(Photo Courtesy of MLL)
The 2020 MLL Season is the league’s 20th and will be played over the span of one week in Annapolis, Md at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
Here is a look at some storylines to follow coming into the 18-game, week-long season.
How Will Teams, Players Hold Up?
Playing five regular-season games in a span of seven days and then possibly playing two more over the next two days if your team makes the four-team playoff will be a tough and grueling stretch for many teams and players alike. This tournament will be a “survival of the fittest” type of event. Whomever the most conditioned and healthy team is will likely be housing the Steinfield Cup at the end of this event.
Can Chesapeake Repeat as Champions?
Coming off of a championship run in 2019, the Chesapeake Bayhawks, who are now led by head coach Tom Mariano, look to repeat in 2020. WIth Lyle Thompson leading the way on offense and guys like Colin Heacock, and Andrew Kew as a supporting cast, the defending champs return one of the best offenses in the league.
In addition, their defense, which will be anchored by veteran goalie Brian Phipps, looks to return to similar for as last season. Maybe the biggest plus for Chesapeake is their depth at crucial positions, like goalie and faceoff. In a tournament-style season like this, depth everywhere is important – but even more so at those specialist positions.
What Can Connecticut, Philadelphia Do?
The MLL announced two new teams over the offseason, as the Connecticut Hammerheads and Philadelphia Barrage were announced. The Hammerheads’ roster is made up of predominately former Dallas Rattlers players and the Barrage is very similar with most of their players coming from the former Atlanta Blaze squad.
While these teams do have some cohesion from multiple guys having played with each other before, it will still be interesting to see how these teams do. Philadelphia lost two studs on offense in Randy Staats and Bryan Cole and Connecticut lost Bryce Wasserman. All three players were traded to Boston. With new-ish looking offenses in each squad, some guys will have to take a step up this season if either team wants to put together a run.
Does Boston Have Championship DNA?
The Boston Cannons had their best season in quite some time last season, as they made it to the MLL playoffs. However, they lost in the semifinals to Denver, 17-15.
Much of the hype around this squad comes from changes on the offensive end, as the Cannons added attackman Randy Staats and midfielder Bryan Cole from Philadelphia and attackman Bryce Wasserman from Connecticut. Those three combined for a total of 151 points last season. Adding three stars like that alongside the likes of Mark Cockerton, and others could prove to be deadly this season. In addition, their defense remains mostly intact with Nick Marrocco in goal, while James Fahey should take yet another step forward at close defense this season.