Editors Note: The 2020 PLL Season, which will be played in a tournament format called the PLL Championship Series, kicks off on July 25th in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over the next week, Lacrosse Bucket will be previewing all seven PLL teams ahead of the season.
When the PLL Championship Series kicks off on July 25th it will mark the second season of the PLL. But it will also mark the first season for Waterdogs LC, the league’s seventh team that was added over the offseason.
Led by head coach Andy Copelan, Waterdogs entire squad was built through the expansion draft, entry draft, and the college draft. And the first thing that sticks out when looking at their roster heading into year one is how positionless this squad is. From end to end, Waterdogs features some of the most versatile players in the league.
And nowhere is that positionlessness more prevalent than on the offensive end of the field. Christian Cuccinello and Connor Kelly, who is listed as a midfielder, can play both attack and midfield, and Ben Reeves is a very similar player in that respect. It will be very interesting to see how they play all of those guys, especially given what the season looks like now.
In addition to those aforementioned players, Waterdogs got some pure spot-up shooters, high-quality passers, and deadly finishers in Kieran McArdle, Ben McIntosh, Drew Snider, Danny Eipp, Ryan Drenner, and Wes Berg. They also have a true do it all players in Zach Currier, who can play and make a huge impact all over the field and on both ends. The PLL rules truly fit his game and he could prove to be the face of this team if they use him correctly.
Things look very similar in terms of the versatility that presents itself on the defensive end for this squad. And that all starts with D/LSM Brodie Merrill. The veteran was a no-brainer pick in the expansion draft and brings both leadership and experience to this squad, which is a huge plus for any team, but especially an expansion team that is looking to find their identity. Another more veteran piece of this defense will be Brian Karalunas, who only makes this defensive core even scarier.
In addition to those two core pieces in Merrill and Karalunas, Waterdogs’ defense also features some younger guys like LSM’s Ryland Rees, who can be effective in a multitude of ways both on the defensive end and in transition, and defensemen Chris Sabia, BJ Grill, Patrick Foley, and others.
The biggest question surrounding this squad does lie on the defensive end, as they will bring three goalies to Salt Lake City. Who will get the start on day one? Charlie Cipriano, Tate Boyce, or Matt DeLuca? And even after that first contest, how will utilize this group of highly-touted goalies, who each have the potential to be All-Pro caliber players?