Photo by Burt Granofsky – Ultiphotos.com

While the MLU season may have ended in August, many of the MLU’s players, coaches and staff are preparing for their next ultimate challenge: Club Nationals. 48 teams, comprised of some of the top ultimate players in the nation will compete in one weekend of tournaments across three divisions: Men’s, Women’s and Mixed.  Representatives of Major League Ultimate are featured on 14 of those 48 rosters, spread across each division, with some of those teams facing each other as soon as Pool Play commences this Thursday.

In the Men’s division, the Whitecaps, Spinners, Stags and DC Current all see substantial representation on Boston Ironside, Philadelphia Patrol, Rhino and Truck Stop respectively. Each club team is in a different Pool, so they will not play each other until crossover games begin on Friday. However, be on the lookout for a few familiar matchups as Joe Anderson on Johnny Bravo takes on the Boston Ironside in Pool D. You can watch the two Men’s Semifinal games on October 3rd at 3:30 pm and 9:30 pm Eastern, and the Men’s Finals on October 4th at 4:00 pm Eastern on ESPN3.

Meanwhile, Kate Kingery, Fiona McKibben and Charlie Mercer, coaches for the Seattle Rainmakers, will look to take reign over the Women’s Division as part of the #3 seed Seattle Riot. Although the team took third place in Club Nationals last year, Riot did have the glory of winning first place in the World Ultimate Club Championships in Italy. Look for these three coaches, along with the rest of Riot, to make waves in the Women’s Division. You can watch one of the Women’s Semifinals games on October 3rd at 6:30 pm Eastern, and the Women’s Finals on October 4th at 1:30pm on ESPN3.

And finally, the Mixed Division will be well represented with 24 MLU players and staff across seven of the teams. I caught up with Evan Klein, 2015 Western Conference Rookie of the Year on the Seattle Rainmakers, and got some insight into Seattle MIXTape and the rest of the Mixed Division this year.

What kind of experience do you have with Club Nationals?

Evan Klein: This year will mark my third trip to Club Nationals, all in the Mixed Division.  I attended previously in 2012 with the Mental Toss Flycoons, and of course last year on Seattle Mixed.

What teams and players are you most looking forward to playing against?

EK: I look forward to playing against 2 teams, the first is Drag’n Thrust. We are 1-1 against them the past two years. While we got the better of them in a close semi-finals game at the US Open, the sting of the finals beat-down from last year still lingers. It would be great to beat them on the biggest stage.

The other team is Love Tractor. They are a relatively untested team this year out of Colorado with only 1 loss, and one of their best players, Scott Forrester, is my former college co-captain and good friend. It’d be fun to take it to them too!

What expectations do you have for yourself and for your team?

EK: I primarily play defense for Seattle Mixtape, as I do for the Rainmakers. Every point I play, I want to shut down whoever I am guarding and keep them out of the goal. If I can take one of the other teams’ best offensive guys out of the game, it should give us a good shot at getting breaks. I also expect to throw a lot of hucks to Khalif El-Salaam…and catch a few more from Henry Phan!

For the team, I think our expectation is to play our fast-paced style and to dictate the speed of every game. And of course we want to win it all! Last season, to be honest, we were just pretty happy to be at Nationals. This year, we have another season playing together and have been tested on some of the biggest stages in the sport (Nationals, US Open, Regionals). I think we have the roster to compete with any team in the country, so there’s no reason to set our sights lower this year.

-Dave Pannepacker

Complete list of MLU Players/Coaches/Staff competing at Club Nationals.

Men’s

  • Denver Johnny Bravo 
    • Joe Anderson

 

    • Washington DC Truck Stop 
      • Keven Moldenhauer
      • Delrico Johnson
      • David Cranston
      • Peter Prial
      • Tom Doi
      • Seth Wiggins
      • Jonathan Neeley
      • Nate Castine
      • Tyler Monroe
      • Eric Miner
      • John Agan
      • Brian Marshall
      • Nick Spiva
      • Jeff Wodatch
      • Erik Salmi
      • Calvin Oung
      • Markham Shofner
      • Alan Kolick

 

    • Boston Ironside 
      • Jacob Taylor
      • Teddy Browar-Jarus
      • Jake Smart
      • Josh Markette
      • Misha Sidorsky
      • Tyler Chan
      • Christian Foster
      • Alex Simmons
      • Miles Montgomery Butler
      • Tannor Johnson
      • Misha Herscu
      • Jack Hatchett
      • Ben Katz
      • Sam Richardson

 

    • Portland Rhino
      • Tyler Cable
      • Topher Davis
      • Eli Friedman
      • Ben McGinn
      • Riley Meinershagen
      • Matt Melius
      • Brian Penner
      • Eli Blackman
      • Cody Bjorklund
      • Timmy Perston
      • Grant Cole
      • Adam Fagin
      • Dan Suppnick

 

    • Seattle Sockeye
      • Mark Burton

 

  • Philadelphia Patrol 
    • Ben Scharadin
    • Gabe Colton
    • Charlie McCutcheon
    • Leon Chou
    • Nick Hirannet
    • Patrick Diviney
    • Matt Esser
    • Himalaya Mehta
    • Matt Glazer
    • Billy Sickles
    • Dave Baer
    • Michael Panna
    • Matt Paparone
    • Trey Katzenbach
    • Jake Rainwater
    • Patrick Lindsey
    • Nick Mathison
    • Ian McClellan
    • Marshall Ward

 

  • GOAT
    • David Hochhalter

 

Women’s

  • Seattle Riot 
    • Kate Kingery
    • Fiona McKibben
    • Charlie Mercer

 

Mixed

    • Boston Wild Card
      • Adrian Banerji
      • Thomas Edmonds
      • Matthew Heath
      • Alyson Heath
      • Vincenzo Vitiello
      • Cody McInnis

 

    • Boston Slow White
      • Shaun Doherty
      • Ryan Richardson
      • Mike Miller
      • Jeff Smith

 

    • Seattle Mixtape
      • Dominic Cavalero
      • Khalif El-Salaam
      • Brad Houser
      • Evan Klein
      • Henry Phan
      • Cam Bailey

 

    • San Francisco Polar Bears
      • Sam Adamson

 

    • New York Metro North 
      • Seth Canetti
      • Andrew Bosco
      • Sean Murray

 

    • Philadelphia AMP 
      • Nick Purifico
      • Matt Zumbrum

 

  • Seattle Birdfruit 
    • Andrew Lynch
    • Peter Ostergaard
    • Samuel Pickel
    • Ben Beehner

 

You can catch the semifinalists of the Mixed Division on October 3rd at 1:00 pm Eastern, and the Finals on October 4th at 11:00 am Eastern on ESPN3.

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