Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 7 Power Rankings

A good mid-season slow up in the action was extremely needed after the past couple of weeks we have had in the MLU; props to the schedule makers on fore-seeing it! On the other hand my fantasy league is taking a hit with four teams being off! By hitting the middle of the action I released my Mid-Season Awards on Friday based on what has happened so far including Best Game, Most Outstanding Performance, MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Playoff picks for the both the Eastern and Western Conference.  Nevertheless this week did not disappoint as Boston manhandled New York and Portland won a thriller over the Nighthawks in Vancouver.

1. DC Current: 5-1

Last Week: 1  Change: +0


Back to back blowout wins for DC over New York was followed by a bye this past week, and some might say it was ill timed considering the roll the Current have been on.  I'm on the other side, a week off is perfect for DC; it gives the coaching staff time to talk down the players and get some cockiness out of their head in order to prepare for the Spinners. Also if DC wins this weekend they will be the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

2. Seattle Rainmakers: 4-2

Last Week: 1 Change: +0


Coming off an important win over the Portland Stags two weeks ago, Seattle had a bye this past week. The win has the Rainmakers percentage points behind the Stags since they won this week. However Seattle is the only team in the West that has beaten every other team in the conference.

3. Portland Stags: 4-1

Last Week: 3  Change: +0

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 19-16

Despite a bus breaking down and having only 15 minutes to dress and warm-up the Portland Stags were able to pull out a win in Canada. There is a lot to talk about in this victory, that was one of the better matchups of the season, but more impressive to me was the discipline of the Stags.  Being able to deal with the breakdown and limited time to get ready for the game showed to me the control that the coaches and captains have on the team. Because of this I'm really looking forward to see Portland go the rest of the way.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 4-3

Last Week: 4  Change: +0

Defeated New York Rumble 23-6

Its hard to imagine that Boston lost to New York at some point this season, but that is not what the Whitecaps were worried about Saturday night.  The Boston Whitecaps were able to hold the Rumble to the lowest point total in league history as well as having the largest point differential.  The team accounted for a total of 15 blocks and prevented the Rumble from scoring a single point in the final quarter of play.

5. Philadelphia Spinners: 2-4

Last Week: 6  Change: +1


The Philadelphia Spinners, coming off their best win in MLU history, was one of the four teams on a bye this past weekend.  Even with their four loses Philadelphia is still in contention for a playoff spot but in order to actually have a shot they must defeat the Current this weekend.  Not that far fetched of an idea considered they are only -5 points in two games against DC this year. A loss would all but eliminate the Spinners from the playoffs for the second straight year, but with a lot of college players now coming back from nationals, it will be a very interesting to the end of the season.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 2-4

Last Week: 5  Change: -1

Lost to Portland Stags 16-19

Another game that Vancouver could have easily won but once again we are here looking at a loss for the Nighthawks.  The opening points looked promising for the Nighthawks after starting with a 3-1 lead. Portland then when on an 8-2 run that gave them a 9-5 lead at half. Vancouver eventually would tie the game at 15 but had trouble to score on the final points. Brendan Wong continues to lead the league in points by adding 6 goals and 2 assists (8 points).

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-5

Last Week: 7  Change: +0


Portland defeating Vancouver really hurts San Francisco's playoff chances with only three games left for the Dogfish. They still must win out and then hope for some other games to fall their way.  Playing Portland two straight weeks is both a good and a bad thing for San Fran. Win both and you are back in the hunt but if you lose one you are most likely done.

8. New York Rumble: 2-5

Last Week: 8  Change: +0

Lost to Boston Whitecaps 6-23

Just think, three weeks ago New York had just defeated Boston and was on track to battle for first place in the conference with the DC Current.  My how things have changed, New York has currently lost three games in a row by a combined score of 78-39. Honestly its tough to watch at some points, because the team (which actually has a ton of star power) cannot put it together.  Maybe if I start comparing them to the Dallas Cowboys they will start playing better?

Things start heading back to normal now that most teams have completed their byes for the regular season. Only Boston and New York (who really needed this bye week) are off this week as they prepare for the end of the season.  This week will feature three games with the lone game in the East being between the Philadelphia Spinners and the DC Current.  Like stated before, if DC were to win this game they would clinch a spot in the postseason.  In the Western Conference the Dogfish will take on the Stags as they try and make the improbable comeback, and the Rainmakers will host the Nighthawks. Every game becomes more important now, so expect the intensity to rise as well.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.

Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 Mid-Season Awards

We are just past halfway in the 2014 MLU season. This past weekend completed Week 6 of 11 with all the teams having played at least five games, except Portland who has played only four.  So far this season has lived up to all the excitement that was brewing in the offseason; Boston finally lost once, twice, and a third time, the biggest headline in the Big Apple this year was the debut of New York's Short Shortsthe Dogfish going from first to worst, but then the Stags being the last undefeated team in the league.  Bottom line, a lot has happened this season, expected and unexpected, and at the mid point in the season here are mid-season awards for the East Coast and West Coast thus far in the 2014 season.

Best Game:
Washington DC Current  18
Boston Whitecaps            17

This one was a tough pick, in the Eastern Conference there has been numerous great games this season including two double overtime games between New York and Philadelphia and Boston losing three games by a total of three points. When looking at all of them, it came down to the Week 2 Boston-DC matchup and the Week 6 Boston-Philadelphia matchup, both game were great, back-and-forth, little mistakes, and quite frankly just good ultimate.  However in this situation I'm going to have to give the nod to Boston-DC, not only was this the first loss in Boston Whitecaps history, but an incredible game. I was there to witness it and from beginning to end I was on the edge of my seat, stunning plays, a 4-1 run that allowed the Current to comeback, and then finally a game winning hammer from Peter Prial to Calvin Oung.  This is a must watch for all ultimate fans whether you are a fan of the MLU or not, you will not be disappointed.

Seattle Rainmakers        21
San Francisco Dogfish    20

Again another tough pick even in the Western Conference, the play in 2014 has progressed massively since last season. Unfortunately a majority of all of the West Coast games has had the wind as a major factor.  In a game that was a rematch of last season's Western Conference Championship Seattle was on top 19-16 with a couple minutes left to go. The Dogfish not only scored but recorded two breaks to tie the game and send it to overtime. This game was not a clean and precise as the Boston-DC game, due to the wind there was a cluster of throwaways and drops by both teams.  In the end it was still a fantastic game that had huge implications on the rest of the season. (Sorry for the technical problems with the replay)

Best-Single Game Performance:
Alan Kolick (DC Current) Week 2

Not the normal guy you would expect to have the best performance, especially when he is in the star powered Eastern Conference, but if you look at the stats it all makes since.  Alan Kolick was literally perfect when the DC Current needed him to be, in the home game against the Boston Whitecaps, Kolick was 56 for all of his 56 throws. Not a single throw was D'd, dropped, too floaty, they were all perfect.  If any one of these passes hit the ground, Boston probably would have gotten the victory that weekend.  On top of that he added two scores and five assists. 

Donnie Clark (Seattle Rainmakers) Week 5

If you have been following the MLU this season this should come as no surprise to you.  Despite the 29-23 loss to the Vancouver Nighthawks, Clark broke the MLU single game point record with 14 points.  He also broke the most goals in a game record with 12.  Like stated before this was in a loss to Vancouver, but Donnie Clark has been a top the leader-board all year long and is a strong favorite for Western Conference MVP, especially if his team makes the playoffs. 

Peter Prial (DC Current) 27 points, 16 goals, 11 assists, 103/111 throws, 6 D's

Peter Prial has done it all for the DC Current, he scores, he can throw, and he also plays defense. Prial, primarily on DC's O-line, from time-to-time plays on the D-line (mainly when DC needs their "kill line") and when he is on he makes plays. He has one of the highest +/- differential in the league with a +57 and has only two drops on the season.  Its hard to argue that he has not been the biggest factor in the East, moving from Boston to DC, because he is still undefeated in MLU play because he missed the loss against Boston. That's right his stats are this high in only playing five games.

Donnie Clark (Seattle Rainmakers) 36 points, 30 goals, 6 assists, 35/39 throws, 6 D's

Some could make the argument that he is only the MVP because of his Week 5, actually he is the MVP with his Week 5 performance.  Each and every week he has been on top of the Rainmakers stats sheets, making key scores, and playing a ton of points.  In fact if you take away his 12 goal record breaking performance and put in his season average, he would still lead the league in goals. This is his first year in the MLU and he is taking the Western Conference by storm. His team is on top of the conference and favorites, right now, to win the West.

