Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Website Update

Been wondering where my posts have been the past couple of months? Well if you did not know the site has been updated and moved over to Weebly! Make sure to bookmark your top source for all inside information on Major League Ultimate at!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

2015 Mid-Season Awards

Just like that we are halfway through the third season in the MLU. In the Eastern Conference, it is looking like we will not have the Boston-D.C. rivalry in the Eastern Conference Championship. For the first time ever, Philadelphia sits atop the East and may be on track to runaway with the conference. It only took the team that founded the entire MLU three years to start running things, but they could still be in the AUDL so it could be worse.  The West meanwhile is replicating what the East has done the previous two years. Portland, who looked to be on track for an undefeated regular season until last week's loss to the Dogfish, are on track to claim the top seed once again. The remaining teams have all come around and appear to be on a level ground battling for the final postseason spot.

Best Game:
Week 5:
Philadelphia d. Boston 22-21 2OT

Just like last season, it was a tough pick to decide the top game in the Eastern Conference. Boston has been involved in two double overtime games and five other games that were decided by three points or less. This game was one of the cleaner ones in the East, that has been plagued with gusty winds throughout the season. In fact, there was not a break until the sixth point of the game when Boston dropped a pull. Twice in this game the Whitecaps negated a four point deficit that the Spinners had built, including the final four points of regulation. Throughout the entire game there were layout bids, massive skies, and 'where did he come from?' moments that would lead to the league's second double overtime game of the year.

Week 6:
San Francisco Dogfish d. Portland Stags 18-17

The West has had quite a few games that resulted in blowouts this year but this one was probably the most entertaining. Portland came into this game winners of five straight and were looking to run away with the conference. San Francisco on the other hand was in the bottom of the conference and needed a win to stay alive. Bottom line this game had everything you wanted (and some things you do not); breaks, layout blocks, clean offense, fouls, drops, upside-down throws, and unforced errors. Oh and I missed the best part where the Dogfish scored the final three points to get the biggest upset in 2015.

Best-Single Game Performance:
Jibran Mieser (New York Rumble) Week 2

Disappointed that Jibran broke his foot and is out for the remainder of the season because he has been one of the top players to watch the first half. In Week 2 he scored 2 goals and recorded an incredible 6 blocks against the Boston Whitecaps. He may not be the best player in the league but he surely is one of the most entertaining. Six blocks in a single game, especially against the Boston offense, that is unheard of in the MLU. 

Morgan Hibbert (Vancouver Nighthawks) Week 5

In a single game, the workhorse Hibbert recorded 3 goals, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. Now it came in a loss, a blowout loss against the Rainmakers, but this game showed how Hibbert is willing this team this season. If he did not have the performance that he did, the largest deficit in the league of eight points would have been much larger. At the mid point in this season the 2014 Western Conference Champs are sitting in the basement of the West, almost out of playoff contention. Maybe Hibbert should have received more credit than he already earned last year.

Jeff Graham (Boston Whitecaps) 36 points, 18 goals, 18 assists, 156/172 throws, 6 D's

Every time you watch Boston play, Jeff Graham is on the field doing something. There is no question in the East the amount of impact Graham has had on this team and the East this season. Honestly he could have won the single game performance award as well for his 11 point game in Week 1. He is the only player in the league to score both a goal and throw an assist in every game this season while completing over 90% of his passes. Boston may not make the playoffs this season but Graham looks to be running away with this title in the East.  

Cody Bjorklund (Portland Stags) 29 points, 8 goals, 21 assists, 104/114 throws, 4 D's

Impressive stat line for Cody Bjorklund, but would you believe me if I told you he did all with a broken hand? Well he has and each week it appears that he is getting healthier and healthier. This past weekend he record nine total points along with two blocks. Now he has more competition in the West for this title, even among his teammates, but if you consider what he has done with a broken hand he will most likely win. However if Portland starts slipping then it will open up the door for other West stars.

Rookie of the Year:
Billy Sickles (Philadelphia Spinners)

Second year in a row that this award I have given to a Spinner, but after his performance thus far I do not have much of an option. As a rookie player in the MLU he is playing on Philadelphia as seasoned veteran. So far in five games in 2015 (half the league has played six) he has recorded 8 goals, 18 assists, and 3 blocks with a 96.7% throw percentage tied for the second highest in the league with players that have thrown 100+ throws. If he can continue to excel for the remainder of the season, he will most likely move into the MVP conversation. 

Gabe Saunkeah (San Francisco Dogfish)

With Evan Boucher now gone from San Francisco, the Dogfish could have been in real trouble for the remainder of the season. However Gabe Saunkeah has come onto the scene for San Fran with 9 goals, 11 assists, and 3 blocks on the season. He has had good performances all year long, but in the first official game with Boucher not on the team he stepped up when the Dogfish needed him most. Saunkeah can even go both ways for his team, playing both offensive and defensive points which will be pivotal if they are going to make a playoff push. 

Best Coach:
Billy Maroon (Philadelphia Spinners)

Its not like the Whitecaps or the Current got worse as a team, the Spinners simply just got better, a lot better. A lot of the credit should go to Billy Maroon. Over the past three seasons Maroon has developed his players to fit his system and many have become some of the league's top players. They are not the superstar players like DC and Boston have, but they are a complete team similar to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA. Who do we attribute to much of their success? Their head coach. Philadelphia is on track to not only making the MLU Playoffs but also claiming the number one seed in the conference. 

