The World Cup of soccer is ending, but another one is just beginning. This tournament will be the largest international lacrosse event in history. The 2018 FIL Cup features 48 countries battling it out to see who is top dog. There will be plenty of great action to watch in the middle of the summer for almost ten straight days. Although, per usual for lacrosse fans, it will be kinda hard to watch a lot of the games. Besides the ten biggest matchups, which ESPN2 and ESPNU will be airing, the other group stage games won’t be widely televised. You can catch all the games though if you are lucky enough to have ESPN+. The playoffs will also be televised on ESPN, but most teams won’t make it that far.
This year the event will be held Netanya, Israel and the beautiful scenery makes it seem like a great choice. This is the first time ever that a country not named the United States, England, Australia, or Canada will be hosting this tournament, and that is great for the sport’s expansion. Like the other World Cup, it is also every 4 years and Canada is the reigning champ. They stunned the US on its home turf 8-5 in the last championship.
2018 FIL World Cup Preview: An Internation Celebration of Lacrosse
The World Lacrosse Championship starts off with a smaller matchup with Hong Kong versus Luxembourg. Then the show kicks off the next day when 15 games will be played each day. The biggest games you will definitely want to catch are Australia vs. USA July 14th 7:30AM, USA vs. Canada July 15th Noon, Canada vs. Iroquois Nationals July 16th 2:00, Australia vs. Canada July 17th 7:30AM, also on the 17th England vs. USA at 11AM.
Another big game scheduled for the first big day to look for is USA vs. Iroquois Nationals July 12th 1:30 the reigning silver medal vs bronze medal winners. Although this game could be changed to a different date as the Iroquois Nationals team is having troubles getting to Israel due to passport issues. Hopefully, the committee and everyone involved got this figured out and will have the great team here and ready to go on their opening night.
Up and Comers in the 2018 FIL World Cup
There will also be a lot of new talent out there to watch and find. There are several countries that are new to the sport of lacrosse, but it is amazing to see the number of countries participating. The more exposure for the sport of lacrosse the better because once you see it you fall in love. Almost every group has 3 teams in it, besides the group of death which holds USA, Canada, Iroquois Nations, Australia, Scotland, and England. It will be a tough battle to get out as there are only 2 semifinal games once the group play is over.
The Biggest Names at the 2018 FIL World Cup
Obviously, you can name practically every player on the top 3 teams as some amazing stars to watch as they are all phenomenal lacrosse players. Although some of the fan favorite players to watch in this tournament are from USA like Paul Rabil, Jordan Wolf, Tom Schreiber, Rob Pannell, Marcus Holman, Ryan Brown, Greg Gurenlian and Trevor Baptiste both of the face off beasts.
Canada with Kevin Crowley, Josh Byrne, Tre Leclaire, Brodie Merrill, Geoff Snider, and Jeff Teat. One of the most fun teams to watch the Iroquois Nations is bringing 5 members of the Thompson family, Tehoka Naticoke, and Brendan Bomberry. Those 3 teams are always powerhouses for obvious reasons. They are all loaded with talent and it will be fun to watch them compete. Luxembourg even has a father/son duo who will be representing the nation in their first FIL World Cup.
Let’s All Get Pumped for the 2018 FIL World Cup
It shall be a great tournament to watch and should be a very exciting showing of some of the top world class lacrosse players. It will be a great extra long week of lacrosse action which is rare to see especially in the summer. So try to catch as much as you can learn some moves and styles from the best players across the globe and maybe one day you will be playing in this event. All the fans that were lucky enough and made the trip out there enjoy the great showing of all the wonderful games plus the scenery including our boy LumberLax. Go try and find him and see what sweet custom wooden shaft he is bringing around town.