Rookie of the Year:
Matthew Esser (Philadelphia Spinners)

I know he is not new to pro ultimate, but he is new to the MLU which is a different style than the AUDL.  He is a constant threat when he is on the field for Philadelphia, he has a total of 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists), and throwing at a 78/80 percentage.  He does everything, playing more D points than O points recording 5 D's and absolutely no drops on the season. Playing on a team that is currently last in the East, Esser is still having an impact. If the team were to turn it around this year, they would have Esser to thank.

Brendan Wong (Vancouver Nighthawks)

One of the quietest players in the league right now. Week after week Wong has been at the top of the MLU's stats sheet with 33 points, 23 of them being goals and 10 assists. He has had difficulty throwing but after the wind that is happening in the West completing 53 of 59 throws is pretty good.  The Nighthawks are +38 when Wong is on the field playing primarily on offense. These stats are in only the five games the Nighthawks have played but yet he will continue to rack up the points.

Best Coach:
Keven Moldenhauer (DC Current)

In 2013 Keven Moldenhauer was a "player-coach", in 2014 he accepted the full head coaching responsibilities and it has shown on the field. The Current are the only team to have improved so far in 2014 based on their 2013 record. Last year DC was 4-6 and made the Eastern Conference Championship, this year they are 5-1 and leading the East by two games.  They were the first team to defeat Boston ever, and is undefeated this season at home. No team seems to be able to stop them before the playoffs and look for DC to finish the season 9-1 or 8-2 at the end of the year.

Danny Quarrell & Michael Knapp (Portland Stags)

One of the two coaching duos in the Western Conference, while faced criticism at first, appears to be working in Portland.  Last year Portland when 1-9 winning only one game the entire year.  This year they were the last undefeated team in the league, and stand at 3-1 with their only loss to the Seattle Rainmakers 25-23. Playoffs are not guaranteed for this team because they have a lot of work left to do; but when you can reach the mid point of the season and already say this year was a success for the team, you  have to attribute it to Quarrell and Knapp.

Honorable Mentions:
Best Game:
Philadelphia Spinners  26
Boston Whitecaps      25
Portland Stags              18
San Francisco Dogfish  16

Best-Single Game Performance:
Evan Boucher (San Francisco Dogfish) Week 2; three scores, four assists

Jeff Graham (Boston Whitecaps) 28 points, 18 goals, 10 assists, 117/121 throws, 2 D's
Alan Kolick (DC Current) 28 points, 9 goals, 19 assists, 255/265 throws, 1 D
Brendan Wong (Vancouver Nighthawks) 33 points, 23 goals, 10 assists, 53/59 throws, 1 D
Daniel Trytiak (Seattle Rainmakers) 32 points, 13 goals, 19 assists, 99/116 throws, 2 D's

Playoff Favorites:
Surprisingly enough this look eerily similar to last season, except with the Whitecaps leading the conference. However DC is not as dominating as Boston.  I do believe that DC will hold on a clinch the #1 seed for the playoffs, but Boston is going to give them a run for their money.  The Whitecaps still believe they are the superior team and if DC were to lose a game or two they would be right there.  Also watch out for the Philadelphia Spinners for the remainder of the season, they have been close in every game this season and are on the verge of putting it all together.

#1 Seed: DC Current
#2 Seed: Boston Whitecaps

The West is a whole lot clearer that it has been at any point in this season, but due to scheduling each team has played a different number of games (Seattle 6, Portland 4, Vancouver 5, San Francisco 7).  It has been a great story watching Portland do what they have been doing this season but they will have to fight and claw the rest of the way with Vancouver and San Francisco on their heels.  Seattle seems to be in control of the conference, with two wins that will clinch a playoff spot for them. The preseason favorites Nighthawks are struggling to find their identity blowing out teams one week and losing by a huge margin another.  San Francisco will cause some problems the rest of the way trying to prove that they are better than they played this season, having to win out and hope for some luck to make the playoffs.

#1 Seed: Seattle Rainmakers
#2 Seed: Vancouver Nighthawks

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 6 Power Rankings

Every week in the MLU never fails to disappoint.  New York promised revenge against DC but came up short once again, Boston remains winless on the road, and Portland suffered their first loss of the season.  Once again every matchup in the league had a huge impact on the playoffs and where everyone will end up at the end of the year.  We have officially passed the mid season mark of 2014 but there is a lot left to happen in this season.