Steve Gussin (Seattle Rainmakers)

It is never easy to have a successful season when half of your roster goes and leaves the franchise. Just look at the Vancouver Nighthawks and their 1-4 record on the season thus far. Gussin has taken this Rainmakers team, with plenty of pieces around him and is starting to put things together. It got off to a slow start for this team but they are growing and looking more impressive with each passing week. At this moment the team sits at second in the West with a huge matchup against the Stags looming but with three home games remaining, things look to be working their way.

Honorable Mentions:
Best Game:
Week 1: Philadelphia Spinners d. Boston Whitecaps 22-20
Week 1: Washington DC Current d. Boston Whitecaps 19-18 2OT

Best-Single Game Performance:
Jeff Graham (Boston Whitecaps): Week 1: 4 goals, 7 assists
Alan Kolick (DC Current): Week 1: 8 assists
Cody Bjorklund (Portland Stags): Week 5: 2 goals, 7 assists, 1 block
Khalif El-Salaam (Seattle Rainmakers): Week 5: 4 goals, 3 assists, 1 block

Peter Prial (DC Current): 28 points, 18 goals, 10 assists, 6 blocks, 91/111 throws
Billy Sickles (Philadelphia Spinners): 26 points, 8 goals, 18 assists, 3 blocks, 117/121 throws
Timmy Perston (Portland Stags) 29 points, 21 goals, 8 assists, 2 blocks, 46/49 throws
Mark Burton (Seattle Rainmakers) 29 points, 13 goals, 16 assists, 2 blocks, 88/96 throws

Rookie of the Year:
Chirs Kocher (New York Rumble): 22 points, 7 goals, 15 assists, 6 blocks, 103/116 throws

Playoff Favorites:
We have not been in this situation before, neither the Current or the Whitecaps are running away with the conference. Philadelphia on the other hand has taken care of business with the two former champions. They have done what no other team has done before: they beat both DC and Boston on the road in the same season. The Spinners also have three home games remaining, which everyone knows bodes well for them. I have it coming down to point differential with a three way tie between Philadelphia, Boston, and D.C. The Whitecaps already have an advantage in this category and are playing the Rumble twice more. The Spinners are in the same situation but the Current will have the chance to claw back with two games in Philly.

My Picks:
#1 Seed: Boston Whitecaps
#2 Seed: Philadelphia Spinners

The West looks to be in a cleaner situation. At this point, unless Portland loses every game from here on out, they will be the top seed. Then after that, second place will be entirely up for grabs between the remaining teams. Seattle and Vancouver both have three home games remaining on their schedule, and San Francisco only has only one. Barring a miracle, and everything going their way, the Dogfish are not going to make the postseason leaving the Rainmakers and the Nighthawks battling for the second seed for the third season in a row. I believe the two game deficit will be too much for the Nighthawks to overcome and Seattle will be heading to Portland for the Western Conference Championship.

My Picks:
#1 Seed: Portland Stags
#2 Seed: Seattle Rainmakers

Monday, May 25, 2015

Huge Upsets by Spinners and Dogfish Jumble Rankings

Two huge upsets this weekend are obviously the main story-line for this week. Philadelphia knocked of D.C for the first time that the Current have called Cardinal Stadium home. For Spinners fans many may not consider it an upset but given home teams records in the MLU this season, especially D.C.'s, this is most in fact an upset. Then in the West the Dogfish kept their postseason dreams alive defeating the previously undefeated Stags. Maybe this could be a turnaround that San Francisco is so desperately searching for. Do not worry though, the other games are covered as well with the Rainmakers thwarting the Nighthawks in Vancouver that displays a Seattle team everyone expected coming into this season. In New York there was another close one as the Whitecaps found themselves victorious over the Rumble but it honestly should have been more handily.

1. Philadelphia Spinners: 4-1

Last Week: 3     Change: +2

Philadelphia Spinners
Defeated DC Current 19-18

Weekend Superstar: Billy Sickles (3 goals, 3 assists)

Review: Impressive win by the Spinners once again over a Kolick-less D.C. team. Nevertheless D.C. still looked as their usual self and Philadelphia just beat them with consistency. This is their second road victory which leads the East (Boston has one) and also puts the team in a prime spot to go to the playoffs. If Philly were to win all three of their remaining home games they would clinch the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference Championship, no matter what happens in other matches.

2. Portland Stags: 5-1

Last Week: 1     Change: -1

Lost to San Francisco Dogfish 17-18

Weekend Superstar: Cody Bjorklund (2 goals, 7 assists, 1 block)

Review: Well you cannot win them all unless you are the 2013 Boston Whitecaps. Each time a West Coast team heads to San Francisco for a game it is going to be a tough match because of travel. Up until the final quarter of play Portland looked like they were going to head home victorious again. However a ferocious 5-2 rally by the Dogfish in the final ten minutes gave the Stags their first loss of 2015. This ends the longest active winning streak in the MLU with five wins and ties them for third in league history with the Dogfish and Nighthawks.

