Hempstead, NY - Hofstra alumnus Nicky Polanco has been named to the United States Men's National Senior Team Roster for the "Duel in Denver" exhibition in September. Team USA will face Team Canada on September 8 in an exhibition game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The game will take place at 7 p.m. (MT) and will feature the top two lacrosse teams in the world.
Polanco was a two-year letterman on defense for the Pride in 2001 and 2002. A two-time National Junior College All-American as well as Player of the Year at Nassau Community College, Polanco earned USILA All-America honorable mention honors as a Hofstra junior and All-American first team honors as a senior in 2002. After recording a goal, three assists, 70 ground balls and earning second team all-conference honors in 2001, he tallied two goals, three assists, 73 ground balls and was named both the CAA Defensive Player of the Year and the CAA Player of the Year in 2002. He was also selected to the United States World Team in 2006. Polanco, who has been named the MLL Warrior Defensive Player of the Year twice in his career, currently plays for the Chesapeake Bayhawks in Major League Lacrosse.
The "Duel in Denver" is a rematch of the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship gold-medal game, in which Team USA defeated Canada, 12-10, in Manchester, England, and it serves as a prelude to the 2014 FIL World Championships, which will be hosted by US Lacrosse in Denver, July 10-19, 2014. The U.S. and Canada have met in the championship game of the last four FIL World Championships.
The event will feature many of the top American and Canadian players from the 2010 FIL World Championship and also will serve as a launch point for the selection of the training team that will comprise the 2014 U.S. men's national team. The 25-member U.S. men's senior team will play its first game under the direction of new head coach Richie Meade, former Navy head coach who was recently selected to lead the men's program at Furman, and assistant coaches Kevin Cassese (Lehigh), Dave Pietramala (Johns Hopkins) and Jeff Tambroni (Penn State).
Ten players return from the 2010 U.S. men's national team, including Ryan Boyle, Joe Cinosky, Ned Crotty, Kyle Dixon, Stephen Peyser, Paul Rabil, Max Seibald, Matt Striebel, Kyle Sweeney and Drew Westervelt. The Team USA roster also includes 2009 training team members as well as numerous professional standouts. The "Duel in Denver" is the first of a series of games this year in which potential 2014 U.S. team members will play together and be evaluated by the coaching staff prior to tryouts.
"We selected this group based not only upon their performance this summer, but also their past involvement with Team USA," head coach Richie Meade said. "As a coaching staff, we feel it is really important for us to get a chance to meet these guys and get to know them. We want to work with them and watch them play before tryouts begin. It's a great opportunity for us, and the first step in our evaluation towards the selection of the 2014 team."
In 2010, the FIL named the United States as the host country of the 2014 FIL Men's World Championship in Denver. US Lacrosse will host the quadrennial event with local support from Visit Denver, the Denver Sports Commission and the Denver lacrosse community. More than 40 countries and nearly 1,000 athletes are expected to compete in the 2014 championship at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and more than 100,000 spectators are expected to attend.
The Team USA roster for the "Duel in Denver," by position with professional teams, collegiate alma maters, and previous U.S. team experience noted:
Ryan Boyle, Boston Cannons, Princeton '04 *#^
Matt Danowski, Charlotte Hounds, Duke '08
Steele Stanwick, Ohio Machine, Virginia '12 %
Drew Westervelt, Chesapeake Bayhawks, UMBC '07 *
Matt Abbott, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Syracuse '09
Stephen Berger, Charlotte Hounds, Washington '04
Steven Brooks, Ohio Machine, Syracuse '08
Ned Crotty, Rochester Rattlers, Duke '09 *
Kyle Dixon, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Virginia '06 *
Kyle Harrison, LXM Pro Tour, Johns Hopkins '05 #
Stephen Peyser, Long Island Lizards, Johns Hopkins '08 *
Paul Rabil, Boston Cannons, Johns Hopkins '08 *
Max Seibald, Long Island Lizards, Cornell '09 *
Matt Striebel, Rochester Rattlers, Princeton '01 *#^
Greg Bice, Ohio Machine, Ohio State '04
Matt Bocklet, Denver Outlaws, Johns Hopkins '09
Joe Cinosky, Hamilton Nationals, Maryland '09 *
Michael Evans, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Johns Hopkins '09
Nicky Polanco, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Hofstra '02 #
Kyle Sweeney, Boston Cannons, Georgetown '03 *#
Lee Zink, Denver Outlaws, Maryland '04
Drew Adams, Long Island Lizards, Penn State '09
Jesse Schwartzman, Denver Outlaws, Johns Hopkins '07
Chris Eck, Boston Cannons, Colgate '08
Greg Gurenlian, Long Island Lizards, Penn State '06
* 2010 U.S. men's national team member
# 2006 U.S. men's national team member
^ 2002 U.S. men's national team member
% 2008 U.S. men's national under-19 team member