This weekend’s Lacrosse All Stars North American Invitational (LASNAI) brings together more than 30 competitive box teams playing for a championship, but for two of the teams, the end goal will be very different.

The 39 players making up the USA Blue and USA White teams are some of the best box lacrosse players the United States has to offer, but their goal isn’t to hoist a championship trophy. Instead, their mission is to continue wearing their country’s colors.

The LASNAI event will serve as the first round of tryouts for the 2019 U.S. Indoor Team and head coach Regy Thorpe is excited about taking another step in the process towards getting ready for next year’s FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.

“We’ve got about 30 plus guys looking at NLL tryouts and the draft and we’re hoping about 20-22 of them will be active the for the NLL season,” Thorpe said. “And then we’ve got another four to five guys with (previous) NLL experience along with a handful of relative newcomers.”

Figuring out how to break up the players into the two teams left the coaching staff with a number of options. Divide teams equally, stack a team with the most experienced players, go offense heavy or defense heavy?

“We discussed it as a staff and we thought having two equal teams was the fairest way to evaluate,” Thorpe said. “We thought this gave them the best opportunity to showcase what they can do against really good competition.”

The Blue team includes six former U.S. indoor team members, including two-time team member and NLL veteran Greg Downing. Kieran McArdle, who has posted back-to-back 30-plus point seasons for Toronto, is also suiting up for the Blue squad.

The White team features five former U.S. indoor team members and has four players — Scott Ditzell, Kyle Hartzell, John Ranagan and Joel White — that have won NLL championships in their careers.

In addition to the 39 players competing at the tryouts, Thorpe will have four players in town for the weekend but unable to participate due to injuries: Kevin Buchanan, Connor Fields, Joe Resetarits and Tom Schreiber.

Buchanan, Resetarits and Schreiber are currently on NLL rosters, and Fields, a 2018 Albany graduate, has extensive box experience and is expected to be an early selection in Tuesday’s NLL Draft. All four will be in competition for a spot on the final roster and Thorpe hopes to have the majority of them back on the floor when the squad holds a training weekend in Columbus, Ohio next month.

Following the October training weekend, Thorpe doesn’t expect to see his team again until May, but that’s largely because he expects a significant number of them to be active in the NLL. The league welcomes expansion franchises in Philadelphia and San Diego this year and has already announced that at least one new franchise will begin play in 2019-20.

“It’s an exciting time to be an American player in box with so many new franchises coming on,” Thorpe said.

After this weekend’s tournament, which will also include Wednesday and Sunday practice sessions for the U.S. teams, Thorpe will name approximately 30 players to move onto the training team.

Here’s the roster breakdown for the U.S. teams for the LASNAI event:

Blue Roster

Hunyahdengowah Abrams - Goalie
Dominique Alexander – Defense
Martin Bowes – Transition
Dylan Donahue – Forward
Tim Edwards - Transition
*^ Greg Downing – Transition
David Emala – Forward
Eli Gobrecht - Defense
* Marcus Holman – Forward
# Anthony Kelly – Defense
Connor Kelly - Forward
* Brett Manney - Defense
JoJo Marasco - Forward
Kieran McArdle - Forward
Matt McMahon - Transition
Brandon Miller – Goalie
* Donny Moss – Defense
Jarrod Neumann – Defense
* Chris O'Dougherty – Defense
Adam Osika - Transition

White Roster
Trevor Baptiste – Transition
Connor Buczek - Transition
# Scott Ditzell – Defense
Matthew Dunn - Defense
Brendan Fowler – Transition
^ Kyle Hartzell - Transition
Jacob Lazore – Goalie
Nick Mariano - Forward
* David Mather – Goalie
Ethan O’Connor - Defense
Rob Pannell – Forward
Jake Pulver – Defense
Cody Radziewicz – Transition
John Ranagan - Defense
* Blaze Riorden – Forward
Taylor Stuart - Transition
Gale Thorpe – Forward
* Joel White – Transition
John Yozzo-Scaperrotta - Defense

* 2015 U.S. indoor team member
^ 2011 U.S. indoor team member
# 2007 U.S. indoor team member