April 24, 2014

Lacrosse Magazine 2014 Major League Lacrosse Preview

by Lacrosse Magazine Staff | Twitter

Among Major League Lacrosse offseason impact items was the agreement between MLL and the LXM Pro Tour that paved the way for players like former No. 1 overall draft pick Peter Baum to join MLL rosters. (Dirk Dewachter)

We've seen a busy offseason in the Major League Lacrosse world, with several of its stars going through the rigorous process of trying to make the Team USA roster, the lone franchise based in Canada moving all the way to Florida, and some of the brightest stars in the game re-introduced to the league via a partnership between Major League Lacrosse and the LXM Pro Tour.

But how are things going to look when they take the field in 2014 starting Saturday evening when Ohio pays a visit to Charlotte and Denver travels to Florida in the league's opening night.

Chesapeake enters the season in our No. 1 spot, having become the first team since the now-defunct Philadelphia Barrage to win back-to-back crowns last summer with a finals triumph over the surprising finalist Charlotte Hounds. 

Before we launch into the team-by-team previews, here's a look back at some of the key moments between the Bayhawks taking home the Steinfeld Cup and today:

Top Offseason Stories

MLL Relocates Nationals to Florida Coast
The only north of the border franchise in the league and a strong contingent of many Team Canada stars was moved about as far as possible, becoming the Florida Launch. Several players were subsequently moved as new coach Stan Ross set his roster for the upcoming season.

2014 Championship to be Played in Atlanta
A North Carolina franchise makes the MLL finals, there is a new team in Florida, and now the championship will be played outside of Atlanta, its southern-most host city yet. 

College Stars Snapped Up in Collegiate Draft
Princeton star Tom Schreiber was the first name called in the MLL's collegiate draft, which took place during the US Lacrosse National Convention, presented by Champion, in Philadelphia. 

MLL, LXM Announce Partnership
After years of exclusivity, Major League Lacrosse and the LXM Pro Tour have partnered, paving the way for star players to play in both leagues, such as former MLL No. 1 overall pick Peter Baum, who joined the Ohio Machine and rewarded their patience in holding on to his rights.

USA Women's Star Wills Makes History; Named to Lizards Practice Squad
All-World goalie and USC women's assistant coach Devon Wills made history, becoming the first female lacrosse player to earn a tryout with an MLL franchise and making the New York Lizards practice squad, as announced Monday.

MLL Stars Make Up Team USA 30-Man Roster
With the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship taking place in Denver this July, the U.S. men's national team will be made up of MLL's stars, and will take on a roster of MLL stars at the All-Star game this summer. 

2014 MLL Team Breakdowns

Phil Shore looks at the 2014 Major League Lacrosse squads and projects where they might finish. The previews for teams 8-5 are available now, with 4-1 coming on Thursday.

1 - Chesapeake Bayhawks  2 - Denver Outlaws
3 - Boston Cannons 4 - Charlotte Hounds
5 - Florida Launch 6 - New York Lizards
7 - Ohio Machine 8 - Rochester Rattlers

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