With the 2013 season upon us we asked "Inside the MLL" host Evan Washburn to give us his take on the teams entering this season. We start with Boston and Charlotte, and don't forget to watch Evan on "Inside the MLL" this thursday night at 7 p.m. exclusively on CBS Sports Network.
2012 Record: 9-5 (Semi-Finalist)
Key Losses: John Ortolani (M/Faceoff)
Key Additions: Chris Mattes (M/Faceoff), Colin Briggs (M)
One of MLL’s “original six”, the Boston Cannons had a solid 2012 regular season which saw them segue into the playoffs, where they lost to the eventual champion Chesapeake Bayhawks in the semi-finals. During the off-season, Boston built its roster with the acquisitions of Chris Mattes from the Outlaws and Colin Briggs from the Hounds, who will look to complement Chris Eck at midfield. In addition, key draftees Will Manny from UMass, Cameron Flint from Denver and Scott Ratliff from Loyola- should they join Boston this season- will be looking to help the Cannons make another run for the Steinfeld Trophy in 2013.
Evan says: “Basically, when I look at Boston I look at a team that had a really nice draft, and in my opinion, they’re a team that needs their draft picks to play big minutes this season. By my account, six of eight rookies need to actually make a difference on this roster, and most importantly that’d be Will Manny, Cameron Flint and Scott Ratliff just because- beyond obviously Paul Rabil and Ryan Boyle- they didn’t sort of address a lot of the issues they had at the end of last season where they became one dimensional offensively. The defense I think is so strong, but Jake Smith from UMass could help them out.
So, I have Boston as my third best team in the league,” Evan continued. “I think they’re a tier down from New York and Chesapeake, but if eight rookies can play big, they could be a dynamic team throughout the season.”
2012 Record: 5-9
Key Losses: Stephen Berger (M), traded to New York Lizards
Key Additions: Ryan Young (A), Mike Sawyer (A) drafted from Loyola
Following their inaugural season, which saw them go just 5-9 and finish sixth in the league, the Charlotte Hounds will look to continue their progression as an MLL franchise in 2013. In the off-season, the Hounds added depth to their attack unit by bringing Ryan Young over from the Lizards, who in two years with the franchise tallied 24 points on 17 goals and seven assists across 19 games. Young’s presence will be felt immediately alongside Eric Lusby, Shayne Jackson and Matt Danowski, who finished sixth in the league in scoring for the 2012 season.
Evan says: “Charlotte’s a team that I’m really intrigued to watch play this year because they’ve made a lot of moves. Year one, they approached it as a two-year plan; so we’re in year two now and the attack I think is the headliner. Matt Danowski is still one of the better players in this league, Eric Lusby will be healthy and will be alongside his former college teammate, Mike Sawyer should he join the team after his collegiate career is over. Then they’ve got Owen Blye, also a rookie, so much like Boston I think that rookies could play a major role on this team going forward. I love their defense; Danowski, Schmidt and Flanagan I think make a really nice group.”
“[Ryan Young] is a guy that could probably play some midfield, too just because they’re pretty stockpiled at attack” Evan noted. “So, if Ryan Young can offer them that dimension, I think that would be helpful because they need some players at the midfield gone. Jovan Miller and a lot of these other guys, they’re great transition players but they’re just-I don’t think they’re full on offensive midfielders. They’re more defense-to-offense as opposed to six-on-six, sell-out offensive midfielders. So yeah, Ryan Young is a guy that in that trade could offer them somebody at the midfield. “