ESPN Player launches new channel for World Lacrosse Championships
ESPN Player, the live and on-demand sports streaming service, is launching a brand new channel to cover the World Lacrosse Championships - held from July 11 to 20 in Denver, Colorado.
- FIL World Lacrosse Championships 2014 on ESPN Player throughout the UK and Europe - 43 games live and on demand, including all pool games for top six teams, both semi-finals and final exclusive to ESPN Player - ESPN Player available in more than 40 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa online, on iPad, and on Samsung and LG Smart TVs - Competitions throughout the tournament to win World Lacrosse Championships merchandise
The home for live coverage throughout Europe, ESPN Player - World Lacrosse will exclusively showcase 43 games from the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships including all pool games for the world's top six teams (USA, Canada, England, Australia, Japan and Iroquois Nationals), both semi-finals and the final.
The top game of the pools kicks off the event on Thursday July 10 as two-time world champions Canada face nine-time winners USA. England start their campaign at 3am BST on Saturday July 12, playing Iroquois. England fans can also watch the match on demand the next day.
England have dominated the European game for many years, winning the FIL European Championships on all but one occasion since 1995 - when the tournament began to be held every four years.
Team England Head Coach Matthew Bagley will hope that his 23 man squad can improve on their last World Championship finish of fifth. In those games, held in Manchester, England, a narrow defeat in extra-time to Australia meant that fifth was the highest that they could finish. The rematch will take place at 9pm BST on Sunday July 13.
Excitement this year surrounds the Iroquois Nationals team, who were barred from the 2010 tournament in Manchester due to a passport controversy. Since the tournament's inception in 1967, only Canada and the USA have won the title, but since the Iroquois Nationals team beat their American Under-19 counterparts for the first time in Finland in 2012 there is a feeling that American and Canadian dominance could be about to end.
Added to that, the Thompson brothers - Lyle and Miles - are central to the Iroquois Nationals' chances, after becoming the first ever joint-winners of the Tewaarathon Award, which recognises the best player in the NCAA. Having never been awarded to a Native American before, this year it was awarded to two as both brothers broke the Division 1 record for the most points in a season.
Together with their cousin, Ty, the Thompsons led Albany to the quarter final of this year's NCAA Division 1 Championship, beating local rivals Syracuse - who have won 10 NCAA lacrosse championships - for the first time along the way.
Incredibly, older brothers Jerome and Jeremy are also expected to make the confederation's 23 man squad, meaning that the squad's composition would be nearly one fifth Thompson-family. That a confederation consisting of only 125,000 Americans and Canadians are expected to challenge the two North American powerhouses in the World Lacrosse Championships is a major storyline to this year's tournament.
English Players in the FIL Championship
In England, there are a total of 16,605 lacrosse players registered across 326 clubs representing a strong following. Lacrosse is also now played in 24 European Countries, with 38 nations from around the world competing in this year's tournament.
Securing their ranking of fifth last time out, and aiming for a bronze medal, the English 23 includes a number of players who compete both in the UK and in the American league:
- Midfielder Jack Brook, who won gold at his first ever European Championships in 2012 aged 20 - Stockport's Sam Patterson, Long Stick Midfielder, who has represented his country with distinction, winning two European golds in Finland and Netherlands - England's stalwart goalie Ben McAllister, who will represent his country in his seventh major tournament this summer, winning three European gold medals - Denver-based Jak Wawrzyniak, Long Stick Midfielder, will represent his country internationally in his fourth major tournament - Josh Roden, Attack, making his first England appearance despite being a former All-American of Miramonte High School and playing Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association in the United States
Fans of Lacrosse can watch the tournament live, and on demand on ESPN Player, giving them the chance to pause, rewind and replay games as they please.