FINALLY UNITED IN MANCHESTER

I just watched the second half of the 2010 World Games for lacrosse in Manchester, England.  Actually I only saw most of the second half/  The USA will be bringing home the bacon, a title they will defend in Denver in 2014.  Folks around here are already getting worked up about it.

An extra man empty netter made for the 2- goal margin in the 12-10 final score.  It was good drama.  The USA had the game in hand early in the second  half, starting out with an 8-4 lead, but the boys from north of the border put on a nice run and did eventually lead 10-9 for a brief period.  Team USA withstood the Canadian barrage pretty well, though, and I think Team Canada did run a little short on gas late in the game

The Canadians have so many lefties (hockey) and they all seem to have great sticks and finely tuned pockets as they look for every advantage.  As a coach I love lefties, and I’ve been known to make a kid an attackman simply because his natural hand was left.

PRETTY GOOD, EH?

I must admit that I like many things about the Canadian team, and for the life of me I don’t understand why, with the depth and breadth of talent available to the American team, we don’t blow them out.  The Canadians do have some truly great players, like Brodie Merrill (LSM/Plonkey style) and John Grant (a regular Gary Gait).  But they also have like a 40-year old goalie, most of them play very little outside on a big field and most of their long poles are not used to playing with the longer sticks.  That along with a lack of depth certainly was at least a fragment of their demise as the time wound down late in the fourth with no shot clocks or handicaps to make the Americans do anything with the ball for the final few minutes, which became mice chasing cats.

Maybe it is because the Canadians play so much ‘box’ lacrosse, but that whole Fogo thing doesn’t exist as much for them.  The face-off guy can play, you know, like a regular player.  It looks nice.  I think it is very important for a face-off guy to add capable (defense) and to be a little dangerous (he might go to the goal).

The Canadians look to score on any kind of transition where they can break down the defense and basically make it a one on none and where the goalie is a non-factor.  If they don’t get what they want they settle.  Mix that running game with a sic behind the backer or two from your John Grant and you are pretty much in any game.  Still, I say we (Americans) didn’t make them (Canadians) play good team defense to be successful.  They only use long poles for three months every 4 years!

THE AMERICAN WAY

I don’t understand why we as a country don’t just pick the most athletic team and go run everyone to death, but until later in this game there was a lot of just a few Americans working for match-ups with short stick defenders.  The Canadian defense could hold together pretty well with time to regroup and wait for the dodge.  We change players on pretty much every offensive possession to get those specialist scorers in the game.  I would love to see more team offense where a lot of different players score goals.  I guess that is just where the game and our style of play is.

AND IN THE END….

The American cream did rise to the top in the end.  It was a great game played between two great teams.