FIL World Championships Preview: Blue Pool

(Photo Credit: Lax Buzz)

The 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships are just a few days away and I know everyone in the lacrosse world is very excited. This years FIL World Championships in Netayna, Israel will feature 46 countries that will compete for a Gold medal. This is the final of this series previewing each of the 14 pools and today we cover the Blue Pool. 


This is the pool with all the big boys. Each of these teams finished in the top six in 2014 and that's how they qualified for the Blue pool. We do have some interesting storylines and a lot of great players in this pool.


Iroquois Nationals

The Iroquois are always a fan favorite as they play the game with such poise and creativity. It is always fun to watch the Iroquois go to work as they have some of the best players in the world. Also, they represent the Six Nations as well as Indigenous people all across North America and around the globe.

The Iroquois play the game a little more differently than most other teams. They use more creativity and there is a lot of box influence there as well. These guys sticks truly are an extension of their body and it will be great to see them play again here in Israel. 

This Iroquois team with a ton of talent including NLL, MLL, and College players may have one of the best rosters here. Looking back at 2014 in Denver, the Iroquois were able to secure a bronze medal for the first time. 2014 was the highest that they had ever finished since joining the FIL back in 1990.

The Iroquois have done a ton of growth obviously as most of their players play professionally and a few still in College. 2015 was a historic year for this Iroquois program, and first nations people around the globe. The 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships (WILC) was hosted by the Onondaga Nation as lacrosse came home. It was a great event and the Iroquois finished in second place with a silver medal.

This will be one of the top three teams in Israel, hands down. I really can't wait to see them play as they play the game how it is supposed to be played and in it's truest form. It should be another top three finish for the Iroquois in 2018.

United State of America

The USA is always one of the favorites to win gold as they are one of the top teams in the world. The US has the most championships, nine, and the biggest participation numbers of any country. With that brings some of the best talent in the world.

This team has a lot of experience as every player has played in the MLL, NLL, or both at some point in their career. Also, this team has a good mix of young guys as well as veterans that have been here multiple times before. This USA team also has revenge on their mind as well.

In 2014 in Denver the USA finished 2nd as they lost to Canada in the championship game. They had a great pool play where they ran the table and went 5-0 beating Iroquois, Canada, England, Japan, and Australia. 

The USA has many of the same guys back from 2014 and this team is out for revenge against Canada. This team has been playing a lot of lacrosse as a team in the fall and just a few weeks ago against the MLL All-Stars. Also, all these guys have been playing a lot with their pro teams. It should be another top two finish for the USA this year.

Canada


Canada is coming to Israel! There was a big dispute between the players and the CLA that lasted from around October until just a few weeks ago. So, with that issue settled we can look forward to these games and how dominate Canada still is. 

This Canadian team is full of professional guys that play in the NLL and MLL. Therefore they have a ton of talent to pick from, just as their other North American neighbors. This team is also one that has a good mix of young guys as well as veterans. This is certainly a team to be reckoned with.

Canada is the reigning world champions as they defeated the USA in the championship game. In the pool play they were able to go 4-1 as they defeated Japan, Australia, England, and the Iroquois. They took one loss to the USA.

Canada is one of the top teams in the world and they are going to be looking to defend their title in Israel. Their players are in prime condition because of playing in the pro leagues. They should finish in top two or three again this year in Israel.

England 

England has been one of the most dominate teams outside of North America. Because of this they are able to garner some great growth at multiple levels including the university and youth game as well. The game is and always has been in a healthy state.

The English have a huge legacy as they have a lacrosse history that last over a century. That history has helped them develop into the power that they are today. England has been very successful in the past as they may be the best program outside of North America.

They have really been pushing their national team this year as they have played a lot. Team England went down to Israel for five days of scrimmages against Team Israel and England went 5-0. England also was present at the Barcelona City tournament where they went head to head with Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, and University of Notre Dame. England's only loss there was to Notre Dame.

In 2016 the English went 8-0 in the European Championships as they claimed the championship. They would beat Israel in the championship game, but they also defeated teams such as Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and others.

England finished in 5th place overall and last in the Blue pool during the 2014 World Championships in Denver. They got swept in pool play but did get three wins out of pool play. Those three wins would come against Germany, Scotland, and England as they ran the table in the 5th-8th place classification bracket. England should be playing at the same level, if not higher this year in Israel.

Australia

Australia is another team that has been playing lacrosse for a very long time, around sixty years.This Australian program has really seen a ton of growth and develop each year and they are still seeing it.

The Aussie's have played a ton of lacrosse as of late. They hosted the Southern Cross tournament in January. New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan all attended the Southern Cross tournament. Australia also went to Japan for a series of games with the Japanese in March.

This is an Australian team that has a ton of talent as they should be a great team again this year. they have a whole host of players from all over the country, including Callum Robinson of the Atlanta Blaze.

In the 2017 ASPAC games Australia finished 2nd with a 4-2 record. Their only two losses would come to Japan. Australia beat Taiwan, China, Korea, and Hong Kong. Even though they cam in second it was a good showing from the Aussie's.

During the 2014 World Championships in Denver Australia finished 4th overall and 4th in the Blue pool. They would beat Japan and England in pool play and Israel in the championship bracket. Australia would end with a 3-5 record. It certainly was a decent performance for Australia in 2014 but they would like to do better here in Israel.

Scotland

Welcome to the Blue pool fellas! Scotland has finally broken through in 2014 and they are now sitting at the big boys table. This program has seen a ton of growth and development over the past few years to get this point.

Scotland has always been one of those teams always knocking on the door, but just been one step behind most of the big boys. Well, Scotland has finally made it into the elite group of the top 6 teams in the world. What will they be able to do against this kid of talent?

They have played a lot of lacrosse as of late. In the spring they traveled to the United States to play college teams in California. They went up and down the coast finding college teams to scrimmage to help them prepare for Israel.

In 2016 at the European Championships Scotland came in 8th overall and 2nd in Group B. Scotland got wins over Norway, Ireland, Austria, and Denmark in group play. They had a tough time out of group play as they lost every game and ended with a 4-4 overall record.

in 2014 we saw Scotland come in 6th place overall and 1st in the White pool. Scotland ran the table in pool play going 3-0 and then would beat Japan to finish 6th with a 6-2 record. That would be what got Scotland to this Blue group as they are finally with the big boys.

Scotland has played pretty decent and played a lot as of late so that should really help them get back on track from the Euros. I personally feel that Scotland has the personnel in place to make some noise in this Blue pool. It should be interesting to see if they can have a repeat, or better, performance than 2014 in Denver.

Blue Group Schedule

USA vs Iroquois - Thursday, July 12th

Scotland vs Australia - Friday, July 13th

Iroquois vs England - Saturday, July 14th

USA vs Canada - Sunday, July 15th

England vs Australia - Monday, July 16th

Scotland vs Iroquois - Tuesday, July 17th








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