3. DC Current: 3-3 

Last Week: 2     Change: -1

Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 18-19

Weekend Superstar: Delrico Johnson (1 Callahan, 3 blocks)

Review: First home loss for the Current since 2013 as they played without Alan Kolick. Nothing I believe they should be ashamed of however as the game was extremely competitive and just resulted in the Spinners scoring the final point. I would not say D.C. is in trouble at this point but with only one home game remaining, the team has a long uphill climb. With the loss this team earned another top play of the season with Delrico Johnson's Callahan in the 3rd quarter.

4. Seattle Rainmakers: 3-2

Last Week: 5     Change: +1

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 26-18

Weekend Superstar: Khalif El-Salaam (4 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: Seattle came to play this weekend, with a full roster similar to 2014. From top to bottom players lit up the stat sheet and is looking to be the Seattle team we have been looking for. What's most impressive about this victory is how their offense obliterated the Vancouver D-line, and that the defense generated 14 blocks.

5. Boston Whitecaps: 3-3

Last Week: 4     Change: -1

Defeated New York Rumble 14-12

Weekend Superstar: Jeff Graham (1 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: Normally in these rankings a win will not cause a team to fall in the rankings but this a rare exception. Even with extremely windy conditions it is tough to give the Whitecaps the benefit of a doubt on this one. Both teams struggled in the entire match and could not handle the weather conditions and started with only 1 point in the first quarter. I feel like in windy conditions a pro team should understand to not continuously throw hucks downfield just to result in a turnover.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-4

Last Week: 6     Change: +0

Lost to Seattle Rainmakers 18-26

Weekend Superstar: Morgan Hibbert (3 goals, 4 assists, 3 blocks)

Review: Vancouver fell behind early this week and never was able to comeback against a determined Rainmakers team. In the first half they were doubled up 16-8 and did all they could to match Seattle the rest of the way. Execution errors lead to 27 turnover by the Nighthawks and for them the veterans were the ones making the mistakes. The O-line is going to need to find their flow once again to match the defense that the team brings every single week.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-4

Last Week: 8     Change: +1

Defeated Portland Stags 18-17

Weekend Superstar: Gabe Saunkeah (2 goals, 5 assists, 3 blocks)

Review: Maybe I was wrong about my previous comment regarding Evan Boucher, because now the team is 1-0 with him officially released from the team. But I rather talk about how they knocked off the top team in the MLU, the Portland Stags. The Dogfish ended the game with a 6-2 with their final two points being breaks against the most consistent team in the league. Saunkeah is more than willing to become the leader on this team, as they have now jumped back into the playoff hunt.

8. New York Rumble: 1-4

Last Week: 7     Change: -1

New York Rumble
Lost to Boston Whitecaps 12-14

Weekend Superstar: Chris Kocher (4 assists, 2 blocks)

Review: This was a game that the Rumble needed badly, especially with them being at home. The brisk wind did not help them but all the momentum this team had was just lost. In the first quarter New York failed to score a single point but still remained competitive allowing their opponents to score only one. On the bright side there was another Callahan this weekend this one by Chris Coofer which allowed New York to eliminate the Whitecaps' lead

Well after this week Philly is clearly in the drivers seat for #1 seed in the East and they will host the Rumble in the week's first matchup on Saturday night. If New York plans on turning their season around this will be the perfect time to do so with the rest of the East so wide-open. The only other match will be Portland traveling to Seattle in what setting up to be a competitive game. Seattle has the chance to prove that they are continuing to rise while Portland hopes to get back to their winning ways. Everyone else is on a bye as last year's respective conference champions, the Current and Nighthawks hope to regroup, and the 2013 conference champions hope to build on their recent victories.

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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

MLU Playoff Picture Clears Up, as the Spinners Continue to Rise

Everyone was back in action this week with teams beginning to separate themselves as we now have a clear view of the playoff favorites. Portland survived a scare from the Nighthawks who showed that despite a roster overhaul, can still compete with the top squad in the league. Falling behind, the Dogfish see what happens without Evan Boucher as the Rainmakers hold a slight edge for second place in the conference. Meanwhile on the East coast, the Current win but the Rumble show that their win last weekend was not a fluke. This is all while the Spinners got a huge victory in Boston in double overtime that proves the team is here to stay, moving the power structure in their favor.

1. Portland Stags: 5-0

Last Week: 1     Change: +0

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 19-16

Weekend Superstar: Timmy Perston (4 goals, 2 assists, 1 block)

Review: This Stags team looks good, really good. It has taken three years but the franchise has developed into one of the league's top teams. An old Stags team would have not responded from a Nighthawks comeback, but in the fourth quarter the Stags put them away by only allowing their opponents to score one goal. A minor setback to their plans to run the table could be the injury to starter Chris Hancock who may not return for the remainder of the season.

2. DC Current: 3-2 

Last Week: 3     Change: +1

Defeated New York Rumble 21-17

Weekend Superstar: Jeff Wodatch (5 goals, 4 assists)

Review: The Current got back to their winning ways over the weekend, getting a game back from the Rumble. While the team was matched point for point in the first half, DC limited their turns and decreased the amount of lofty play to put New York away. This was without one of the team's best players, Markham Shofner, who did not play over the weekend.

