The recently concluded World Lacrosse Men’s Championship included Team USA’s gold-medal victory, showcasing a roster tailored for the traditional field game. This roster differed significantly from the squad assembled from last summer’s World Games, which embraced the newly embraced fast-paced Sixes format. The contrasting nature of these two games justifies the need for distinct rosters. Observing Team USA’s performances over the past few weeks and considering lacrosse’s entry into the 2028 Olympics with the new Sixes format, a question arose: What would a current Team USA Sixes roster look like? I initially aimed to predict the 2028 Olympic lacrosse roster, but a lot can change over five years, so it felt wrong to do so.
Selecting an Olympic lacrosse Sixes roster proved more challenging than anticipated. With a limited 12-man roster, each spot necessitates meticulous consideration, as every player must possess versatile skills. Including traditional attackmen and defensemen is impractical in Sixes due to the roster’s constraints. Every player must be proficient on offense and defense, including goalies. During the World Games, the USA did not deploy its top-tier players, possibly due to the experimental nature of the Sixes format’s competitive debut. In this article, I put together what the Team USA roster would look like if the Olympics was played today. The roster is categorized into “focused” sections, emphasizing the requirement for players capable of excelling in all aspects of the field.
Offensive Focused Guys
In the Sixes format, size and speed are crucial attributes. Without long poles on the field, I looked to guys who could really bully short-stick matchups. Brennan O’Neill has proven his ability to bully any defenseman while being able to score from anywhere on the field. Michael Sowers possesses unprecedented explosiveness that has yet to be witnessed in the lacrosse world. Although a personal inclusion, Sam Handley showcases exceptional skills in overpowering defensemen. Given the high-scoring nature of Sixes, offensive players who excel independently are essential.
Midfield Focused Guys
These players possess the versatility to excel on both offense and defense. Fielding an entirely offense-focused lineup against formidable opponents like Canada would not go over well. One of the critical reasons behind Team USA’s recent gold-medal victory in the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship was the presence of several midfielders that were able to lock down some of the world’s best offensive talents. The relative youth of these players grants them a significant advantage in terms of stamina, especially when compared to some veteran players that were left off this roster. Given that Sixes emulates the fast-paced nature of basketball, speed becomes the most important name of the game. These four individuals boast years of professional experience and are well-versed in playing into the shot clock.
Defensive Focused Guys
As a defensive coach, assembling this trio was enjoyable to put together, although it did not take long. Ryan Terefenko stands out as one of the game’s premier defensive midfielders, consistently improving his skills. Danny Logan has established himself as a dominant force, securing consecutive Short-Stick Defensive Midfielder of the Year awards in the PLL. Completing this group is Liam Brynes, whose veteran experience in the NLL translates effectively to the Sixes format.
Including two goalies within such a limited roster may seem undesirable, but it is necessary in the event of an injury to the starting goalie or an offensive player. Blaze Riorden, a Swiss army knife in the offensive realm of the NLL, brings versatility to this duo. Riorden can transition to a short-stick position in case of injuries, allowing Jack Concannon to guard the net confidently. Concannon’s exceptional skills in stopping inside shots make him a valuable addition to the Olympic lacrosse roster.
from Lacrosse All Stars https://ift.tt/YTEngcD