(Photo Courtesy of PLL)
On Thursday, the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) released the 22-man traveling rosters for all seven clubs ahead of the 2020 PLL Championship Series in Salt Lake City, Utah, which will take place from July 25th-August 9th.
Here is a roster breakdown for each of the league’s seven clubs:
Goalie: Adam Ghitelman, Drew Adams
Defense: Matt McMahon, Eli Gobrecht, Curtis Corley
Faceoff: Stephen Kelly, Brendan Fowler
LSM: Evan Connell, Mike Simon, Scott Ratliff
Midfield: Christian Mazzone, Dominique Alexander, Ian MacKay, Joey Sankey, Mark McNeill, Ryan Ambler, Tom Schreiber, Tyler Pfister
Attack: Grant Ament, Josh Currier, Marcus Holman, Will Manny
Restricted: Jack Rapine, Austin Sims, Davey Emala
With Ament, Holman, and Manny as the headliners and Currier as the reserve, Archers has the deepest attack unit in the league. Manny and Holman ranked first and second in goals during the regular season last summer. Insert Ament, who is one of the greatest passers in the history of the college game, and this attack unit gets even more lethal than it was last season. With those three running things at attack, Currier as another option, and a guy like Tom Schreiber to run things at midfield, this offense has the chance to be the best in pro field lacrosse history.
Just like last season, one of the biggest questions around this squad is who gets the start in cage each game? By the end of the regular season last summer, Adams and Ghitleman were splitting equal time. With limited training camp and a much shorter schedule, have two goalies with starting-caliber talent at this level is huge and if they play them right, it could play very well into Archers’ favor during this tournament-style season.
Goalie: Jack Concannon, Scott Rodgers
Defense: Austin Pifani, Callum Robinson, Cade van Raaphorst, Tucker Durkin
Faceoff: Trevor Baptiste
LSM: Craig Chick, Kyle Hartzell
Midfield: Bryan Costabile, Connor Buczek, Jake Richard, Jeremy Thompson, Joel Tinney, John Crawley, Kevin Unterstein, Paul Rabil, Romar Dennis
Attack: Chris Cloutier, Eric Law, Ryan Brown, Rob Pannell
Restricted: James Pannell, Brent Noseworthy, Andrew Hodgson
Atlas is loaded in the middle of the field. Over the offseason they added midfielders Bryan Costabile, Romar Dennis, Jeremy Thompson, and LSM Craig Chick to a unit that already featured the likes of Connor Buczek and Paul Rabil. With Costabile’s multi-facedted skillset and Dennis’ elite dodging ability, they can work perfectly with this offensive midfield group. Thompson is a do it all guy who could see play on both ends, as could Dennis, and Chick is a proven ground ball vacuum and takeaway artist, who only adds more depth on the defensive end.
With Chris Cloutier, Eric Law, Ryan Brown, and Rob Pannell all in the same attack room, who will be the odd man out? Cloutier is the only lefty in the group, so he may get a starting spot just out of need. Pannell is obviously one of the greatest X attackmen of this generation, while Law and Brown each bring their own unique skillset to the table. as well. It will be interesting to see how this attack line plays out. We could see some changes after their first game, or even after the first half this unit plays together.
Goalie: Blaze Riorden, Dillon Ward
Defense: Jack Rowlett, Jarrod Neumann, Johnny Surdick
Faceoff: Tommy Kelly
LSM: Matt Rees, Troy Reh
Midfield: Deemer Class, Eric Scott, Dhane Smith, Jake Froccaro, Kevin Buchanan, Mark Glicini, Patrick Resch, Sergio Salcido, Tyson Bell
Attack: Austin Staats, Connor Fields, Curtis Dickson, Josh Byrne, Miles Thompson
Restricted: Austin Henningsen, Jason Noble, Dan Coates
Chaos has Canadian and box flair, and influence all over the field, especially on the offensive end. From returners like Connor Fields, Josh Byrne, and Dhane Smith, Miles Thompson, to the newcomers in Austin Staats and Tyson Bell, the box influence on this squad is immense. With even more talent that has experience in the box game than last season, it will be interesting to see how things come together and who gets more runs especially with the newcomers. Staats and Dickson can both absolutely take over a game in different ways. This will be a fun offense to watch, without a doubt.
Chaos picked up one of the best goalies in the world in Dillon Ward this offseason. The big-bodied ballstopper from north of the border is one of the most proven goalies in the pro game, but they also return the 2019 PLL Oren Lyons Goalie of The Year in Blaze Riordan. Who gets the starting nod? Do they try and pull off a two goalie system?
