With the PLL season less than a month away, Lacrosse Playground will be going through each team in the league to get ready for the upcoming season. With the merger with the MLL and an influx of talent from the college game, the PLL will be more competitive than ever. We’re here to help you sort through it all and get ready for what looks to be an exciting summer of lacrosse. After the preview, I’ll also be predicting each team’s initial 19-man active roster.
The time is nigh to preview the men of Chrome LC, they of shiny helmets and high-pitched giggles.
After a disappointing inaugural season, the Chrome came back with a vengeance in 2020, determined to win lacrosse games and not caring if they made friends in the process. (Update: they did not make friends.) Though they did win lacrosse games, they still came up short in the playoffs. With a less splashy offseason than many other teams in the PLL, the Chrome quietly retooled and reworked some finer points of their roster, and come into 2021 hoping to break through.
On DraftKings Sportsbook, the Chrome currently sit at +800 odds to win the 2021 PLL Championship. Let’s take a look at their offseason additions, get Coach Tim Soudan’s thoughts heading into training camp and see what we can expect from the team this season.
2020 PLL Championship Series Results:
Pool Play Record: (3-1)
Playoff Round: Lost to Chaos 19-14
The Chrome started the PLL Championship Series with a bang, coming out with noisy wins over the Chaos and Redwoods. Their balanced offensive attack and transition game were really clicking as they scored more goals in pool play than any team that doesn’t employ Matt Rambo and Zed Williams. Jordan Wolf and Justin Guterding were excellent, and their deep offensive midfield unit was very effective.
In the first round of the playoffs, however, they faced a vengeful Chaos team, and simply couldn’t match their intensity.
“We just laid an egg against the Chaos,” Soudan said. “They were hyper-motivated and we were caught by surprise basically.”
The Chrome enter 2021 with a bit of a chip on their shoulder and a desire for a better outcome in the big games.
PLL College Draft: JT Giles-Harris (D), Ryan Terefenko (M), Justin Anderson (M), Jackson Morrill (A)
PLL Entry Draft: Randy Staats (A), Sean Sconone (G), Colin Heacock (A)
Player Pool: CJ Costabile (LSM), Jeremy Thompson (M), Tate Boyce (G), Mike Brown (M), Ryan Beville (M), Greg Weyl (D)
The Chrome were quiet on the trade market and instead added personnel through the drafts and the player pool. On the draft front, particularly, Soudan is thrilled with what the team was able to do.
“Everybody feels like they did the best in the draft, and other people have different opinions, but I certainly look at what we did and am like, ‘Oh my God, we won the drafts,’” he said. “At least, we won it for us.”
It started with JT Giles-Harries. Knowing that Jeff Teat and Michael Sowers were a virtual lock to go at #1 and #2 in the PLL College Draft, the Chrome were the first domino to fall for the rest of the draft. It was clear, then, that they had identified Giles-Harris as their guy, and Soudan sees him making an impact from day one.
In the second round, Soudan couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw tenacious SSDM Ryan Terefenko still available, and his surprise led to his famous chuckle as he made the pick.
“I was looking down at my list, I had written down everybody – and both the assistant coaches were in the room. They were like, ‘Oh my God, Terefenko, Terefenko,'” Soudan said. “I had to double check my notes to make sure, and I just giggled. I was a little rattled.”
Before acquiring Terefenko, Soudan acknowledged that the Chrome was “scrambling to find talent in the D-middie spot, so we picked up Ryan Beville and Mike Brown.” These acquisitions added some break-glass-in-case-of-emergency depth to the Chrome.
They rounded out the draft with Justin Anderson and Jackson Morrill, two guys that Soudan is excited about and could see vying for a spot, particularly with the questions at the Canadian border creating an opening at Jesse King’s spot to start the season at the very least.
From the PLL Entry Draft, “incredible talent” Randy Staats will provide the biggest boost to the offense, with his playmaking wizardry. Soudan is also very intrigued with goalie Sean Sconone and thinks that “it’s pretty likely [Colin] Heacock will play.”
Soudan likes what the Chrome did in the drafts and can evidently see just about everyone he got through the two drafts having a chance to help the team win lacrosse games.
Released: Justin Turri (M), Ty Thompson (A), Brett Queener (G), Mike O’Neill (M), Hunter Forbes (FO), Ryan Flanagan (D), Greg Coholan (M),
Expansion: Reece Eddy (LSM), Sam Duggan (M), Jake Pulver (D)
Military Reserve: Tom Rigney (D)
Holdout List: Foster Huggins (D)
Retired: Matt Danowski (M)
It is on the defensive end where the Chrome will feel their departures most acutely. They lost both Reece Eddy, a rookie LSM who was outstanding in the Championship Series, and Sam Duggan, a stout SSDM, to the Cannons in the Expansion Draft. That said, they return Joel White, a star LSM whose absence was the reason Eddy had a chance to shine, and we all know how excited coach Soudan is about Duggan’s replacement in Terefenko.
Biggest Question Heading into the Season: Starting Goalie
Although John Galloway has had an illustrious career between the pipes, one that saw him in the running for the best goalie in the world at various points, he hasn’t had that same magic in the PLL. In the PLL Championship Series, he had the second worst save percentage of number one goalies. Being on the other side of 30, it is fair to wonder how many years he has left as a starter. To compound that, the Chrome brought in the younger Sean Sconone in the PLL Entry Draft.
It will be interesting to see how Soudan deploys his goalies this season. Will he pick a starter? Will both get a chance throughout the year? Soudan didn’t tip his hand, but it is clear both guys are in consideration.
Biggest Strength Heading into the Season: Roster Depth and Balance
It’s clear that Coach Soudan likes his team going into the 2021 season.
“At this point,” he said, “we feel really good about every aspect of our team.”
Beyond that, he is excited about the fact that there are multiple guys at each position who can make an impact.
“I think it’s going to be a real training camp,” he said. “Every single position we have, there’s going to be pressure to be your best.”
He used the examples of Sean Sconone and John Galloway, as well as Colin Heacock and Justin Guterding, as guys that are fighting for one specific role. Soudan sees it as a good thing for the team, though, as guys aren’t guaranteed a spot, and will therefore have to earn every minute they play. Soudan believes this will bring the best out of his team.
The Chrome have options.
Projected Initial 19-man roster
Attack: Jordan Wolf, Justin Guterding, Randy Staats, Colin Heacock, Matt Gaudet
Midfield: Jordan MacIntosh, John Ranagan, Ned Crotty, Will Haus, Ryan Terefenko, Justin Anderson
Defense/LSM: Joel White, Jesse Berndhardt, Michael Manley, JT Giles-Harris, John Moderski
Faceoff: Conner Farrell
Goalie: John Galloway, Sean Sconone
Reserves: Donny Moss, Jackson Morrill, Greg Weyl, CJ Costabile, Jeremy Thompson, Eli Salama
Unable to Travel List: Jesse King