Connor Fields Traded to Archers LC
Chaos LC has sent attackman Connor Fields to Archers LC in exchange for midfielder Ian MacKay. The deal has been finalized ahead of Sunday’s (2/28) 14-man protected roster deadline.
Let’s dive into Fields’ fit in the Archers offense and how MacKay meshes with Chaos’ box-on-a-field style of play.
Chaos receives: Ian MacKay
A big midfielder with two-point range, MacKay will seemingly slide right into retired great Kevin Buchanan’s spot in this offense.
“He can play everything from offensive midfield to extra man to short-stick d-middie to long-stick,” said Chaos LC head coach Andy Towers. “To have that kind of versatility in a kid that’s coachable and mentally tough and physically durable is invaluable to any team.”
MacKay has connections to the Chaos locker room. He played for defensive coordinator Ryan Curtis at Vermont; he lives with attackman Josh Byrne and midfielder Dhane Smith.
His heavy shot was seen mostly on the powerplay with the Archers. Look for MacKay to be more involved in settled sets with Chaos. Three-man games on the lefty wing with Byrne and Austin Staats could be the lifeblood of this offense all summer.
Archers receive: Connor Fields
There’s no sugarcoating it: Fields needed a fresh start. He has one now.
This Archers offense – already an embarrassment of riches – added a player ranked third in the world by his peers in 2019. Let that sink in. You cannot pole Grant Ament, Marcus Holman, Will Manny, Tom Schreiber, and Connor Fields. One will draw a short-stick (and we haven’t even mentioned Ryan Ambler and company rolling out of the box).
“Picture Will Manny and Connor playing together. Picture Tom and Connor playing together. These are all guys who are comfortable in two-man or comfortable in a 1-4, and they can come at you with some different angles,” said Archers LC head coach Chris Bates. “It’s exciting. I’m like a kid in a candy shop.”
Fields probably fits in as a four-man type of midfielder. That means less time at X and more time above GLE. On the wing, Fields makes overaggressive poles pay for chasing stick. He baits them into mistakes, then buries as soon as his hands are free. (Remember: Fields shot 33.3% off the dodge in 2019. League average off the dodge is 23.4%.)
Maybe the answer to the “Who runs out of the box?” question varies from quarter to quarter. Bates is prepared to mix and match who’s coming out of the box.
Whether it’s Fields or Manny or Ryan Ambler, someone will have a short-stick. That means big-little pairings will be available.
Fields can operate the pick-and-roll. Can he pick, slip, and pop? We’ll find out soon.
Ultimately, the Archers offense needed an answer to the constant shutoffs. Bates anticipates Holman and Manny setting more picks when they see those shadows. Ament – one of the best off-ball X attackmen in the country at Penn State – will navigate better behind the cage as he adjusts to this offense and these teammates. And when the clock winds down, if the defense is still daring someone to win a matchup, Fields can win on an island.
If Fields is comfortable with this role – being one-sixth of a free-flowing, sharing offense – this offense will flourish. His dodge-to-shoot game that we saw so much of with Chaos is the tip of the iceberg. Bates is most excited to add a player who can do all that and win off-ball.
“We don’t need him to be ball dominant. We’ve got guys who can carry the ball,” said Bates. “I just think the nature of our offensive flow will lend itself to his strengths.”