in July. Tony said:
“Congratulations go out to Lee Zink, Jesse Schwartzman, and Drew Snider on making the final 30. They are all great players, and hopefully will make the final 23-man roster. I am still very surprised that Jeremy Sieverts did not make that group of 30. He has had an amazing two-year span in the MLL, and I was impressed with his play in the USA tryouts.”
The Denver Outlaws have acquired some stellar collegiate players, which will compliment the returning veteran players. Outlaws fans are already talking about the 2014 season, and anxiously awaiting their team’s first home game on Sunday May 4, 2014 when they host the Ohio Machine at Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado.