Don’t put away your Team USA gear just yet. While our World Cup days may be long over, the United States is just starting its journey to defend its title at the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championship in Denver.
The US and Canada kicked things off yesterday with a rematch of the 2010 championship game. After going down 3-0 early, the Americans rallied to defeat their neighbors to the north, 10-7.
Like the FIFA World Cup, the FIL World Lacrosse Championship takes place every four years. It grew out of an international tournament held in Toronto in 1967. Four years later, the first FIL tournament took place, also in Toronto. The US has hosted it twice (in 1982 and 1998, both times in Baltimore). But the lack of home field advantage hasn’t stopped the United States from dominating international lacrosse, winning all but two championships since 1967.
In this year’s tournament, a record 38 countries will play more than 140 games for the right to claim global lax dominance. The early favorites to take home the gold medal are powerhouse lacrosse nations Canada, Australia, and the United States. Four members of the US’s 2010 championship team are back this year: Ned Crotty, Brandon Mundorf, Paul Rabil, and Max Seibald. This gives the Americans a fairly seasoned offense going into the tournament.
The FIL World Championship continues today and runs through July 19. An estimated 150,000 people are expected to attend the games. But if you can’t make it to Colorado, the action will be broadcast on the ESPN networks ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN3.
More information on the tournament and the game schedule is available on the World Lacrosse Championship website.
Photo: Scott McCall/US Lacrosse