Goalie: John Galloway, Brett Queener
Defense: Jacob Pulver, James Barclay, Jesse Bernhardt, Reece Eddy, Mike Manley
Faceoff: Connor Farrell, Hunter Forbes
LSM: Eli Salama
Midfield: Donny Moss, John Ranagan, Jordan Macintosh, Justin Turri, Ned Crotty, Sam Duggan, Will Haus
Attack: Brendan Kavanagh, Jesse King, Jordan Wolf, Justin Guterding, Matt Gaudet
Restricted: Ty Thompson, Foster Huggins, Greg Coholan
Building up the back end was obviously a priority for first-year head coach Tim Soudan this offseason. Besides Mike Manley, no other defenseman was on Chrome’s roster last season. How they rotate each of the five guys will be interesting, but this defense should be more cohesive than they had last season. And with a guy like Eddy, who played LSM in college, and Eli Salama listed at LSM, Chrome’s could see a major upgrade in their transition offense, as well. Both guys have the potential to wreak havoc on both ends.
Chrome brings back the least amount of players from last year’s roster, which includes multiple offensive threats, like Matt Danowski, who will be sitting out due to outside commitments. How this new-ish looking offense is going to work will be a huge question for this squad. Chrome does return Jordan Wolf, Justin Guterding, John Ranagan, Jordan Macintosh, Ned Crotty, and Will Haus – who were all apart of the best six-on-six offense last season. With the additions of guys like Jesse King and Matt Gaudet, and a likely improved transition game, can this offense survive off of more than just settled possessions?
Goalie: Tim Troutner, Gunnar Waldt
Defense: Eddy Glazener, Finn Sullivan, Garrett Epple
Faceoff: Peyton Smith, Greg Puskuldjian
LSM: Hugh Crance, John Sexton
Midfield: Brent Adams, Jack Near, Joe Walters, Kyle Harrison, Myles Jones, Nick Ossello, Patrick Harbeson, Sergio Perkovic, Tyler Dunn
Attack: Clarke Petterson, Jules Heningburg, Matt Kavanagh, Ryder Garnsey
Restricted: Brendan Gleason, Larken Kemp, Chris Price
This Redwoods squad has stayed pretty much intact from last season, as they look to make a run back to the title game. However, the biggest thing they have done is keep their defense together. With Eddy Glazner, Garrett Epple, and John Sexton returning, and Finn Sullivan coming in as a newcomer, the talent that Redwoods have at pole is scary. The ‘Woods are not going to be a fun place for offenses, again, this season.
Greg Gurenlian retired at the end of last season and Redwoods did have some faceoff woes, especially when Beast was injured. Just how much of an impact the one-two punch of Peyton Smith and Greg Puskuldjian can have has yet to be seen. Who will start and how often will they rotate? Depth at the dot is crucial in this tournament-style season and if Redwoods can find success with this duo, they may be able to win some games that they let slip away last season.
Goalie: Matt DeLuca, Charlie Cipriano
Defense: BJ Grill, Brodie Merrill, Chris Sabia, Partick Foley
Faceoff: Drew Simoneau, Jake Withers
LSM: Ryland Rees, Noah Richard
Midfield: Ben McIntosh, Connor Kelly, Dan Eipp, Drew Snider, Kyle McClancy, Steve DeNapoli, Zach Currier
Attack: Ben Reeves, Christian Cuccinello, Kieran McArdle, Ryan Drenner, Wes Berg
Restricted: Brian Karalunas, Ryan Conrad, Tate Boyce
Waterdogs may have one of the most fascinating position battles in the league during the limited training camp this season with Matt DeLuca and Charlie Cipriano in goal. Cipriano has much more pro experience that the rookie DeLuca, but as one of the biggest and most productive goalies in the college game over the pas few seasons, the Delaware product certainly has a case to be the starter, as well.
As an expansion club, the biggest question will be how all of these players will gel together and how quickly. A lot has been made of how Waterdogs may be the most positionless team in pro lacosse, so that may help them in terms of fit on the field, but chemistry wise it is always hard to tell how fast things will click for guys who may have never played together before.
Goalie: Kyle Bernlohr, Jacob Stover
Defense: Brett Schmidt, Bryce Young, Matt Dunn, Tim Muller
Faceoff: Joe Nardella
LSM: Isaac Paparo, Michael Ehrhardt
Midfield: Jake Bernhardt, Jeremy Sieverts, Joe LoCascio, Joe McCallion, John Haus, Max Tuttle, Mike Chanenchuk, TJ Comizio, Tyler Warner
Attack: Brad Smith, Jay Carlson, Matt Rambo, Zed Williams
Restricted: Dylan Maltz, Matt Hubler, Sean New
The defending champs lost the most in the expansion draft, but they still have one of the most loaded rosters in the league, especially on defense. From their SSDMs in Ty Warner and TJ Comizio to poles like Bryce Young, Matt Dunn, Tim Muller, and Michael Ehrhardt, Whipsnakes has one of the most loaded defenses in the league. Retaning all those guys and adding Comizio is a huge boos for this club, and gives them an even better chance at defending their crown this summer.
Whipsnakes only protected one attackman in the expansion draft: Matt Rambo. But they picked up Zed Williams and also retained Brad Smith (he’s a true midfielder) and Jay Carlson. How this attack unit shakes out will be interesting. Rambo, the defending MVP, will obviously be running the show, but Williams and Smith both have the ability to take over at any time in various ways. It will be interesting to watch this new-look offense come to form in Utah.