FIL World Championships Preview: Gold Pool

(Photo Credit: Inside Lacrosse)

The 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships are just a few weeks 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 fifth of this series previewing each of the 14 pools and today we cover the Gold Pool. 

This pool has three teams that all have an opportunity to have some success. There is obviously a favorite but I really feel any of these three teams could come in first in this pool. 


Slovakia

I have to be honest with here, when I think of lacrosse in Slovakia I think of box and not field. With that said they still have good field players in Slovakia that might impress at lot of people with their play in Israel.

There have been some pretty strong efforts to grow the game at home for Slovakia and it is going, but slowly. Really it's moving a long with the growth in the rest of the region. Nonetheless this growth is great for Slovakia as we will see some great homegrown players.

The last time we saw Slovakia was in the 2016 European Championships and they didn't play as well as they wanted to. They really did have a tough showing as they lost in the 21st place game to Italy. They really want to improve from that bad showing.

The 2014 World Championships in Denver saw Slovakia finish 26th overall and 3rd in the Orange Pool. Slovakia went 3-4 in Denver beating Korea, Belgium, and France. They most certainly want to come out and play much better in Israel and I think they will be much improved.

Taiwan

Welcome to the World Championships! This is Taiwan's first go round and I know they will certainly draw some attention. I feel they can actually have a pretty good showing.

Taiwan has been growing the game at the grassroots level and domestically pretty good. They have really helped raise the level of play in Asia. This growth has really helped Taiwan develop some good players and I would be surprised if we saw some surprises from them in Israel. 

Taiwan did compete in the ASPAC games in 2017 and had a good showing as they came in 5th place after a great win over China. Taiwan has talent and I expect it to be on full display in Israel as they should find some success. 

Switzerland

Switzerland has been progressing for a while and that showed as the shocked a lot of people in 2014 in Denver. The question is, can they repeat that kind of performance in Israel? 

Switzerland has continued to build on their success as they have guys that play a lot of lacrosse all over Europe. This really helps in keeping the Swiss team improving. The last time we saw the Swiss was in the 2016 European Championships where they finished 6th. We have also seen them take a dive in the Box game as well.

The growth and progress that this Swiss team has made should really help them take their game to the next level here in 2018. They finished 15th overall and 2nd in the White Pool. They should be able to improve on that and be able to compete with the big dogs even more this year. 

Gold Group Schedule

Switzerland vs Slovakia - Thursday, July 12th

Slovakia vs Taiwan - Friday, July 13th

Taiwan vs Switzerland - Saturday, July 14th




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