1. DC Current: 5-1

Last Week: 1  Change: +0

Defeated New York Rumble 27-18

New York acted like they were primed to show up the team that destroyed them last week, and after the first quarter they looked to have the opportunity to do so.  However once again the Current were way too much for the Rumble.  The duo of Markham Shofner and Alan Kolick is proving to be one of the top handlers in the league but once again it was the teams defense that put away this game.  DC's defense provided five straight breaks for the team en route to their third straight win, the longest running winning streak in the MLU.

2. Seattle Rainmakers: 4-2

Last Week: 5 Change: +3

Defeated Portland Stags 25-23

I normally am not a fan of bumping up a team three spots in an eight team league but after their handling of Portland, a team that has controlled the West this year, Seattle deserved it.  The final count looks deceiving, but Seattle was in control of the match the entire game, despite allowing Portland to come back.  Donnie Clark had another strong performance in Seattle's first game against the Stags in 2014

3. Portland Stags: 3-1

Last Week: 2  Change: -1

Lost to Seattle Rainmakers 23-25

Portland has taken advantage of opportunity they have been given this season, and they almost were given another at the end of the Rainmakers game. The Stags started the fourth down 15-20, almost coming back in an improbable fashion.  Friedman and Bjorkland both had impressive outings, still playing without Timmy Perston.  Portland suffered their first loss of the season in their first game against Seattle, this loss opened up the West and gives teams an opportunity to work back into playoff contention.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 3-3

Last Week: 3  Change: -1

Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 25-26

These are not the same dominating Whitecaps of last season, the entire league has stepped up their game play and Boston not as much. This season the Whitecaps are 3-0 at home (still 9-0 in Boston in the franchise's history). However the more stunning stat is that Boston is 0-3 on the road.  Loses to DC, New York, and Philly are huge especially if DC is to get the #1 seed in the playoffs.  Granted the plus-minus margin for those three away games is (-3) so the road is not too terrible for Boston to play at.

5. Vancouver Nighthawks: 2-3

Last Week: 4  Change: -1

Lost to San Francisco Dogfish 12-13 OT

Another game that had the wind as a huge factor allowed the Dogfish to comeback and eventually win in overtime over the Nighthawks.  There were a ton of turnovers by both sides, including one point which had a combined 16 turnovers and lasted seven minutes long.  The loss keeps the Nighthawks 1.5 games behind Portland in the standings for the final playoff spot in the West.  Next week Vancouver will try and make some of that ground up as the take on the Stags at home.

6. Philadelphia Spinners: 2-4

Last Week: 7  Change: +1

Defeated Boston Whitecaps 26-25

The best game played by the Spinners this season, some would go as far to say their best game in their history in the MLU, but I'm not going to make those comparisons.  In a game in front of 1,500+ fans, Philadelphia had a complete team effort from the entire team. Nick Hirannet had six assists and the D-line, which was lead by Frederick Brasz, was the ultimate factor in the Spinners getting their first ever franchise win against Boston. Philadelphia is now one game behind Boston in the standings for the final spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-5

Last Week: 8  Change: +1

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 13-12 OT

Past their doubleheader weekends, San Francisco is trying to make a next to impossible playoff push after their bad start to this season.  The Dogfish were somehow able to comeback against Vancouver this weekend despite the wind  and a 12-10 deficit, scoring the final 3 points of the match. The team will rely on captain Evan Boucher (three D's, two assists, and a goal) the rest of the way for motivation in their final three games.

8. New York Rumble: 2-4

Last Week: 6  Change: -2

Lost to DC Current 18-27

New York promised a better performance this weekend against the Current, and according to the final counts they did, however the end result was no where near what they wanted.  After starting off being tied 3-3, New York let DC score seven straight point allowing the Current to pull away for the rest of the game.  In order to make the playoff now New York has to pull off at least one more victory against the Whitecaps and probably taking at least one game from the Spinners and the final game against the Current.

After this week, officially moving past the halfway point in the season, four team go on a bye this weekend.  The DC Current, Philadelphia Spinners, San Francisco Dogfish, and Seattle Rainmakers all have off this weekend to prepare for the homestretch in the 2014 season.  The only two games this week will be the Nighthawks trying to gain ground on the Stags for the final playoff spot, and New York trying to get back into their winning ways as they travel to Boston.  Be on the lookout on Thursday/ Friday for my mid-season awards and my outlook for the teams to make the playoffs.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 5 Power Rankings

This weekend two teams set their franchise records for points this weekend at home. Things are starting to become clear in the East with DC showing that they are the favorite to challenge Boston for the Eastern Conference Title, while New York shows that there are more problems than answers.  The West continues to show that this conference is for anyone's taking with Vancouver getting revenge on Seattle with San Francisco and Portland having byes.