3. Philadelphia Spinners: 3-1

Last Week: 4     Change: +1

Philadelphia Spinners
Defeated Boston Whitecaps 22-21 2OT

Weekend Superstar: Billy Sickles (2 goals, 7 assists)

Review: If you did not believe in the Spinners before this game, they made you a believer. If you want a look at this new Philadelphia team just watch the double overtime time point where the Spinners O-line worked it cleanly right up the field for a score. The trio of handlers: Nick Hirannet, Billy Sickles, and Marshall Ward have a command of their offensive line and will have a chance to surpass the trio in DC (Kolick, Shofner, and Oung) this upcoming week.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 2-3

Last Week: 2     Change: -2

Lost to Philadelphia 21-22 2OT

Weekend Superstar: Jeff Graham (3 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: The Whitecaps are only halfway through 2015 and have already lost two heartbreaking games in double overtime. Boston could easily be 4-1 at this point in the season and running away in the East. But instead they have lost three games by a combined four points. Of all the teams in the East, they appear to be the most consistent. They never have an "off game" but from this point forward they have to close out the tight games.

5. Seattle Rainmakers: 2-2

Last Week: 5     Change: +0

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 20-14

Weekend Superstar: Evan Klein (5 goals, 1 assist, 1 block)

Review: Great performance by the Rainmakers down in San Francisco in what was a must win game for Seattle. In this game all the pieces came together as Khalif El-Salaam made his season debut, Ben Beehner broke out for three goals, and rookie Evan Klein scored four break points waking up the team's defense that had been the weak spot on the team all year.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-3

Last Week: 6     Change: +0

Lost to Portland Stags 16-19

Weekend Superstar: Brendan Wong (5 goals, 2 assists)

Review: They gave Portland everything they got but still proved not to be enough. Heading into the fourth tied at 15 the Stag defense only allowed the Nighthawks to score once in the final quarter. This was rather unfortunate for what was a fantastic game for Vancouver that saw Brendan Wong's best game of the year statistically. However this match showed us that Vancouver can return to championship form, and will have the chance to prove that playing Seattle in their next two games.

7. New York Rumble: 1-3

Last Week: 7     Change: +0

New York Rumble
Lost to DC Current 17-21

Weekend Superstar: Chris Kocher (2 goals, 4 assists)

Review: Despite the loss to DC, the Rumble showed that last week's victory was not a fluke. For a majority of the matchup New York gave DC all the team could handle. While it looks like the team could look to give other teams trouble for the remainder of the season, New York's playoff hopes took a major setback with the season ending injury to Jibran Mieser. Meanwhile rookie Chris Kocher is becoming an integral part to the team's offense with Chris Mazur at the point.

8. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-4

Last Week: 8     Change: +0

Lost to Seattle Rainmakers 14-20

Weekend Superstar: James Yeager (3 assists, 1 block)

Review: Could Evan Boucher have been the problem in San Francisco? Probably not, he accounted for a massive chunk of the offense success for the Dogfish all season. This past game showed what a Boucher-less San Francisco team (who has played with the team since it's inception) will look like. The offense looked misguided at times and relied on rookie Gabe Saunkeah to anchor the team. The defense however look much improved compared to last week, leading the Rainmakers to turn the disc over 24 times.

Once again a full weekend of MLU action is upcoming with four games being played. It kicks off with a battle for first place on the East coast as the Spinners travel to DC hoping to get their first victory there since Week 1 of the inaugural season. At the same time on the West coast, Seattle and Vancouver will face off yet again with both squads now in mid season form. On Sunday, Boston will head to New York in what has become a must win game for the Rumble if they have any playoff intentions at the end of the year. It will be the same case for the Dogfish as they have a tall task in knocking off the undefeated Stags to keep their season alive.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Streak vs. The Streak

Over the past weekend the longest active streak in the MLU came to an end as the Boston Whitecaps defeated the DC Current. It was rather fitting that it was the Whitecaps who snapped the streak, as it was DC who snapped their's a season ago. 

This has just become the latest chapter in the rivalry that has developed between these two franchises. In the league's now third year, the Whitecaps have won six out of the ten games between the two squads;  the Current have won three out of the four games decided by a single point; and in total Boston has outscored the Current 196- 170 (26 goals). Enough about this rivalry, because that will eventually be covered 20 years from now by an ESPN 30 for 30, but lets talk about their incredible winning streaks. 

These two teams hold the longest two streak's in the MLU's short history of 13 games by the Whitecaps and of 11 games by the Current. In both of these streak's each team went on to win the Eastern Conference Championship as the #1 seed and then advance and win the league title. 

3 Year Record: 19-8

Streak: 13 Games

Duration: 364 Days

Out Scored Opponents: 284-204 (+80)

Average Goals Scored: 21.85 points

Average Goals Against: 15.69 points

Average Margin of Victory: 6.15 points

Who They Beat:
New York Rumble (5 games): 106-74 (+32)
DC Current (4 games): 90-66 (+24)
Philadelphia Spinners (3 games): 68-49 (+19)
San Francisco Dogfish (1 game): 20-15 (+5)

3 Year Record: 17-10

Streak: 11 Games

Duration: 377 Days

Out Scored Opponents: 243-189 (+54)

Average Goals Scored: 22.09 points

Average Goals Against: 17.18 points

Average Margin of Victory: 4.91 points

Who They Beat: 
Philadelphia Spinners (4 games): 86-73 (+13)
New York Rumble (3 games): 76-48 (+28)
Boston Whitecaps (3 games): 58-51 (+7)
Vancouver Nighthawks (1 game): 23-17 (+6)

Currently the Portland Stags now hold the longest active winning streak in the league, winning the first four games of the season. Could they be that one dominant team that the league sees every season? Only time will tell but as the latest Power Rankings have them as the top dog.

