This article appears in the January edition of US Lacrosse Magazine. Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

For the first time in their history, the U.S. men’s national teams will compete in Texas. The U.S. senior and U19 teams will play four games as part of the Spring Premiere at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio the weekend of Jan. 4-5.

SCHEDULE

(all times Central)

Saturday, Jan. 4
1 p.m. – U.S. U19 team vs. Team Premier 
3:30 p.m. – U.S. senior team vs. Japan
6 p.m. – Team Premier vs. Japan

Sunday, Jan. 5

8:30 a.m. – U.S. U19 team vs. Japan
10:30 a.m. – U.S. senior team Blue vs. White

All games will be played at the 6,000-seat Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium on UIW’s campus.

TICKETS

$10 daily
$15 weekend
uslacrosse.org/springpremiere

HOW TO WATCH

Lax Sports Network will livestream the four U.S. games at laxsn.com and on the LSN app, with the broadcasts also available on Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, AppleTV and Xbox One.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

1. The Value of Adversity

The U.S. U19 men bounced back from a 9-7 loss to Culver Academy (Ind.) to defeat Hill Academy (Ontario) 14-6 during an October training camp at Ohio State. Both high school powerhouses feature prominently Canadian talent. Hill Academy notably defeated the U.S. in the lead-up to the 2016 world championship.“I loved the way they processed that adversity,” coach Nick Myers said. “The way they responded was exactly what you expect out of Team USA.”

2. X Factor

Perhaps the Culver result would have been different had the U.S. had Alec Stathakis, the former Eagle and current University of Denver freshman faceoff specialist just months removed from an 80-percent season at Culver. He’s the thunder to Conor Calderone and Jack Naso’s lightning.Stathakis had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum over the summer. He started running and lifting in November and projected he would be back at full strength after Christmas.

3. Brownie Points

Neither U.S. roster has a Texas native, but Spring Premiere will be either a short flight or manageable drive for senior team sniper Ryan Brown, who is an assistant coach at Highland Park in Dallas. Brown, an All-World attackman, led Team USA with 25 goals in the 2018 world championship.Long pole Kyle Hartzell also has some familiarity with the Lone Star State, having coached for several seasons at Plano West.

4. Inspired Opposition

Team Premier will consist of a handful of players from Edge Lacrosse, one of the top NCAA feeder programs in Canada, as well as a selection of committed players from the high school class of 2020 who surely would love a crack at Team USA. Thirteen Edge players participated in Canada’s U19 evaluation camp in October.

Japan, meanwhile, has momentum on its side. The Japanese national team moved up two spots in the world rankings with a sixth-place finish in 2018, goalie Kai Iwamoto became the first Japanese citizen to play in an MLL game that summer and the PLL and WPLL both generated big buzz by sending teams to compete in the World Crosse exhibition in Tokyo.

5. First Impressions

For U.S. senior team coach John Danowski, the road to 2022 really starts now. And for 11 players putting on the USA jersey for the first time, there’s no time like the present. They include goalie Kyle Bernlohr, defenseman Johnny Surdick, defensive midfielders Zach Goodrich and Tyler Warner, faceoff man Stephen Kelly and attackman Justin Guterding. But the midfield especially bears watching. Deemer Class, John Crawley, Colin Heacock, Sergio Perkovic and Mikie Schlosser debut.

ROSTERS

Senior MenU.S. U19