By Patty Shields | 8/8/14 2:30 PM
With only two weeks left in regular season play, it’s time to start drafting picks for this year’s MLL Most Valuable Player Award. Last year, Kevin Crowley took home the honors after his standout season, leading The Nationals with 55 total points. Crowley broke his personal record for points, shooting percentage and shots on goal, an impressive feat for a young midfielder. This season there are many potential candidates for the title, whom all share Crowley’s ability to find the back of the net.
Florida’s Casey Powell is a longtime standout in the MLL. This season he moved from the defending champion Chesapeake Bayhawks to the newly added Florida Launch, trailing Boston Cannons Ryan Boyle for the most All-Time Points Record. In just four games this season, Powell took the lead back from Boyle, giving him 428 points over 10 seasons. After Week 13 he stands at 463 points and now leads Denver’s John Grant Jr. by 13. He has 62 points thus far in 2014, averaging 4.77 per game.
Following closely behind Powell is fellow veteran Paul Rabil, who remains one of the biggest names in the game during this 2014 season. The Boston Cannons midfielder is second in the league with 54 total points, and is tied with Powell for the lead in assists (33). During Week 7 he was named Warrior Offensive Player of the Week after tallying three goals, including a 2-point shot, and five assists in the 17-16 OT win at Ohio.
New York’s Rob Pannell has also been a stand out player this season, following his 2013 Cascade Rookie of the Year Selection, including an outstanding performance during his time on Team USA. During Week 9, Pannell was selected as Warrior Offensive Player of the Week, following his four goals and four assists in a 20-7 win over Florida. He is currently tied for third most points in the league at 51, and has the third most goals after finding the net 31 times in his 13 games played.
While a case could be made for Ohio’s Marcus Holman in the Most Improved and Offensive categories, he certainly deserves to be considered in a conversation about MVPs. The UNC grad is currently tied for the league lead in goals scored with 33 and has led the Machine to the brink of securing their first playoff spot in club history. His goal output which includes three 2-pointers, coupled with his 10 assists is also good for co-leader on his team in points, a spot he shares with Peter baum.
Lastly, we would be remiss if we didn’t take a look at Eric Law and John Grant Jr. of the Denver Outlaws. Both are continuing to be offensive threats for Denver. Law, with the Machine’s Baum and Holman, shares the lead in goals scored this season. Grant just recently broke the All-Time Goals record, scoring four in his last outing against the Bayhawks. Both players lead the Outlaws in several categories and should be taken into consideration for end of year awards.
With only one game left, all of these leaders play a crucial role in their team’s post-season aspirations. Holman could very well enjoy some post season play next week. Grant and Law will certainly remain in contention for the title if Denver can hold their place in the top two. They’ll both need solid performances against Pannell and the Lizards in the final week if they want to keep their hopes for top seed alive.
Visit MajorLeagueLacrosse.com for more updates, and stay tuned for season award announcements.