Chaos vs. Waterdogs Preview

By Austin Owens | Jun 11, 2021

Where to Watch

  • Friday, June 11
  • 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Live on Peacock

Who Ya Got?

Following an exciting slate of action at Gillette Stadium in the opening weekend of the 2021 PLL season, Week 2 kicks off in Atlanta on Friday with a matchup between Chaos and the Waterdogs. 

Andy Copelan’s side holds one win in their short history, and it came at the hands of Chaos during the 2020 Championship Series. Zach Currier ripped home the overtime winner to finish off the team’s round robin. 

In Week 1, each team came out on the wrong end of the scoreline. But there were takeaways for both squads and they’ll have two chances to get in the win column with a doubleheader weekend on tap.

Chaos had a tough start to their opener against the defending champion Whipsnakes, finding themselves down 10-1 heading into the half. They pulled it back to a 13-7 final score in the end. 

“We’re looking to build on that second half (against the Whipsnakes) and make sure we’re better Friday night against the Waterdogs cumulatively and individually,” Chaos head coach Andy Towers said Wednesday. “Every game is a learning process, so we’re very confident in our players and our team. Our job is to get them ready to play and put the right combinations together...but our thought process is to give this group another chance seeing how well they responded in that second half against a great team.”

The Waterdogs also fell in their game to the Cannons. But like Chaos, they won the second half and were able to take some positives from that. 

“The short answer is I was disappointed in how we played in the first half We felt we had an unbelievable training camp and it just didn’t necessarily translate,” Copelan said. “I was proud of their response and that’s sort of a silver lining takeaway. So all we can do is live and learn in the short term and move on.”

When Opportunity Knocks…

Both the Waterdogs and Chaos will be missing key contributors in this game.

Rookie attackman Michael Sowers has been moved to the Injured List while Austin Staats has been placed on the Suspended List. 

Drawing in for Staats will be Entry Draft pick Kyle Jackson, who can play at attack or midfield and offer versatility for Towers and the team. 

Sowers was one of the primary offensive initiators for the Waterdogs, so his absence will be felt heavily on Copelan’s squad. 

They’ll be looking to a number of individuals to step in and fill the role Sowers occupied in the team’s first game. Namely, Michael Kraus and Ben Reeves

Kraus dressed against the Cannons while Reeves comes into the 19-man roster for the weekend, and he can be the man to facilitate from X.

Battle at The Stripe

A lot of expectation was on Max Adler coming into the PLL with Chaos. He was the top draw man off the board in the Entry Draft.

He was welcomed to the PLL by Joe Nardella, who won 16 of 22 on the day. 

It’ll be another battle on Friday for Adler, as he’ll be going head-to-head with Jake Withers

Withers had a solid first game, going 64 percent on draws against former running mate Drew Simoneau. 

The strategy for Chaos will also be interesting to watch. With rookie Kyle Gallagher on the extended 21-man roster, could we see him factor into one of the games this weekend? 

Withers doesn’t make it an easy day for anyone, so there will be some fun sequences at the stripe. 

Ward’s Bounce Back

Dillon Ward was a massive pickup for Copelan and the Dogs ahead of the season. However, his debut didn’t go according to plan, as he had just six saves against the Cannons. 

He has a chance to bounce back against his former team on Friday, and if you think last weekend’s performance will be the norm, you’re in for a rude awakening. 

You can’t count him out after one game, and he’ll have to be solid with two-time Oren Lyons Goalie of the Year winner Blaze Riorden in the opposing net. 

There’s no hard feelings between Ward and the Chaos, so it’s not a revenge game by any means. But I’m sure it’d be nice for Ward to pull out his first victory with his new team against the team that shipped him out. 

He’ll also have the chance to go up against fellow countryman Wes Berg, who went the other way in the deal along with a 2022 first-round College Draft pick. 

Berg had a great debut for Chaos, bagging a hat trick against the Whips. He’s going to be a focal point of the offense. 

He and Ward going head to head will be one of the marquee matchups of the night. 

What’s at stake?

Both teams are coming in looking to land their first wins of the campaign. Chaos was able to have a strong second half and build some momentum heading into this week. The Waterdogs had a rough go of it but will be able to build off what they learned against the Cannons.

With a two-game weekend for each team, it’ll be a massive boost for the winner heading into their second games on Sunday.

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