Team USA Looking to Conquer Canada in 2010

The 2010 USA men's national lacrosse team was announced Monday, with 23 members were selected to represent the red, white and blue at the FIL World Championship in Manchester, England from July 14-24 next summer.

After falling short in the championship game of the 2006 World Games -- the U.S. fell 15-10, with Canada's Jeff Zywicki scoring five goals and Gary Gait netting four -- the Americans will be looking to redeem themselves with a roster which contains five players from that '06 squad. The 2010 team comes into the tournament as an underdog against Canada, according to head coach Mike Pressler.

The 2010 USA is a mix of young players and experienced veterans, and the coaching staff hopes it's a good blend for conquering the Canadians. From the youngest member of the team in Ned Crotty (Duke '09) to the oldest in Brian Dougherty (Maryland '96), Pressler praised the player's selflessness and seemed excited about the makeup of the squad.

"We picked the best player in that particular role who gives us the best chance to win," said Pressler. "We have tremendous veterans at the top. We have great diversity, age, and experience."

Ryan Powell -- whom Pressler characterized as 'the ultimate veteran' -- seemed to agree with the selection of the squad.

"I believe the coaching staff did an incredible job in selecting the 23 guys," Powell said.

The biggest differences in this year's team from 2006 are the addition of a face-off man in Alex Smith and the decision to go with six defensemen rather than seven. In 2006, Canada's Geoff Snider was dominant facing off and earned Tournament MVP honors.

Despite all the big-name players and the impressive coaching staff, Pressler continued to acknowledge that Canada will be the favorite this time around. The Canadians are known for their unique style of play on the offensive end with many pick and rolls. Pressler also stated that a lot of the team's makeup had to do with selecting players who would be able to defeat the Canadians.

Canada's victory in 2006 ended Team USA's 28-year, 38-game winning streak in ILF play. The U.S.'s last earlier also loss came to Canada, in the 1978 ILF final, 17-16 in overtime. The USA's all-time record in ILF play now stands at 47-2, by far the best among ILF-member nations.

2009-11-02



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