Other Notable MLU Winning Streaks (As of 5/13/2015):
Vancouver Nighthawks: 5 games (end-2014)
San Francisco Dogfish: 5 games (mid-2013)
Portland Stags: 4 games (longest active)
Portland Stags: 4 games (mid-2014)
Seattle Rainmakers: 4 games (mid-2013)
*The Philadelphia Spinners and New York Rumble have never won more than 2 games in a row*

Monday, May 11, 2015

Stags Become the League's Top Dog, as the Current Drop Two Games

For the first time in almost a year, the DC Current are not on top of Major League Ultimate. The winning streak ended at 11 games, making it the second highest streak in the MLU's three year history. Also for the first time in the league's history neither the DC Current or the Boston Whitecaps are atop the Eastern Conference, it is the founders of them all - the Spinners! This of course happened the Spinners hit their bye week. Another interesting fact, in every Eastern Conference match-up the home team has come away the victor. On the West coast there was only one game where the Stags further separated themselves from the rest of the pack with a win over the Dogfish.

1. Portland Stags: 4-0

Last Week: 2     Change: +1

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 23-17

Weekend Superstar: Timmy Perston (6 goals, 1 block)

Review: This week the Stags proved why I should have moved them up to the top spot last week. Portland manhandled the Dogfish at home, committing only 11 turnovers and controlling the game. There was going to be no doubt who came on top of this matchup as the Stags are looking to runaway with the West, similarly to Boston and DC in the East the previous two seasons. On top of that, every Stags player was able to see action this week, with the lowest amount of points played being five by Dan Shaw.

2. Boston Whitecaps: 2-2

Last Week: 4     Change: +2

Defeated DC Current 21-16

Weekend Superstar: Jeff Graham (5 goals, 1 assist)

Review: Taking advantage of their home turf, Boston was able to enact revenge on the Current for their Week 1 2OT loss. This win puts their three year record at home an MLU best at 12-1. The Whitecaps were able to come together as a team, allowing coach Sam Rosenthal to use his entire roster. The defensive unit looked like the dominant one from 2013, breaking the superstar offense of DC eight times throughout the match.

3. DC Current: 2-2 

Last Week: 1     Change: -2

Lost to Boston Whitecaps 16-21, lost to New York Rumble 13-16

Weekend Superstar: Peter Prial (6 goals, 2 assists, 4 blocks)

Review: Many knew it was going to be tough for the Current to survive this weekend unscathed but few expected them to go 0-2. Scheduling wise it was not the worst time for it to happen, maybe gives the team a wake up call early on in the season. Losing both games leaves the East wide open for anyone's taking. And Mr. Undefeated (Peter Prial) lost not only his first game but his second as well in the span of two days.

4. Philadelphia Spinners: 2-1

Last Week: 3     Change: -1

Philadelphia Spinners

Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: Awkward weekend for the Spinners, the fall down in the rankings but sit atop the Eastern Conference all by themselves. This is the first time in league history that the Spinners have accomplished this mark. They now hit a key part in the schedule with two road games in a row, first against Boston and then against DC, where the team now has to prove they belong at the top.

5. Seattle Rainmakers: 1-2

Last Week: 5     Change: +0


Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: Alright, this team has had three games and a bye to figure out the pieces they have lost in the offseason. From here on out there is no more excuses in that department as far as the Rainmakers are concerned. I know I mention it every week, but also Khalif El-Salaam has yet to play this year.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-2

Last Week: 6     Change: +0


Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: These guys are in the same boat as the Rainmakers. No more excuses for this team, what you have is what you are stuck with. The Nighthawks are also in a different boat as the Rainmakers because they have Morgan Hibbert, Brendan Wong, and Kirk Savage leading the way who already knows what it takes to go to the MLU Championship.

7. New York Rumble: 1-2

Last Week: 8     Change: +1

New York Rumble
Defeated DC Current 16-13

Weekend Superstar: Chris Kocher (2 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: In what was the team's best performance of the year, the Rumble defeated the powerful DC Current to earn the team's first victory. Hopefully this is what a full roster does to New York and what we can expect in future games. However, do not jump on the bandwagon just yet, it is only one win but it does give them the opportunity to compete for the team's first postseason appearance.

8. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-3

Last Week: 7     Change: -1

Lost to Portland Stags 17-23

Weekend Superstar: Gabe Saunkeah (3 goals, 2 assists)

Review: Considering the obstacles had to overcome, the Dogfish made it respectable with the Stags this weekend. The team was missing defensive starters David Abram and James Yeager, along with one of the top offensive handlers, Matt Kissman. Only having three recorded blocks does not bode for for the team either, it is near impossible to have a ineffective defense and win a professional game.