1. DC Current: 4-1

Last Week: 1  Change: +0

Defeated New York Rumble 28-15

Clean, solid, and scary. Those are the proper words to describe the Current this past weekend, not just on offense but defense as well. The O-line converted on 14 of 15 possessions and the D-line was able to force 14 breaks throughout the game in scoring a franchise high 28 points. There were very little mistakes by DC and sometimes made the NY Rumble look like a team playing together for the first time. If the Current can keep it up they are very strong favorites to be the first team to clinch a playoff spot in the East.

2. Portland Stags: 3-0

Last Week: 2  Change: +0


Last week putting at Portland at number #2 in the rankings, even though they are the only remaining undefeated team left in the league, caused some controversy.  Yes the Stags are good but after the season they had last year and after some of the fortune they have had in games this year, they haven't shown to me any reason to be higher than DC.  With a bye this week and DC winning in dominating fashion, I had to keep them at #2.

3. Boston Whitecaps: 3-2

Last Week: 3  Change: +0

Defeated Philadelphia Spinners 24-18

Another performance by the Whitecaps that got the Whitecaps back to their clean nature.  Their offense was extremely effective and allowed them to build a lead over the Spinners. Their defense also took advantage of the problems that Philadelphia was having with disc.  Boston looked like a completely different team than they did last week against New York and looked to determined to finish the rest of the regular season.

4. Vancouver Nighthawks: 2-2

Last Week: 6  Change: +2

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 29-23

Again I do not know what to think of this team. One week they look dysfunctional against the Rainmakers and two weeks later they score a franchise-high 29 points.The typical star players were out in full force, like Aaron Loach, Mark Leduc, and Takuya Saito being involved on both offense and defense.  It is going to take more games like this one for me to be confident in the Nighthawks being a playoff favorite.

5. Seattle Rainmakers: 3-2

Last Week: 4 Change: -1

Lost to Vancouver Nighthawks 23-29

The stat line of the weekend was Danny Clark getting a MLU-record 14 points in a single game.  Unfortunately this is the only thing I have heard from the Seattle side of the disc this weekend.  Normally the defensive oriented team can control the score but Vancouver's defense was too sharp, preventing the Rainmakers from scoring on offense.

6. New York Rumble: 2-3

Last Week: 5  Change: -1

Lost to DC Current 15-28

What happened to the team that was able to handle the Boston Whitecaps and give them their second loss an franchise history?  My guess is that they never made it to DC.  The Current controlled the entire game and prevented Chris Mazur, Jack Marsh, Ben Faust and the other top Rumble players from getting on a roll.  Again I'm waiting for the unstoppable O-line in New York to come together this season, but unless they fix their offense soon, it might be too late.

7. Philadelphia Spinners: 1-4

Last Week: 7  Change: +0

Lost to Boston Whitecaps 18-24

Take away the second quarter from this game and Boston would have one 15-14.  In fact you could do this for a majority of Philadelphia's games this season and there would be cases where Philly would have won the game.  This was the largest loss of the season for Philadelphia that are close to breaking through their tough stretch they have had in the MLU the past two seasons. Also keep an eye of Matt Esser and Jake Rainwater as they continue to highlight the scoring table for the Spinners.

8. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-5

Last Week: 8  Change: +0


Another week that gave San Fran an opportunity to learn from a doubleheader weekend.  The Dogfish benefited from Vancouver topping the Rainmakers this weekend but still need to make things happen that they can control.  This team needs wins and with no more doubleheader weekends they are in a position to get some. However they are done with Seattle for the year which puts San Francisco's playoffs hopes out of their control.

