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Thursday, December 9, 2010

MLL Expansion: David Gross Confirms 2 in 2012!

Lacrosse Magazine is reporting that Major League Lacrosse will go forward with expansion, adding two teams in the 2012 season and two more in 2013 to bring the league back up to ten teams. Gross continues to say that the league is aiming for 16 teams by the end of the decade.
"The health of our league has never been better," Gross said on the heels of MLL's 10th anniversary season. "Ten years gives us legitimacy."
"We feel there is enough talent," he said of expansion plans. "It will also help keep guys in the league longer."
LM also has a poll regarding these four new teams. The poll lists 19 potential expansion markets targeted by MLL as mentioned by Gross. Whether or not this list is inclusive or just exemplary is not known.

MLL has identified 19 markets in which it has interest, including: Atlanta, Columbus(Ohio), Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville(Tenn.), Orange County (Calif.), Orlando (Fla.), Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham(N.C.), Salt Lake City and Virginia Beach (Va.). The league has also examined the possibility of a team in either Portland, Ore., or Seattle.
Also on the list are Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco, home of former MLL franchises Machine, Barrage and Dragons, respectively.
To vote, follow this link.
Gross states that all 19 markets have ownership groups ready to invest in the league, something that has been a large problem in the past. This list seems fairly focused and contains a nice mix of large and mid size markets. Kansas City is conspicuously absent, however... In fact, only two of the five teams I proposed in a recent poll are on the list.However, I feel that there may be hope for Kansas City (and possibly one more city on the list). Gross said that the league will announce the two new 2012 teams this February. Generally that means that everything is in place and ready to go. Logically, the league is no longer targeting these markets as they have already acquired them; therefore these cities would not be on the above list. Given that Sporting Kansas City specifically mentioned lacrosse during the MLS team's rebranding, it makes sense that they may have been one of the cities included in the first round of expansion.

"But like European soccer clubs," Heineman said, "several other sports, such as lacrosse and rugby, will fall under the Sporting Kansas City umbrella in the future."

Whether SKC is set to be one of the 2012 teams is uncertain. However, it is entirely possible. The omission of Kansas City from the target list may also serve as a strategic slight of hand by Gross. By keeping quiet about the confirmed markets and throwing out a large list of possible markets, the commissioner allows the official announcement to build excitement. In this day and age of spoilers and WikiLeaks, it would be a nice change of pace to see a professional league drop a bomb like this. I guess we will find out in February...
For what it is worth, my top guesses for the upcoming announcement are Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee.
This expansion would compliment the rebirth of the Rochester Rattlers and the rumored move of the Toronto Nationals to Hamilton. The Rattlers were already announced while official word about the Nationals is expected to come before the end of the year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hockey Night In Iowa 2010 Edition - Game 17

Boy, last week was a classic example of a disaster. In what should have been a surefire win over Funky Pickle, Irwins humiliated ourselves with a 14-1 loss. Out lone goal came in the closing minutes from one of defensemen - also one of our oldest players - Rick Radcliff. This loss firmly cements us in the league's basement. We have not had a win since squeaking by the same Funky Pickle team 5-4 on October 20!
Tonight we face a major uphill struggle against the Puck Hawgs. A fellow cellar dweller last season, the Hawgs are now tied for first place with my former team, Cup O Kryptonite. Backed by the league's best goalie, Justin Hillock, our scorelines have been lopsided to say the least. The lone goal in our last defeat to the Hawgs came prior to Hillock's on-ice arrival. Yes, you read that correctly; Hillock was running behind in the locker room and the Hawgs played with six skaters and no goalie for the first four minutes or so - and we only managed one measly goal.
As we have the 9:55 start time tonight, we are expecting Pentico to be in net. Pentico has shown more resolve than Daniels of late. We are hopeful that his presence will boost the team's morale at least enough to be competitive.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dubuque Lacrosse Clinic This Weekend

For anybody living in Northeast Iowa, I wanted to pass on the latest opportunities in Dubuque. The DYLA is well on their way to developing a comprehensive lacrosse program, including a high school team planned to begin playing this spring.

True Lacrosse and the Dubuque Youth Lacrosse Association are hosting a FREE Speciality Clinic and Demo Day this Sunday, December 12.

Time: 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Where: Courtside Bar & Grill
2095 Holliday Drive
Dubuque, IA 52002-0471
All players should wear the proper lacrosse equipment, if you need equipment please email your age, height and weight to True Lacrosse so we can bring you a set.
Rental equipment also free of charge!
We will be playing indoors so please wear gym shoes, not cleats!
Come learn from some of the most experienced players and coaches in the lacrosse world.
This event is open to all ages and skill levels so feel free to invite all
your friends!
For more information, please contact the Dubuque Youth Lacrosse Association.

Tribe 7