Photo by Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.com
The D.C. Current announced on Friday their 29-man roster for the 2015 season.
After re-signing several players throughout the offseason, the Current completed the construction of their opening day roster by adding six players who attended their invite-only tryouts.
To round out this year’s squad, the reigning MLU champions signed Andrew “Chuck” Cantone, Charlie Furse, Tim Jackson, Britt Mercadante, Tyler Monroe, and Zach Norrbom as the newest members of the Current.
“Every player we signed from the first to the last has potential to make an impact on the field,” said Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “We are excited for Charles Furse’s physical presence, Tim Jackson’s athletic ability, Britt Mercandante’s all-around skills, Tyler Monroe’s throws and Zach Norrbom’s desire to play.” Moldenhauer also praised Cantone as “one of the AUDL studs from last year.”
The Current had previously announced that 17 members from the 2014 championship squad would return, including Eastern Conference MVP Alan Kolick and MLU Championship game MVP Markham Shofner, and they would be joined by the eight players who signed on following the open tryouts in mid-February.
Along with the 17 returners from last year’s championship team, D.C. will feature 12 players who will make their Current debuts this season including 11 MLU rookies.
“Just like last season, we were looking for players that can contribute right away and players we felt complemented what the D.C. Current is all about: hardworking, gritty defense and big-time offense,” said General Manager Matt Dewhurst. “The back end of the roster should not be an afterthought and it certainly was not for us in building our roster. These guys can play.”
Dewhurst and the coaches have decided again to leave one roster spot unfilled in case the team needs to promote a practice player or sign another player after the season begins.
Last year, the Current brought up Dominique Gibson midseason. Despite playing only half the season, Gibson scored 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) as a defensive handler and placed fourth in Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year voting.
“What we found last season was that it gave us the flexibility to bring up a certain position or need midseason if it becomes available or we get in trouble with injuries,” said Dewhurst. “Is there another [Gibson] on our practice squad or lurking out there we just haven’t seen yet? You never know. But if we find him, we can make that move. There’s a lot of talent in D.C.”
In 2014, the Current won 9 of 10 regular season games before claiming the Eastern Conference Championship and then the MLU Championship over the Vancouver Nighthawks. D.C. scored the most goals in the MLU (216) and allowed the second fewest scores in the league (174).
“I am looking forward to seeing some of the younger guys we added to the roster this season,” Dewhurst said. “I think, overall, we did get younger, which I think shows the growth of the sport and, in particular, the growth of the pro game here in D.C.”
“Overall, we are faster, stronger, and more skilled than last year,” said Moldenhauer.
The Current begin their 2015 season on Sunday, April 19 at 1:00 p.m. at home inside of Cardinal Stadium on the campus of Catholic University against the Boston Whitecaps. Last year, D.C. won three of four games against Boston, most notably their 18-17 victory in the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the MLU Championship game.
The official 2015 Washington, D.C. Current roster is as follows:
21 John Agan* (Dartmouth College/Wells, Maine)
12 Brent Bellinger (University of Pittsburgh/Warminster, Pa.)
14 Lloyd Blake (James Madison University/Richmond, Va.)
84 Chuck Cantone* (Randolph-Macon College/Richmond, Va.)
15 Nate Castine (Western Washington University/Seattle, Wash.)
5 David Cranston (Xavier University/Suffern, N.Y.)
29 Danny Dennin* (University of Maryland, Baltimore County/Bowie, Md.)
9 Tom Doi (Green Mountain College/Bethesda, Md.)
24 Ben Fleming (James Madison University/Deep Creek, Va.)
3 Charlie Furse* (Duke University/Wilmette, Ill.)
42 Dominique Gibson (Virginia Commonwealth University/Midlothian, Va.)
18 Kevin Healey* (University of Rhode Island/Voorhees, N.J.)
1 Tim Jackson* (Virginia Commonwealth University/Minneapolis, Minn.)
4 Delrico “Rico” Johnson (Towson University/Baltimore, Md.)
99 Alan Kolick (College of William and Mary/Arlington, Va.)
22 Brian Marshall (Elon University/Germantown, Md.)
10 Britt Mercadante* (Davidson College; Orlando, Fla./Santa Monica, Calif.)
17 Eric “Astro” Miner (James Madison University/Springfield, Va.)
87 Tyler Monroe* (George Washington University/Seattle, Wash.)
7 Ryan Nam* (George Washington University/Sparta, N.J.)
11 Jonathan Neeley (University of Virginia/Mechanicsville, Va.)
20 Zach Norrbom* (University of Mary Washington/Arlington, Va.)
88 Calvin Oung (Brown University/Towson, Md.)
8 Peter Prial (Middlebury College/Ridgefield, Conn.)
61 Erik Salmi (Winthrop University/Annapolis, Md.)
90 Markham Shofner (Pomona College/Nashville, Tenn.)
23 Freddy Tsai (University of Maryland; Edison, N.J./Brooklyn, N.Y.)
55 Gabe Webster* (Union College; Brookline, Mass./Boston, Mass.)
45 Jeff Wodatch (Bucknell University/Wallingford, Conn.)
* Denotes MLU rookie