This upcoming weekend all teams will be in action with the Eastern Conference simply having rematches of this previous weekend in different locations. While in the West Portland hopes to keep up their winning ways and the Dogfish begin their playoff push now.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Names, Same Teams, New Places in 2014

The 2013-2014 offseason was filled with tons of off the field drama. The league leading scorer went from one Eastern-Conference foe to another, as well as the Western Conference Champions losing a majority of their starters from last season.  However, a key factor in any sport has to be the head coaches and of course the fan base.  The league showed that they were content to build the fan bases in the current eight cities than rather expand before the league was ready.  Also a new MLU rule this year instituted that there should be no more "player-coaches" for 2014.  In doing so a majority of players stepped up to their new roles on their teams, while other franchises looked elsewhere.  In some instances some head coaches just decided to part ways with the team. Nonetheless, the 2014 season has already showed that a variety of factors has influenced how this season will play out, but just for sanity's sake here is an update on some coaching and location changes for all the teams in the MLU.

New Head Coach: Sam Rosenthal
Coaching Experience: None
College: Carleton College

Former Coach: Jason Adams

New Stadium: Hormel Stadium, Medford, MA
Old Stadium: Bowditch Field, Framingham, MA

Notes: New stadium is located closer to the city of Boston and the loss of their head coach, Jason Adams, will and has been showing this season. Will be a challenge for them to defend their title this year.

New York Rumble
New Head Coach: Anthony Nunez
Coaching Experience: Youth, High School (Columbia), Co-Ed Club (Blueprint), Rutgers Machine, and NY Rumble Assistant in 2013.
College: William Paterson University

Former Coach: Daniel Quaranta

Stadium: Union City High School Football Field, Union City, NJ

Notes: Same field with the interesting setting of being on top of a high school, fans are real close to the field and a beautiful view of New York.  Even though it is outside of the city, the team will still offer a "fan bus" from Manhattan to the stadium.

Philadelphia Spinners
Head Coach: Billy Maroon
Coaching Experience: Philadelphia Spinners 2012 assistant coach & 2013 head coach

New Stadium: Franklin Field (4/12, 6/21), University City, PA; Colonial Stadium (4/26), Plymouth Meeting, PA; Sweeney Field (5/18, 6/15), Philadelphia, PA
Old Stadium: Colonial Stadium

Notes: Billy Maroon is one of the best coaches as far as pro ultimate is concerned, with the 2012 AUDL championship in his back pocket. It will still be tough having three different home stadiums this season and no "home-field" advantage.

Portland StagsNew Head Coaches: Danny Quarrell & Michael Knapp
Coaching Experience (respectively): University of Portland, Women's Club (Schwa) & Reed College, Women's Club (Schwa)
College (respectively): Unknown & Oregon State

Former Coach: Justin Becker

New Stadium: Doc Harris Stadium (4/12, 5/3), Camas, WA; Mt. Hood CC (5/17, 5/31), Gresham, OR; South Eugene High School (6/21), Eugene, OR
Old Stadium: Griswold Stadium

Notes: Another interesting situation where the Stags are going with three home stadiums as well as the fact they have two head coaches. Who am I to criticize though, because it seems to be paying off this year.

San Francisco DogfishHead Coach: Justin Safdie
Coaching Experience: None
College: Brown University

New Stadium: Matthew J. Boxer Stadium
Old Stadium: Kezar Stadium

Notes: Will be one of the lone grass fields in the MLU, a different feel than the regular turf.  Better news is that it will be the sole home stadium for the season 2014. It will be great with Justin Safdie still as head coach because he has his work cut for him to try and make the playoffs.

Seattle RainmakersHead Coaches: Mario O’Brien & Steve Gussin
Coaching Experience (respectively): Unknown & High School
College (respectively): Unknown &Evergreen State College

Former Coach: Ben Wiggins

Stadium: Renton Memorial Stadium

Notes: Great facility in keeping Renton Memorial for the Rainmakers, however there will be a game played at Mount Vernon High School in the first annual "Border Bid" against Vancouver.  This team will be another case where there will be a coaching-duo, although there will different responsibilities it still will be interesting.

Washington DC CurrentHead Coach: Keven Moldenhauer
Coaching Experience: Women's College (Salisbury), Men's College (Towson), High School, Basketball, 2013 Player-Coach for DC Current
College: Salisbury University

New Stadium: Cardinal Stadium
Old Stadium: Blazer Stadium

Notes: Moving the stadium into the heart of DC is great especially being right off the Metro so its easy to get to. Also it will be great having Moldenhauer coming back to coach and not being a player, so he can focus on team responsibilities.

