4/26/13 10:00 AM
MATCH PREVIEW: Denver Outlaws at Charlotte Hounds
Saturday, April 27, 2013 (Week 1, MLL Game #1)
American Legion Memorial Stadium, Charlotte, NC
7:00 p.m. EST
TV: Altitude 2, TWC Sports Channels KC Metro, Wisconsin and Ohio, MSG+, My TV 12 (Charlotte) ESPN3
After dropping both meetings with Denver last season, Charlotte is confident of their solidarity heading into week one, but Denver’s optimism for their returning players could be all they need to succeed.
How they fared last season
1) April 28, 2012: Denver – 21, Charlotte – 12 (Sieverts – six points for Denver)
2) July 7, 2012: Charlotte 7, Denver – 21 (Mundorf and Bocklet both had three goals for Denver)
· With 2012 being the inaugural season for the Hounds, Charlotte is 0-2 lifetime against Denver.
· 2012 MVP Brendan Mundorf still has indoor commitments but Jeremy Sieverts, last year’s league Most Improved Player of the Year should be available as should Jeremy Boltus who is coming back from injury.
Charlotte finished sixth in MLL during their debut season, going 5-9 under head coach Mike Cerino. Heading into 2013, Charlotte is at an advantage due to their roster being all but whole, with only Geoff Snider still absent while playing indoors.
· “I sleep a little bit better at night because the guys we need are actually here at practice.” Coach Cerino said of his team’s returning core.
· Jovan Miller’s flexibility to play multiple positions was noted by Coach Cerino, who said that he’d most likely be utilizing him on the offensive side of the field in the team’s debut.
· “The kind of joke around the office has been: it’s 2013, it’s not 2012. We’re a different group, a little bit more battle weary, we’ve been through some tough games; we found a way to win a couple of tough ones, but we want to be a hard team to beat at home” Cerino said of his team’s resiliency. “We feel like we have a great advantage at Memorial [Stadium], a great fan base, and we’re a better team all around, top to bottom.”
After an 11-3 regular season that saw them finish first in the league, Denver was toppled in the 2012 Championship game by the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Having never won a championship in franchise history, the Outlaws will look to capture that ever-elusive title in 2013 on the heels of a few key players returning.
· Chris Bocklet will be entering his second year with the Outlaws, with this being his first full season in Denver. Bocklet scored six goals across two postseason games for the Outlaws in 2012.
· Jeremy Boltus returns following a season-ending ACL injury last season: “He’s obviously not the Jeremy Boltus that we all know, and he’s just not there right now but he’s going to be, he’s going to get there pretty quickly. I think it’s just a matter of him getting comfortable with his speed,” coach Jim Stagnitta said of Boltus’ presence at the Outlaws preseason training camp.
· Zack Greer’s unique skill set will most likely be welcomed back to Denver this season, as he’s been in contact with the organization and has aspirations to play on the Canadian world team as well.