July 5, 2012— Although they were attempting (and somewhat expected) to resemble the old Toronto Nationals team that won an MLL title their first year in the league, the Hounds are still getting started. Boasting huge names like Matt Danowski, Billy Bitter, Jeremy Boltus, Jovan Miller, and the All-Star game’s MVP Stephen Berger has not been a problem this year, chemistry, however, has been. Way to many times this year have I seen the Hounds relying on the isolation game.
So far it seems like the only player interested in spreading the field to make plays and not just boost their stat sheet has been former Duke star Matt Danowski. He isn’t scoring as much as he did in Long Island, but still leads the Hounds with 28 points (16 assists , 3rd in the MLL). A player like Steele Stanwick (3 games played, 10 assists) really would have been a perfect fit down in Charlotte.
However, ending the first half of the season putting up 18 goals on Ohio, Hounds fans can hope a second half rally is in store for what is really an EXTREMELY talented team. While the young talent is extremely tempting and will win a game or two (Bitter, Miller), veterans like Danowski and Berger will need to be leading the show for the Hounds to please the nearly 6,000 fans that attend every game with extreme passion.
This year hasn’t and won’t be the year fans hoped for, but with rookies maturing (Ryan Flanagan,Miller, Bitter all rookie MLL All-Stars for Charlotte) next year they could be the dark horse to slip into the playoffs. Adam Ghitelman has been shining in the spotlight after playing 8.4 times more minutes this half of a year then he did all of last year in Denver.
July 7 vs Chesapeake
July 14 @ Denver
July 20 @ Rochester
July 28 @ Long Island
August 4 @ Hamilton
August 11 vs Rochester