FIL World Championships Preview: Red Pool

(Photo Credit: Israel Lacrosse)

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 thirteenth  of this series previewing each of the 14 pools and today we cover the Red Pool. 

This pool is pretty interesting as we have the host team as well as two teams that have been emerging teams for a few years now. There is a clear favorite here but there could be a few surprises. 


Jamaica

Jamaica will be making their debut in Israel after developing and growing for five years. Jamaica has been a member of the FIL since 2013 but they did not attend the 2014 World Championships in Denver. 

The growth and development in Jamaica has been very good for this Jamaica program. They have been able to connect with players all over North America that have Jamaican roots. Over the past five years something special has been brewing on the island. They will make their debut on opening night in Netanya Stadium.

Jamaica has gotten some good experience as they have attended the Heritage Cup and the Lax All Stars North American Invitational (LASNAI) box tournament in 2017 and 2018. That experience will help out the Jamaicans during their debut for sure. Although we don't fully know what to expect from Jamaica I can say that I am excited to see what they bring to the table.

Israel

Israel is the host country and I am very excited to see how well they can compete with some of the big dogs. Israel has made some of the biggest strides of any team over the past seven years. Israel has been growing the game domestically very aggressively. They have a healthy league in the Israel Premier League which has really helped in that growth. 

The national team also had a good showing in the fall with their American tour as they played Albany, Iroquois, and Team USA. Israel also played a lot of games in the spring as they faced the New York Lizards and team England. They hosted England for five games in five days. All this constant competition really has been good for Israel. 

The last time Israel was on the international stage was in 2016 at the European Championships. Israel finished second as they lost to England in the championship. They were able to beat some of the most talented teams in Europe and the world. Israel has also been great in the Box game as they won the inaugural European Box Lacrosse Championships in Finland last summer. Tel Aviv Lacrosse Club won the 2018 Ales Hrebesky Memorial tournament in the spring. Israel is just growing fast on all fronts and it is great to see. 

At the 2014 World Championships in Denver Israel finished 7th overall and 1st in the Orange pool. Israel impressed in Denver and have impressed many every since. They look to continue that trend and defend home turf in 2018. 

Russia

Russia has made huge strides in development and growth just like the other two teams in this pool. Russia still might be under the radar a little bit. The game is alive and well in Russia as many advances and pushes to grow the game have garnered some successes. There are quite a few good Russian players that play in leagues across Europe right now. 

In 2016 at the European Championships Russia had their best performance yet as they finished 2-6 and in 16th place. It's not the definition of success but you could tell Russia was happy with the improvements they had made. They beat Slovakia and France to get their only two wins. 

in 2014 at the World Championships in Denver Russia, like Israel, was making their debut. Russia would finish 32nd overall and 3rd in the Plum pool. Russia's two wins came against Argentina and Spain. The Russians should have a much better performance in 2018 as they have grown a lot since Denver.

Red Group Schedule

Israel vs Jamaica - Thursday, July 12th

Jamaica vs Russia - Friday, July 13th

Russia vs Israel - Saturday, July 14th



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