US Lacrosse this weekend will host its ninth annual Champion Challenge to determine the 23 men who will represent the United States at the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship in Denver, Colo., on July 10-19. US Lacrosse in August named 52 standouts to its training roster, including five members of the Charlotte Hounds.
Matt Danowski and
Ryan Young, short-stick defensive midfielders
Chris Schiller and
Kevin Drew, along with defenseman
, will all travel to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and suit up for a highly anticipated intra-squad scrimmage to help Coach
Richie Meade in the roster selection process. As opposed to matching such a large squad against a dominant NCAA team -- as US Lacrosse has opted to do in the past -- the prospective players will be split into a Team USA Blue squad and a Team USA White squad, and meet to battle for their spot on the final roster. Danowski, Drew, Schiller and Young have been placed on the Blue team, while Schmidt was named to the White team.
The Champion Challenge will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Sunday at 1:30pm ET. Danowski and Schmidt were both part of the same event in January 2013. The game will be available live on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app. It will then re-air on ESPNU at 10:30pm the same night.
The duo of Danowski and Young carried the Hounds’ offense in 2013, as both players posted career bests in goals and points. The veteran Danowski led the way with 54 points (36-8-10), followed closely by Young with 50 points (36g, 14a). The third-year player earned a 2013 All-Star selection for his breakout season. Also getting his first All-Star nod in 2013 was Schmidt, who led the defense with 45 groundballs and added 4 points (2-1-1).
Meanwhile, Drew was key to the Hounds’ wing play and transition game. He tallied 25 groundballs and 5 points (2g, 3a). Schiller, who was only able to compete in the first half of the season due to the birth of his twin daughters, recorded six groundballs. He is the only Hounds player to have previously represented Team USA, as he was a member of the 2010 squad that won Gold with a 12-10 victory over Canada in Manchester, England.
All eight MLL teams have at least two players on the training roster, with the Lizards and 2013 MLL Champion Bayhawks leading the pack with 10 each. The Outlaws follow with six players, while the Cannons -- like the Hounds -- are represented with five team members. The Launch and Machine round out the roster with three players and two players, respectively.
complete Blue and White team breakdowns.