Photo by Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.com
Going into the second week of MLU play, both the DC Current and the visiting Boston Whitecaps are working to further define their team identities after each team opened the season against long-term rivals from Philadelphia and New York City, respectively.
While there is certainly some long-standing competition between Boston and Washington, DC, the physical distance between the two softens the edges.
The DC Current thus far have shown the ability to dictate the style of play of their opponent. In the opening game, the DC defense was clearly disruptive to the practiced, patient offense of the Spinners. By dialing up the pressure all over the field, the team worked to put extremely speedy defenders like Rico Johnson, Chip Cobb and Brian Marshall in position to take what they wanted from their match-ups.
While speed and aggression are consistent traits across the DC Current, the Boston Whitecaps, though by no means slow, seem to be built more along the lines of size and consistency. The ability of the team to work through a long list of dangerous throwers from Teddy Browar-Jarus and Misha Horowitz to Josh Markette and Brandon Malacek serves to make their top-shelf cutters, led by the inimitable Jeff Graham, quite dangerous indeed.
The patience and belief in themselves that the Whitecaps showed against NY will certainly be tested by the DC Current, but it may well be the result of impatience that determines the outcome of this game. When the Whitecaps put the disc up to cutters like Graham or Danny Clark under duress, will the DC Current be able to make the play? In a similar vein, when the Whitecaps pressure with more exotic defensive looks than the Spinners used in the opener, will the handler-light DC Current be able to escape either around or over?
While the first-game jitters are over, the season is just beginning. After a week of film review and scouting, it will be interesting to see how the two teams adjust after the first week of MLU competition, and what sort of changes they anticipate from their opponents. All that said, this game’s outcome will likely rest on the resolution of a handful of unavoidable sub-optimal plays. Will the speed of the Current overrun the power of the Whitecaps?
Come out to Blazer Stadium this Saturday at 7 pm to find out!