The league will return to full-field action, with no teams on a bye. Three home teams will be able to avenge an earlier loss in the season. The Current will get a rematch against the Rumble, while Boston has the chance to win their third game in a row hosting Philadelphia. In the West, Portland will host the rematch of the Western Conference Championship with the Nighthawks coming to town for the first time this season. The other game will be a battle to stay to stay out of the basement of the conference. Bottom line at the end of this weekend we will know who will be the favorites 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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rainmakers Claim First Victory of 2015, Stags Reach 3-0, and Philadelphia gets a Huge Comeback Win

Not much change in the rankings this past week as the Rainmakers surpassed the Nighthawks with their first victory on the season. The Nighthawks fall because of their loss to the Stags on their home turf as the Stags become the first team in the league to advance to 3-0. The Current and the Whitecaps had a bye this past week, leaving the lone game being between the Spinners and the Rumble. New York looked to be on their way to their first victory on the season but a 7-1 run put the Spinners on top for good.

1. DC Current: 2-0 

Last Week: 1     Change: +0


Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: The perfect week for a bye as some members of the team traveled to Virginia Beach for Beach Nationals this past weekend. The Current however will have their hands full as they prepare this week for their toughest stretch in the season with a two game weekend in Boston and New York. If DC can get past this upcoming weekend unscathed, they might have the chance to run the table. However this star-studded team got even better with the addition of Nicky Spiva.

2. Portland Stags: 3-0

Last Week: 2     Change: +0

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 24-20

Weekend Superstar: Peter Woodside (3 goals, 4 blocks)

Review: Each week the Stags prove to me more and more that they can contend with DC for the top spot in the rankings. This time they defeated the Nighthawks in a rematch of last year's Western Conference Championship. Out of the 24 Stags who played in this game, 20 players recorded a point as the balance of the roster paid dividends. The team held their own the entire game and was able to consistently score on one of the league's best defensive units.

3. Philadelphia Spinners: 2-1

Last Week: 3     Change: +0

Philadelphia Spinners
Defeated New York Rumble 21-16

Weekend Superstar: Matt Glazer (6 goals, 1 assist)

Review: Amazing comeback for the Spinners over the Rumble this past weekend. Trailing for a majority of the first half, Philadelphia used a 7-1 run during the third quarter to take control of the match. Similar to the Stags, the Spinners were able to use the depth of their roster to come away with victory, 21/25 players scored a point. David Baer orchestrated the defensive line in this come from behind victory recording six assists. The team will enjoy the week off in Week 4 for their scheduled bye.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 1-2

Last Week: 4     Change: +0


Weekend Superstar: N/A

Review: The Whitecaps had their first bye of the 2015 season this past weekend coming off their first victory of the year. This comes at a perfect time for Boston as they had the opportunity to heal some of the nagging injuries that have hindered the team. They have been preparing for a rematch against their rivals coming all the way from DC this week. A win this weekend will give them the perfect chance to climb back up in the Eastern Conference Standings.

5. Seattle Rainmakers: 1-2

Last Week: 6     Change: +1

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish 20-17

Weekend Superstar: Mark Burton (4 goals, 2 assists)

Review: The Rainmakers came into their game against the Dogfish on a mission and scored six of the game's first seven points. San Fran got right back into it in the second but the Rainmakers never allowed the Dogfish to take the lead and went on to claim their first victory. With a small roster, still missing their superstar in El-Salaam, new play makers made their presence known especially Matt Heeley's ESPN Top Play.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-2

Last Week: 5     Change: -1

Lost to Portland Stags 20-24

Weekend Superstar: Morgan Hibbert (3 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: At the end of the year Vancouver is going to wish they had this one back. This game was one that the Nighthawks needed if they were to surpass Portland for the top spot in the conference by the end of the year. The Nighthawks kept this game competitive throughout the game but the Stags proved to be the superior team on the field. Missing a main handlers, Johnathan Hayduk, there was heavy reliance on Kirk Savage. Hibbert had his best performance on the year as he attempts to lead the new Vancouver defense.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-2

Last Week: 7     Change: +0

Lost to Seattle Rainmakers 17-20

Weekend Superstar: Evan Boucher (5 goals, 4 assists)

Review: After opening the year with an encouraging victory over the Western Conference Champs, the Dogfish have fallen back to the bottom of the conference. Luckily for them that still means that they are tied for second. The team trailed for the entire match failing into a huge deficit early on. Despite the heroic efforts of Evan Boucher, who recorded nine points on the day, 24 turnovers by the Dogfish was too much to overcome. Looking on the bright side, rookie Gabe Saunkeah tallied two goals, three assists and went 27 for 27 on his throws.

8. New York Rumble: 0-2

Last Week: 8     Change: +0

New York Rumble
Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 16-21

Weekend Superstar: Michael Hennessy (3 goals, 3 assists, 2 blocks)

Review: A heartbreaking loss to the Spinners after leading the entire first half of the game. The Rumble's offense struggled to get going in the third quarter and were outscored 1-7. It made matters worse when the Rumble could not get proper substitutions into the matchup, being limited to only 19 players. This game proved that the top line of the Rumble can go toe to toe with anyone in the league but it is the bottom half of the roster that is their weakest.

Once again there will only be three games this weekend but the Current will be playing in two of them. They first travel to their first road game on the year to Boston, the only place that DC lost in 2014, and then head back down south to play the Rumble in the team's home opener. On the west coast, the conference leading Stags will host San Francisco in what will be a rematch of Portland's Week 2 win 15-12. Meanwhile Philadelphia, Seattle, and Vancouver will take their first bye of the season.

