In ultimate frisbee, every point begins with a pull, in which a player hurls the disc 60-plus yards to the opposing team.
When the disc hangs in the balance, the anticipation builds until an opponent catches the frisbee and begins the point.
But the clamoring surrounding the sport has never been higher than it is for Major League Ultimate’s inaugural championship, which will take place on Saturday at Franklin Field at 6 p.m., pitting the Boston Whitecaps against the San Francisco Dogfish.
This championship marks the end of a successful first season for the MLU, a league that was bred from the vision of MLU President Jeff Snader and his co-founders in Philadelphia.
“The inaugural season has gone even better than we expected,” MLU Vice President Nic Darling said. “We got a level of exposure and attention that we never expected, specifically from sport shows like ESPN and an increasing number of fans from abroad and for the teams. We think it bodes well for our future as the MLU,”
The league’s best plays have been featured on Sportscenter’s Top 10 plays as well as on SportsNation.
Teams like Boston (10-0) and San Francisco (8-2) are great examples of the determined and exciting spirit of Major League Ultimate. The Whitecaps boast a plus-59 point differential across the 10 games and have players like Jeff Graham that are nightmares for opposing defenses.
“The talent level of our players create match-up problems across the board,” Whitecaps head coach Jason Adams said. “We hold ourselves to a very high standard and as a team we take a lot of pride in always playing our best. I think our desire to win every point of every game really wore down our opponents and was a key to our phenomenal regular season record.”
The Dogfish are more than aware of Boston’s east coast dominance and will give the Whitecaps a tough journey to a title. San Francisco’s athletes are better throwers and more physical than any team Boston has faced all season.
“We need to play our brand of defense, ferocious and tireless, on every point to wear down the Dogfish,” Adams said. “We need all 25 players contributing for all four quarters.”
The impact of this championship and caliber of competition is respected all the way through other affiliated Ultimate leagues, as well as players in the MLU. Penn’s very own Himalaya Mehta, who plays on the MLU’s Philadelphia franchise, the Spinners, reflected on the outstanding level of talent spectators will see Friday.
“This weekend, we are going to see some of the best players in the world face off at Franklin Field,” Mehta said. “The Boston-San Francisco match-up is nothing new. Both of these cities have elite clubs that face off at club nationals every year. Let’s just say that the face-off this weekend is going to showcase ultimate at the highest level, and it is going to be exciting,”
The history of the rivalry goes back into different levels of competition and cites a recent surge of wins by San Francisco’s club team, Revolver. Boston looks to change that course of history but understands the level of intensity and work going into the game.
The contrast of styles is what Darling feels is the most exciting aspect of this championship. Both teams seem to be second half warriors, whether surging forward to crush opponents and creating improbable comebacks. Either way, both teams are disciplined and thoroughly conditioned by their staff.
The excitement is unbridled for both teams and for the young organization’s first championship contest.
While the players have taken part in numerous club championships, with thousands of cheering fans filling Franklin Field and a professional title on the line, the stakes have never been higher.Comments powered by Disqus
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