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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Current Status of the MLL

Okay, I'm reporting this as good news. It has all but been confirmed that Major League Lacrosse will field six teams this year. They are Chicago, Denver, Washington, Boston, Long Island, and Toronto. It is practically official that the Rattlers will be a Canadian team this year with a new name and everything. BMO Field will be their home turf.

Players will be reassigned based on their proximity to these teams. Essentially, players on the west coast will be split between Denver and Chicago while players on the east will be divided between the other four. Expect those in the northeast to hit Toronto and Boston while the relatively southern eastern based players will land on Washington or Long Island. Most likely, the New England area guys will find a home in Boston (which should be fairly stacked); the Upstate New York (Mikey Powell is in Syracuse), northern Michigan, and Canadian guys will be placed in Toronto (the goal is an entirely Canadian & Iroqouis team); NYC area boys will be Lizards; Maryland and Virginia area guys (including Boston's Paul Rabil) will become Bayhawks (another stacked team); former Dragons & Riptide players living in California and the west coast (including Nike's Kyle Harrison & Ryan Powell) go to the Outlaws; and everyobody in between ends up in Chicago (including Matt Striebel, who is currently attending the University of Iowa).

I predict that the league will go to a single table since there is not good way to balance the divisions. Denver will remain competitive as always. Chicago's chances improve with the veritable flood of talent. Long Island is the league standard. Toronto will put a good product on the field, and the home crowds will be tough (especially if they are like Toronto FC's crowds), but they will fall short. Washington and Boston will dominate - one of these teams will win the championship. Rabil will be league MVP with the previously underperforming Bayhawks.

Everything indicates that the league will make an announcement sometime soon; maybe as early as Friday. The meeting is taking place today and the season is scheduled to start on May 16. That is a little less than three months away...

Tribe 7