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

DC and Portland Take Early Conference Leads as Vancouver Earns Season's First Win

After a week with a massive shakeup in the rankings, nothing changed into this week. Well, that is rankings-wise at least. We learned a lot about each individual team this week with results that many could have predicted beforehand. The Current and Stags both have early leads at point, being the only squads with undefeated records but week in and week out that can easily change. Vancouver and Seattle faced off in the annual "Border Bid" in a battle between the two most inexperienced teams in the league. This all while Boston got their first win of the season after going 0-2 for the first time in franchise history.

1. DC Current: 2-0 

Last Week: 1     Change: +0

Defeated Philadelphia Spinners 18-15

Weekend Superstar: Lloyd Blake (4 goals, 2 assists)

Review: A lot cleaner game for the Current this past weekend as they defeated the Spinners. It may not seem like it now but it was a key victory in their pursuit for the Eastern Conference title. Lloyd Blake who moved from the D-line to the O-line to fill in the absence of Sean Keagan, had a coming out game this past week. His four goals led the team which is starting to look like the team they were at the end of last year. The team now has a winning streak that spans over a year.

2. Portland Stags: 2-0

Last Week: 2     Change: +0

Defeated San Francisco Dogfish  15-12

Weekend Superstar: Peter Woodside (5 goals, 1 assist)

Review: Traveling down to San Fran is going to be no easy task for any team this season. However this time the Stags put this one away after a threat from the Dogfish. The normal stars for Portland continued to get involved, this time the team was lead by Timmy Perston and Peter Woodside. There are still some issues, especially being broken three times in a row in the third quarter that brought the game within one. For now the team holds the top spot in the Western Conference as they will have a rematch of the West Championship next week.

3. Philadelphia Spinners: 1-1

Last Week: 3     Change: +0

Philadelphia Spinners
Lost to DC Current 15-18

Weekend Superstar: Billy Sickles (1 goal, 4 assists, 2 blocks)

Review: The Spinners dropped a close one in DC this past weekend. Despite the numerous attempts by the Current to run away with the game, Philadelphia stayed within striking distance. The difference maker in the game: the weather. The rain, while still affecting the Current, disrupted the Spinners O-line. It will be interesting to see how the team responds when they host DC in Philly and if they can replicate the positives at home.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 1-2

Last Week: 4     Change: +0

Defeated New York Rumble 20-13

Weekend Superstar: Tyler Chan (4 goals, 1 assist)

Review: The Whitecaps got their first win of the 2015 season by controlling the Rumble at home this past weekend. The team got past their 0-2 start by breaking the Rumble for the first three points of the game. From there the Whitecaps "rode the wave" and put away New York. Tyler Chan played in hist first ever professional ultimate game and made his presence known. Chan may be the perfect player to replace the absence of Danny Clark and return Boston to the top of the East. Don't believe me? Just check out his Callahan video

5. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-1

Last Week: 5     Change: +0

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 22-20

Weekend Superstar: Kirk Savage (3 goals, 5 assists, 1 block)

Review: Decisive win on the road for the Nighthawks in the annual Border Bid game. The final score was closer than the play on the field. The top stars for Vancouver in Aaron Loach, Brendan Wong, Charles Eyrich, Jordan Tessarolo, and Kirk Savage lead the way, recording 16 goals and 13 assists in the game. Morgan Hibbert had himself a quiet outing with only an assist and two blocks but was forced to leave the game due to injury. The defense stepped up with higher intensity and forced turnovers like they did last year.

6. Seattle Rainmakers: 0-2

Last Week: 6     Change: +0

Lost to Vancouver Nighthawks 20-22

Weekend Superstar: Mark Burton (3 goals, 6 assists, 1 block)

Review: Even with an MLU-high on the week of 9 points, Mark Burton could not will the Rainmakers to a victory. The offense looked much improved, aided by the return of Daniel Trytiak, and converted on a majority of their O points. Their defense forced turnovers, another issue from the previous week, but were unable to convert those turns into points.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-1

Last Week: 7     Change: +0

Lost to Portland Stags 12-15

Weekend Superstar: Andrew Goldstein (1 goal, 2 assists, 2 blocks)

Review: Do not let this loss discourage Dogfish fans. If you take out the fourth quarter of play, it is only a one point deficit for San Fran. Nevertheless a loss is a loss, but the team is starting to find out who they really are and what parts go where. Gabe Saunkeah and Matt Kissmann are getting comfortable together as the main offensive handlers allowing Drew Kim, David Abram, and others fill into their natural positions.

8. New York Rumble: 0-1

Last Week: 8     Change: +0

New York Rumble
Lost to Boston Whitecaps 13-20

Weekend Superstar: Jibran Mieser (2 goals, 6 blocks)

Review: If Jibran Mieser is still available in your fantasy league, he will not be for this upcoming weekend. It however was not just Mieser who had a great weekend for the Rumble, Chris Mazur, John Wodatch, and Ben Faust kept the team as close as they could to the Whitecaps but unforced errors increased the deficit. There should not be much to worry about though if you are New York, after all this was your first game and Boston's third

This upcoming week, the 2013 and 2014 champs in the Boston Whitecaps and the DC Current will have their only bye of the season before facing off in Boston in week four. The Rumble will attempt to get their first win on the year traveling to Philadelphia, as the Spinners are hoping to return to form. On the West coast the Dogfish travel to Seattle for a rematch of the 2013 Western Conference Championship as the Rainmakers will be welcoming Kaliff El-Salaam for his first game on the year. Meanwhile the Stags will head to Vancouver for a rematch of the 2014 West Championship.

