Photo by Rodney Chen – Ultiphotos.com
The 2016 MLU Season keeps rolling into Week 7, with 7 of the 8 teams playing this coming weekend.
Whether you come out and join the crowd or watch comfortably from you home online, this weekend will be full of ultimate action!
Hormel Stadium, Medford, Mass. – 5pm ET – TICKETS – WATCH LIVE
The matchup that many predicted we would see in last year’s MLU Championship, the Portland Stags travel to Boston to take on the Whitecaps in the second half of MLU’s inaugural regular season cross-divisional series.
The Stags, undefeated in their first six games, become the last Western Conference team to play on the east coast, with all each of the other west coast teams having played in, and lost an MLU Championship (San Francisco in 2013, Vancouver in 2014, Seattle in 2015). With New York’s victory over the Dogfish in San Francisco last weekend, the Western Conference will be looking to Portland to be the first western team to defeat an eastern rival.
The Whitecaps are coming off their biggest victory of the season, defeating the Spinners in overtime last weekend to defend their home turf and hand Philadelphia their first loss. Boston will look to spoil undefeated seasons in consecutive weeks and force a tie for first place with the Spinners, who sit one win ahead of the Whitecaps in the standings. While the sample size is small, the Whitecaps are the winningest team in MLU cross-divisional play, having won both the 2013 and 2015 MLU Championships.
War Memorial Stadium at Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, Va. – 7pm ET – TICKETS – WATCH LIVE
The Rumble and D.C. Current meet for the third and final time this Saturday in Arlington, Virginia as both teams enter a must win weekend. With both Philadelphia and Boston coming off successful first halves of the season, both New York and D.C. will need to remain nearly perfect to make a run at the playoffs.
The Rumble, who have captured both of their wins on the road, are coming off the longest road trip in franchise history, having defeated the Dogfish in San Francisco last weekend. With a ton of roster turnover this season, Coaches Anthony Nunez and Eileen Murray have started to see their team come together and their lines become increasingly effective. Last week, the Rumble added four players to their roster – Justin Carter, Paul Klimkowski, Casey Startzell and Kyle Fischer, all of whom made significant impact on the teams win in San Francisco.
The D.C. Current will be well rested coming into this game, playing on a significant 20 days rest. The last time the team saw the field, they defeated the Rumble on the road as the second half of a double header weekend. Like New York, D.C. saw a lot of roster turnover coming into 2016, and have begun to see the team coming together under Coach Will Smolinski. Both veterans, like Lloyd Blake and Delrico Johnson, and rookies, such as Kyle Khalifa, Mark Flores and Justin Solis, have stepped up to fill important roles for the new look Current.
Thunderbird Stadium, Vancouver, B.C. – 6pm PT – TICKETS – WATCH LIVE
The Dogfish and Nighthawks meet for the second time this season, having opened their 2016 seasons against each other in Week 1. Both teams are looking for a big win, albeit for different reasons.
The Dogfish, who dismantled Vancouver in Week 1, have fallen on hard luck since that victory, losing 3 straight to Portland (twice) and New York. San Francisco would love to get back into a pattern of winning against the Nighthawks on the first leg of a road trip that could see them returning home with a .500 record. For the second season in a row, the Dogfish are being offense is flowing through Gabe Saunkeah, who leads the team in scoring and points played. Veteran defender Thomas Pineda and rookie Daniel Naruo have also been pleasant surprises for the Fish this season.
For Vancouver, the 2016 season has been a frustrating one, as they enter Week 7 without a win. With a roster comprising of few veterans, and a rookie player/coach in Patrick Gatien, the team has yet to find their flow. There have been signs of hope through, as several Nighthawks have begun to step up and show promises. Led by veterans Erik Hunter and Taylor Nadon, the Nighthawks have seen promise from rookies Graeme Barber, Sascha Lo and Mitchell Dozzi-Daigle.
Renton Memorial Stadium, Renton, Wash. – 1pm PT – TICKETS – WATCH LIVE
With Portland sitting undefeated, this matchup could play a significant factor in who faces the Stags in the playoffs. Both teams have fallen to the Stags twice, and beaten the Nighthawks (Dogfish once, Rainmakers three times).
The Dogfish will be heading to Seattle after playing the Nighthawks the night before. It’s a 6pm game in Vancouver on Saturday, followed by a 1pm game in Seattle the next day. This could be strenuous, but Saturday could serve as a nice warm up for Sunday.
The Rainmakers are coming off a bye week, so they should be well rested. Sitting with a 3-2 record in the Western Conference, they have only faced the 6-0 Stags and the 0-6 Nighthawks, so we can’t be sure what we will see when they face a competitive Dogfish team. The 2015 Western Conference champions have been lead by their veterans – Brad Houser, Steve Gussin, Khalif El-Salaam, Evan Klein and Cam Bailey.