By Sarah Bartlett-Cahill | 9/5/12 4:14 PM
This Saturday, September 8th, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take on Team Canada in a match-up at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The exhibition event is a re-match of the 2010 FIL World Championship game, in which Team USA triumphed over Canada for the gold, and will set the tone for the 2014 Games, to be played in Denver just two years from now.
MLL Fans can look for some familiar faces, as all 26 U.S. players hail from the eight league teams, with all but one being active in the league. For Canada, there are eleven MLL players, as well as some NLL competitors and up and coming college athletes, totaling 23 on the roster. Team USA veterans Ryan Boyle (Boston Cannons), Matt Striebel (Rochester Rattlers), and Kyle Sweeney (Boston Cannons) will be back on the field, along with several newcomers including Steven Brooks (Chesapeake Bayhawks), Stephen Berger (Charlotte Hounds), and MLL’s 2011 and 2012 Goalie of the Year Drew Adams (Long Island Lizards). Hometown boys Matt Bocklet, Lee Zink, and goalie Jesse Schwartzman, all of the Denver Outlaws, are also on the roster. Of interest, The Duel in Denver will be Steele Stanwick’s first game for Team USA after finishing up his rookie season with the Ohio Machine, having been a member of the U-19 U.S. Men’s National Team back in 2008.
For Canada, MLL’s 2007 and 2008 MVP and recent Championship winner John Grant Jr. (Chesapeake Bayhawks) is set to play, alongside local Denver ties including two members of the Outlaws, Jordan McBride and Mark Matthews, and three current University of Denver players. Team Canada also boasts the return of Brodie Merrill (Hamilton Nationals), six time winner of MLL’s Defensive Player of the Year Award, and Canada’s star of the 2006 World Games, having been named Best Defender and earning All-World Honors.
The tables will be turned as eleven of Team Canada’s players will be facing off against their usual teammates on Team USA. Canadians Kevin Crowley (Hamilton Nationals), Jordan MacIntosh (Rochester Rattlers), and Kiel Matisz (Ohio Machine) are just some of the names on MLL rosters. Further, fresh off of MLL’s 2012 Championship Weekend, several players from the Bayhawks (7), Cannons (4), Lizards (4) and Outlaws (6) will be competing not only against each other, but alongside one another as teammates this coming weekend.
Any way you put it, Saturday’s showdown is an event that is not to be missed; in addition to matching up some of the world’s greatest lacrosse players, it will set the precedent not only for the 2014 Games, but for the upcoming 2013 MLL season.
The Duel in Denver is hosted by US Lacrosse and will air on ESPN3 at 7pm MT, 9pm ET.
To view the full U.S. Team Roster, visit http://www.uslacrosse.org/Portals/0/national_teams/DuelDenver/DinDroster.pdf.
For Team Canada, please see http://laxmagazine.com/international/men/2011-12/083112_canada_unveils_23_player_duel_in_denver_roster.
About Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, was founded by Jake Steinfeld and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Major League Lacrosse commenced play in June of 2001 and will enter its thirteenth season in 2013. MLL has continued to lead the sport of lacrosse into the mainstream of competitive team sports. The league is made up of eight teams: The Boston Cannons, Charlotte Hounds, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Denver Outlaws, Hamilton Nationals, Long Island Lizards, Ohio Machine and Rochester Rattlers.