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Portland Asserts Their Dominance, While Philadelphia and San Francisco Grab Key Wins.

Quite a bit of a shakeup after the first week of competition in the MLU. A lot of teams had to shake off the rust that might have formed during the offseason but it still made for three stellar matchups and a blowout win. After a week of play it appears the East might be more up for grabs than everyone else thought. Even with the Whitecaps losing two games, they had one of the top performances of the week considering what they were faced with. In the West, Portland showed that last season was no fluke and dominated Seattle, while the Dogfish got a win that will go a long way for the upcoming season.

1. DC Current: 1-0 

Last Week: 1     Change: +0

Defeated Boston Whitecaps 19-18 in 2OT

Weekend Superstar: Alan Kolick (0 goals, 8 assists)

Review: Still had to workout all the kinks in Week 1 but bottom line they got the victory. It was an exciting matchup between the Current and the Whitecaps this week, which we are now starting to come to expect when these two teams face off. Lets face it though, if Ben Fleming had not come through in the clutch for DC, they might not be sitting in the top spot for the 10 consecutive time.

2. Portland Stags: 1-0

Last Week: 2     Change: +0

Defeated Seattle Rainmakers 21-12

Weekend Superstar: Cody Bjorklund (1 goal, 4 assists)

Review: A great start to the season for the Stags who looked better than what I gave them credit for. Portland dominated Seattle on Saturday (they were missing El-Salaam) and showed why they should be the favorites in the West. Everyone for Portland was involved and played "smart ultimate", hopefully the team can stay healthy and build off this win. Oh and here's a shout-out to Cody Bjorklund for not only playing but nabbing four assists in the process with a cast on his throwing arm!

3. Philadelphia Spinners: 1-0

Last Week: 6     Change: +3

Philadelphia Spinners
Defeated Boston Whitecaps 22-20

Superstars: Jake Rainwater (4 goals, 4 assists)

Review: As I said in my preseason rankings, this is probably the best opening day roster that the Spinners have ever assembled. It showed on Friday as they stepped up to beat the Whitecaps for the third time in a row. The difference in this one was that the team just came out and straight out beat them. No wind, no luck, just good strong ultimate. This may be the year that the Spinners finally break through. That Jake Rainwater guy also went 40 for 40 in throws while the team only turned it over 10 times.

4. Boston Whitecaps: 0-2

Last Week: 4     Change: +0

Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 20-22, lost to DC Current 18-19 2OT

Superstars: Jeff Graham in two games (7 goals, 9 assists)

Review: Despite losing the first two games of the season,  there are a lot of positives for the Whitecaps. An incredible 13 players that were listed as inactive this week, including their top handler Josh Markette. It was rather impressive how well the team did play without a good chunk of their roster. Combined both games were lost by a combined three points and with a healthy roster it will not be that hard to get three points back. However losing the loss of Will Neff, Jon Hirschberger and Rusty Ingold-Smith for the season is a cause for concern.

5. Vancouver Nighthawks: 0-1

Last Week: 5     Change: +0

Lost to San Francisco Dogfish 14-15

Superstars: Brendan Wong (3 goals, 1 assist, 2 blocks)

Review: The loss of players to the AUDL showed in the opening week for the Nighthawks. While the team is being led by some of the best in the business, having 20 rookies is a huge obstacle to face. In this game there were a lot of uncharacteristic hucks by Vancouver, just the team was unable to come down with them. It will take a while for Vancouver to return to championship form, but never count them out in any matchup.

6. Seattle Rainmakers: 0-1

Last Week: 3     Change: -3

Lost to Portland Stags 12-21

Superstars: Mark Burton (3 goals, 2 assists)

Review:  The Rainmakers learned the hard way that it is tough to win without two of your star players (El-Salaam and Trytiak). The entire team was outworked and looked like an inexperienced team. El-Salaam should return next week and hopefully Trytiak's injury is not that severe otherwise this will not be the lowest Seattle falls.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 1-0

Last Week: 8     Change: +1

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 15-14

Superstars: David Abram (2 assists, 2 blocks)

Review: In a new stadium, the Dogfish looked like a whole happier team as they got a great season-opening win over the Nighthawks. Despite the victory I am not entirely sold on San Fran, there were a lot of drops and they allowed Vancouver to come back when they should have been shutting the door. A key for them the remainder of the season should be winning all the home games because if they can do that they will be right in the playoff chase.

8. New York Rumble: 0-0

Last Week: 7     Change: -1

New York Rumble
Bye Week

Superstars: N/A

Review: Well when are the second to last team in the rankings and the only team bellow you wins, you are going to drop to the basement. The adversity that this New York team is already faces does not bode well. Their bye week was probably the worst place that it could happen on the season and then they will face the team that has played the most games thus far in the season. Oh and that game was originally scheduled to be in New York.

This upcoming week, every team will be in action as the Rumble will join the party. Philadelphia will have the chance to prove if they are going to challenge DC for the Eastern Conference title this year. Moving out West, Seattle and Vancouver will face off where one team will get a much needed victory, while San Francisco has the opportunity to rise to the occasion by hosting the Portland Stags.

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