Matt Brown Helping To Make Denver A Lacrosse Hot Bed
By Heather Crowley
Matt Brown began his career in the MLL when he was drafted by a then brand new team, the Denver Outlaws. Fast forward five years and Brown, still playing attack for the Outlaws, is one of the team’s most important scorers. The veteran has seen not only the evolution of the Outlaws but also the growth of lacrosse in Colorado.
Brown is a sharp shooter for the Outlaws and scored five goals on just five shot against the Long Island Lizards in a week 5 win, earning him MLL Offensive Player of the Week honors. The attacker is the epitome of taking smart shots as he led the league in shooting percentage last season at .511, an impressive success rate.
In the MLL players often shift around but Brown’s spent his entire career with Denver. The Mile High City is a home away from home for Brown. Originally from Barnaby, Canada Brown spent four years playing lacrosse at the University of Denver and currently works as an assistant coach for the men’s team he once played for.
“Denver has always been a huge sports town and now with more exposure to the sport of lacrosse, families are now making this sport their passion,” Brown said. “From inner city lacrosse programs being formed to Denver being named the top lacrosse city in the US, it’s because all organizations here work together to grow the sport we have all fallen in love with.”
Inside Lacrosse recently named Denver as the number one lacrosse town in the nation. Since 2004 Denver has played host to two NLL All-Star games and three MLL All-Star games. The annual Vail Shootout hosts one of the largest lacrosse competitions every summer, bringing together lacrosse players of all ages.
Fans of the Denver Outlaws consistently post the highest MLL attendance and the Pepsi Center often runs out of tickets to sell to Colorado Mammoth supporters. In 2009 longtime Princeton head coach Bill Tierney shocked the lacrosse world as he took off for the Wild West and became the head coach at University of Denver. The city will also host the 2014 FIL Men’s World Championship.
Even the Outlaws are becoming stacked with more local products. Former University of Denver player and Denver native Joey Murray now plays attack for the Outlaws. Outlaws midfielder Rocco Romero also calls Denver his hometown.
“With the emergence of both professional lacrosse teams and the success of the University of Denver, lacrosse has exploded here in Denver in the past ten years,” Brown said. “Every year we continue to see the sport grow at the youth level and the quality improving every season in the high school ranks. It’s because of the relocation of lacrosse players and coaches, professionally and at the collegiate level, that helps improving the skill level in the mile high city.”
Brown missed the Outlaws first game of the season to coach the Pioneers in the first round of the NCAA tournament. A week after his team was ousted from the playoffs in a 9-7 loss at the hands of Stony Brook Brown was back out on the field scoring a hat trick for the Outlaws against Long Island. Working both as an assistant coach and Outlaws star it’s hard to believe he finds time to relax.
But after almost ten years of living in Colorado, Brown has become a resident expert on the area. So what is so great about Denver? Here’s Brown’s list of favorite places for future Denver Outlaws, team fans or visitor’s to the Rocky Mountains to check out. Eat, shop and hang out like the pros do.