(Photo Courtesy of PLL)
The PLL Championship Series is 26 days away. All seven teams will descend upon Salt Lake City, Utah for 16 days of competition, which will end with the crowning of the 2nd-ever PLL Champion.
And just like every season, there are multiple questions coming in. But dues to the unique circumstances of this second season for the league, there are, perhaps, more questions than ever before heading into the season.
Here is a look at five of the most pressing questions heading into the 2020 PLL Championship Series.
1. How Will Teams, Players Hold Up?
Because of the nature of the tournament, we will see a war of attrition like we have never seen before in this game. You are talking about seven teams that feature some of the best players in the world going at it for 16 days.
The sheer physical toll that this tournament will take on players, young and old, will be seen on every single team. And the first signs of it will be during the initial pool play stage of the tournament. In essence, it will be a survival of the fittest. And the team that is lucky enough to be standing tall as champions at the end of this thing will be that fittest team. It will be something unlike any lacrosse event in the history of the game.
2. What Will Waterdogs Look Like?
The second season of the PLL brings about the league’s first expansion franchise, Waterdogs LC. And how those guys’ styles of play will gel and fit with one another, and how quickly, will be one of the most interesting things to watch during this championship series.
On the surface, Waterdogs is loaded. With guys like Zach Currier, Brodie Merrill, Brian Karalunas, and others leading the way, this team has immense talent all over the field. But having a ton of talent and getting talent to work together are two different things. Now, it has been mentioned a lot that Waterdogs LC may have the most “positionless” roster in the game. So maybe that sheer fact will help them come together quicker. But that is yet to be seen, and how this team comes together from front to back will be one of the biggest stories of the season.
3. How Will The Jones-Salcido Trade Play Out?
One of the biggest offseason storylines of the season was Chaos LC and Redwoods LC swapping midfielders, as Chaos sent Myles Jones to Redwoods in exchange for Sergio Salcido. Now with the season approaching, we will get to see exactly how that trade plays out for each team.
Does Jones fit into the Redwoods, which also features Sergio Perkovic, and can adding him that unit really make Redwoods’ midfield the most dangerous in the league? How will Salcido fit into the attack-heavy Chaos offense and can he really be the same kind of threat as a ball-dominant dodger in that offense? We will find the answers to both of those questions in July, and you can bet that everyone will have their eyes on those two players and squads for that very reason and more this season.
4. How Much of An Impact Will Rookies Make?
One of the biggest offseason events for any pro league is the college draft. And while the PLL Draft may have looked a bit different than originally expected, there will still be some very impactful rookies out there this season.
But with such a short time to show their stuff and prove their worth, how much of an impact will rookies make? Obviously, some teams will run rookies more often than others and that will play a huge part in how much we see of each rookie. But overall, with a shorter season, it could be harder for rookies to fight for a spot against more established players than were before.
5. Will Whipsnakes LC Repeat?
The last time we saw the PLL in action, Whipsnakes LC was hoisting the trophy as the inaugural PLL Champions. But at the end of the championship series, will it be Whipsnakes on the stage once again?
Whipsnakes return the majority of their defense and their tenaciousness in transition should be similar, if not better, than last season. But they do have some questions of the offensive end after losing quite a bit on attack to Waterdogs LC. Yes, Matt Rambo is still there but the offense will look a bit different. How quickly this new-look Whipsnakes offense can come together may be a sign of how successful this squad can be in 2020.