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Team MLL talks All-Star Expectations

By Rachel Villari and Jessica Braveman |  6/26/14 10:30 AM

Team MLL talks All-Star Expectations


Yesterday, several Team MLL players and Coach Cottle stopped by the office to talk to us about expectations for the All-Star Game. Here’s what they told us

Coach Dave Cottle

On coaching the 2014 All-Star Game:

 “This All-Star Game is special because it’s against the USA team and a team that’s been going through a regimented tryout process for a year. Y’know, we’re going to get together for two practices—and one of them is a walk-through—so, it’s not going to be an ‘X’ and ‘O’ thing. The reason I decided to do this and not not do it was because of the quality of people that were left off the USA team. I just felt like they deserved an opportunity to show that they’re a pretty good deck of players on their own. So, this All-Star Game, for me, is not about me coaching, but it’s about how hopefully Joe Spallina and myself can put these guys in a position to play their best game. And I welcome that opportunity, to try to help them.”

On his favorite part of the All-Star Game:

“Probably the fastest shot. Last year it was the fastest shot. But, that’s an event. My favorite part is getting to meet guys that you compete against and don’t get a chance to know. I walked away from the All-Star Game last year and got to meet Drew Adams and he was a guy where after I said ‘that was one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met.’ And so—to me—that’s the benefit of the All-Star Game: getting to meet warriors and competitors who you go against on a weekly basis and then getting to know them better.”

Expectations for the All-Star Game:

“We’re going to play. This is a group of guys that were given an opportunity. My expectations for this is that our guys are going to have fun, they’re going to play really hard and really competitively and be very proud. And that’s it. I don’t have any expectations score-wise or anything like that. But, I just think this is a great vehicle and I think our guys are in a great position to be loose and let it rip and let it fly and there could be some really great highlights here.”

On who will win the fastest shot competition:

“I’m going to say Michael Manley is my favorite.”

On who will win the accuracy competition:

“I’m going to take one of our guys. Yeah. It’s Joe Walters. He’ll do it.”

 

Anthony Kelly (Denver Outlaws)

On his fifth All-Star Game appearance:

“I love playing in the All-Star Games. They’re a ton of fun and you get to play with guys you’ve never played with before, these younger guys, guys from different teams and different groups, y’know, and you’ve got to come together. This one’s a little unique, this is my second one in this format [against Team USA], this one’s especially unique having so many guys that were cut from Team USA, so, that’ll bring a unique dynamic. Overall though these are always a fun event, y’know? Just coming down here to the office, seeing how things work, all the fun stuff that goes with it, meeting the sponsors is pretty cool, and all the fun people that are there. It’s just a fun event.”

On facing off against the No. 1 and No. 2 FOGOs:

“Yeah, I mean, it is what it is. I don’t really read too much into stats, I just go out and do what I do and in our position it really comes down to winning the important ones more so than the total number. And matchups throughout the course of the season typically dictate percentages. But, I think everyone is very skilled in this League, and I’m just going to go out there and do what I do. I’m not going to approach the game any differently depending on who I face. Not at all.”

Expectations for the All-Star Game:

“Honestly, I think we’re in a better position [than Team USA], to be perfectly honest. Because we’re brought together to be a team and play for one day, and everyone kind of knows what’s expected of them, whereas the guys on the other side… it’s 30 guys and they still need to get it down, they’re going to cut seven or eight guys. So those guys are playing scared, they’re playing not to make a mistake, and they’re playing to earn a spot, where we’re just playing to win. And I think there’s a lot to be said for that.”

On who will win the fastest shot:

“I going to go with my boy Sieverts. I’m going to go with my teammate. I’ve got to. With a close second: Manley, and then Turri. And then Schmidt. I love Smitty but we’re going to slot him in the fourth spot. I’m going to go with the two shorties: Sieverts, Turri, Manley, and then followed by Schmidt.”

On who will win the accuracy competition:

“I’m going to go with Logan. He probably went with himself, didn’t he? That’s alright; I’m going to go with Logan. It’s a good thing I’m not in it, though. But he’s another Buckeye, I’ve got to give him some Buckeye love.”

 

Logan Schuss (Ohio Machine)

On participating in the accuracy competition:

“If I have 30 seconds and I can shoot as many balls as I want I can probably break all of them… hopefully. But, honestly, I think me and Marcus Holman might tie. We’ve got Steele Stanwick passing for us, so, it’s going to be a little ‘machine’.”

On winning the prize money if he comes in first:

“I’m still looking to buy a car back home, so, that’ll maybe help for it. But, I think I’ll probably treat some of my Machine players Saturday after our big win against the Lizards.”

Expectations for the All-Star Game:

“I definitely think it’ll be a close game. I think both teams have great players in every position. Obviously, it’s the MLL All-Star Team and they could all be on Team USA, but, I think it’s just going to be exciting. I think guys are going to take it seriously because some of our guys did get left off that [USA] roster, so I think they want to show what they got. And guys are still fighting to make that Team USA squad so it’s going to be an intense game.”

 

Kevin Crowley (Florida Launch)

On what makes the All-Star Game different from the regular season games:

“There is a lot less pressure, I would say, so you just come out here and have fun. You get to meet a lot of new guys in the league. I was looking at the roster for Team MLL and there’s about 80% of the guys I know on the team. It’s always fun to get together with guys you might have played with in the past or in a different league, and get together with them in a fun setting.”

On the feel of the All-Star Game:

“It’s a nice change of pace. Sometimes lacrosse, when you’re playing it full time, can seem like a job and it’s not as fun all the time as you would like. You come out here and you relax; it doesn’t matter how you play, really, or what the score is. It’s all about fan interaction and giving them a good show, and meeting a lot of good players and good people.”

On his favorite part of the All-Star Game:

“I would say just enjoying playing the game out there with the top players in the league. Obviously the fans add a huge component to it—you know if you get a good crowd out there it really fires you up. You want to put on a good show for them in these All-Star Games. That’ll be the goal for tomorrow night, and hopefully everyone’ll be happy.”

Expectation on the performance of Team MLL versus Team USA:

“I know that Team USA was at camp this week—they had training camp all week—so that might be to their advantage. I know that a lot of the guys [on Team MLL] are excited to play Team USA—maybe the guys who were cut from the team—so they’re excited to play them tomorrow night, so I expect they’ll come out guns-a-blazing, and I think it should be a good battle.”

 

Drew Westervelt (Drew Westervelt)

On his 5th All-Star Game and why he wants to keep playing in them:

“It’s a great experience. Most of the guys in the league know each other—some you’ve played with, some you haven’t played with—it’s always a fun experience to branch out and meet guys that you might not know personally and play on the same team.”

On his favorite part of the All-Star Game:

“I think the atmosphere. You know, sometimes it matters and it doesn’t matter—in terms of winning the championship it doesn’t matter—but obviously this game has some significance. You always want to put your best against the US team, and being a Team USA guy—it’s always good to play against them.”

On the difference between playing in the 2014 All-Star Game versus Team USA and playing in previous All-Star Games:

“I think the unique part is that for a lot of the guys who are gonna be on the field were trying out for that team, you know, even up until a couple months ago, so it’s just another opportunity to compete against the guys that are playing at the highest level.”

On his favorites to win the Fastest Shot Competition:

“I don’t know. I think the guys with the long pole might have an advantage—I think [Mike] Manley might have a shot. You know Jeremy [Sieverts] can bring it—all those guys can bring it—so it’ll be good to see who wins that.”

On his favorites to win the Accuracy Competition:

“I’m gonna go with [Joe] Walters.”



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