Photo by Brian Canniff – UltiPhotos.com
Only four games remain in the 2015 MLU season and the New York Rumble sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with some ground to make up.
New York has gone 1-5 to start the season with their only win coming against the defending champion D.C. Current, which Jibran Meiser called the highlight of the season so far for the team.
“That was just such a great win for our team,” said Mieser. “Everyone played well, everyone was having fun and we had a mini dance party. I think we need more of those.”
Despite the slow start, the Rumble find themselves only two games back of a playoff spot in the East. In order for New York to close the gap, it needs to change its style of play.
“Possession is the name of the game and we give the disc away way too easily,” said Mieser. “We have struggled so much this season because offense gets broken and the defense can’t get breaks.”
The Rumble rank last in the MLU in goals scored this season.
Some of the struggles can be explained away by never having a full roster. New York has been banged up all season long and it culminated in there being eight players listed as inactive and another as doubtful for last weekend’s blowout loss to Philadelphia.
“These are the most talented players and coaches that we’ve had in the short history of the New York Rumble and yet there seems to be a mental block that is creating some sort of self sabotage,” said a frustrated Ben Faust. “Given our talent level, this level of losing is embarrassing. We owe it to our fans and ourselves to be better.”
However, this team has had a few bright spots. In addition to Meiser, rookie Chris Kocher has emerged as an exciting young player. Kocher has taken the MLU by storm posting the fifteenth-most points so far this season with seven goals and 15 assists.
“Obviously Chris Kocher is a great player for us,” said Head Coach Anthony Nuñez. “We have had several players stand out this year.”
Meiser has been a menace on defense. He has recorded eight defensive blocks on the year, which is tied for sixth in the MLU. Meiser has accomplished that despite only playing 26 points all season.
Meiser believes that the mentality of the team is tied to its success.
“The Rumble definitely needs to capitalize on more mini dance party opportunities. When the team’s happy and having fun, we play much better,” he said.
Overall, this team is down but not out. Coach Nuñez thinks that mixing the set offensive and defensive lines will help turn the team around and push them into playoff contention.
“The team is very talented and if we are missing a player it will always hurt us, but it is up to our team to focus on the future and fight through any uncontrollable,” he said
The Rumble look to right the ship this Saturday when they visit the Boston Whitecaps in Medford, Mass. at Hormel Stadium. Tickets are currently available on the Whitecaps TicketLeap Page and the game will be broadcast on MLU Live.