Vancouver Nighthawks

Head Coach: Andrew Lugsdin
Coaching Experience: Open Club (Furious George)

Stadium: Thunderbird Stadium

Notes: Same coach and stadium for the Nighthawks in the 2014 season. Lugsdin is a great coach with experience in coaching taking Furious George to the world championships, hoping to have a similar outcome with Vancouver to the MLU Championship.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 4 Power Rankings

Another action filled weekend on both coasts in the MLU.  Another Eastern Conference team proved that they can match up with last years champion, Portland continues to show that they are a threat for a Western Conference Playoff Berth, and last year's Western Conference Champion has almost eliminated themselves from the playoffs in only four weeks of play.

1. DC Current: 3-1

Last Week: 2  Change: +1

Defeated Philadelphia Spinners 25-23

The "D" in DC came out this weekend.  In their game against the pesky Philadelphia Spinners, the Current's D-line were able to break them four straight times to build their giant lead in the 3rd quarter.  The only concern was how the offense stumbled late in letting Philadelphia come back and almost tie the game. Other than that the team looked solid and are alone on top of the Eastern Conference for the first time in franchise history.

2. Portland Stags: 3-0

Last Week: 3  Change: +1

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 21-17

Okay honestly who would have tabbed Portland as the last undefeated team in the MLU? That's right, no one.  I must admit that their rise to the top of the West surprised me and I did not see coming.  This weekend the team never trailed the Dogfish in their second win against the defending Western Conference Champions.  The team looked clean on offense and solid on defense until they strung together four straight breaks.  The Stags, despite not having their top player Timmy Perston, are on track to make a run for the playoffs and are now put in the argument for the favorite for the MLU Championship.

3. Boston Whitecaps: 2-2

Last Week: 1  Change: -2

Lost to New York Rumble 17-18

Boston once again proved that they were human by losing to the Rumble in a very wet, stormy night. The conditions were too much for Boston and could not mount a comeback after the Rumble took a large lead in the 3rd.  More interesting though is that last year a majority of teams struggled to score on Boston's D-lines, but now two teams have showed that their new system works and can score.

4. Seattle Rainmakers: 3-1

Last Week: 4 Change: +0

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 18-16

The Rainmakers finished their regular series against the Dogfish with another win, ending up with a 2-1 record against San Francisco.  Seattle looked in absolute control of the first half and built a comfortable 12-3 lead.  Luckily for them their lead seemed to be too much for the Dogfish as the wind picked up. This win even came without Adam Simon and Sam Harkness for Seattle, an encouraging sign for the team.

5. New York Rumble: 2-2

Last Week: 5  Change: +0

Defeated Boston Whitecaps 18-17

You would think that a team that just defeated the defending MLU Champions, that was atop last week's power rankings, and had only lost one game in two years would move up right? Wrong.  Unfortunately for the Rumble, they are in an awkward spot in the standings with Seattle, Portland, and DC winning and did not show to be that they were a team that was better than Boston.  Great win by the team and something to build off of but still some work needs to be done.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-2

Last Week: 7  Change: +1

Bye Week

The Nighthawks did not play this week and hopefully used it to regroup to have a rematch against the Rainmakers at home this upcoming weekend. This team has constantly gone up and down in the standings so it will be interesting to see which Vancouver team will actually show up.  They only move up a spot in the standings in part to Philadelphia's loss.

7. Philadelphia Spinners: 1-3

Last Week: 6  Change: -1

Lost to DC Current 23-25

The never-give-up team so far into the 2014 season has to be the Philadelphia Spinners.  Another fantastic comeback by the Spinners kept the Current uneasy in what would be an eventual loss that dropped the Spinners to the basement of the East.  Nick Hirannet still is doing his best to carry the load on the team, while Matt Esser shows his strength on both offense and defense.

8. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-5

Last Week: 8  Change: +0

Lost to Portland Stags 17-21
Lost to Seattle Rainmakers 16-18

Two more losses for a struggling San Francisco team that on this road trip was missing 12 players from their roster.  In due to the financial situation of the league, and the location of San Francisco compared to the rest of the Western Conference, the MLU had to schedule these back-to-back games to cut down on costs.  Right now the team is past halfway in their season and is the only team that does not control their own fate; if they win out, they can still miss the playoffs.

This upcoming weekend only six teams will be in action with both the Stags and the Dogfish being in byes.  In the East the Rumble will travel to DC for their first matchup with the Current, while Philly will do the same with the Boston Whitecaps.  The lone game in the west will be the Nighthawks hosting Seattle, as Vancouver hopes to get back in control of their season.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.