8/29/12 2:00 PM
Outlaws fans will have at least one more opportunity to see their favorite stars in action this summer. On Sept. 8, the premier rivalry in international lacrosse comes to Denver as Team USA takes on Team Canada in the “Duel in Denver” – to be held at 7 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The game is a rematch of the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship gold-medal game, in which Team USA defeated Canada, 12-10, in Manchester, England, and is a preview of the 2014 FIL World Championships, hosted by US Lacrosse and held at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park July 10-19, 2014. The U.S. and Canada have met in the championship game in the last four FIL World Championships.
This highly anticipated game begins the evaluation process for both international sides as they build toward selecting their respective squads for the 2014 FIL World Championships. From the Outlaws, 2012 MLL Defensive Player of the Year award winner Lee Zink as well as fellow defenseman Matt Bocklet and goalie Jesse Schwartzman will represent Team USA, while attackmen Mark Matthews and Jordan McBride will suit up for Team Canada.
Schwartzman, who along with fellow Team USA goalie Drew Adams (Long Island) account for three of the last four Goalie of the Year awards, said making the team for the “Duel in Denver” is only the start.
“It’s definitely exciting and an honor anytime you get to represent your country, but it’s not the 2014 team, so there’s more work to do,” Schwartzman said. “I’m just going to keep playing my game and hope I get the chance to make [the 2014 team].”
Schwartzman is one of many excited by the potential of the “Duel in Denver” and 2014 World Championships to cement the city’s position as a lacrosse landmark.
“Denver’s the capital of the Western movement,” Schwartzman said. “We’re still a couple of years out [from the 2014 FIL World Championships], but so far with the ‘Duel in Denver’, it’s promoting awareness, getting the brand and name out there that big-time lacrosse is coming and will stay in Denver for years to come.”
Team USA is headlined by 2010 World Championships MVP and two-time MLL MVP Paul Rabil along with former Outlaws Max Seibald and Drew Westervelt, among 10 returners from the 2010 gold medal-winning squad. Team Canada stars include six-time MLL Defensive Player of the Year Brodie Merrill and two-time league MVP John Grant Jr., also the NLL’s all-time leading scorer as a member of the Colorado Mammoth.
The “Duel in Denver” marks the first time the U.S. and Canada have faced off outside of an international competition since 1999. Nathaniel Badder, director of national teams for US Lacrosse, said Team USA is deep, skilled, experienced, and athletic.
“Judging by the roster headliners, so too is the Canadian team. It should be a great game to watch,” Badder said.
No matter who prevails in the “Duel in Denver,” the Outlaws and the Denver lacrosse community are guaranteed to be winners. “It will give the local community a taste of what’s to come in 2014,” Badder said.
General admission tickets for the “Duel in Denver” are available for just $20. A $99 family four-pack option including food and beverage is also available. For tickets, rosters and more information, visit www.uslacrosse.org/duelindenver.
For more information on the 2014 FIL World Championships, visit www.worldlacrosse2014.com.