16x9_Game7_Matchup (2)

Redwoods vs. Chaos: Matchup Preview

By Marisa Ingemi | Jul 29, 2020

The Redwoods and Chaos each had the same disappointing result to open their seasons; a 13-9 defeat.

In a short season, no one wants to fall behind too quickly, and both of these clubs are too talented to be out of the race this soon.

That means an early-season affair could have a playoff feel already as both teams look to avoid falling into a winless hole.

The Redwoods allowed five goals in the fourth quarter to Chrome on Tuesday, dropping to 0-2 already and looking to avoid digging themselves an even bigger hole following their contest with Chaos on Wednesday night. Redwoods will also now be tasked with replacing defensive stalwart Garrett Epple for the game. Epple is currently serving a one-game suspension following his actions during the loss last night.

Oh, and there’s some other history between these squads as well.


Main Storylines

Roster changes:

Arguably the biggest addition in the Premier Lacrosse League during the offseason was the Redwoods trading for Myles Jones from the Chaos.

That makes this one of the most anticipated revenge games of the season.

Jones swapped squads in return for Sergio Salcido to the Chaos. In the first Redwoods contest against the Whipsnakes, he netted just a single goal and had four turnovers. Jones seemed to turn things around last night with a solid performance despite the loss to Chrome.

Any jitters should be out of his system now though, and it would be surprising if he wasn’t locked in against the team that traded him away.

Major matchup:
Jarrod Neumann is arguably the toughest longpole in the league, and he’ll be matched up against one of the deepest offenses.

Jones makes an already-deep midfield that much tougher, but that leaves the Redwoods attack a little underrated.

The attention is in the midfield, but Ryder Garnsey leads the attack as one of the league’s breakout stars. The strength of the Redwoods offense against Neumann’s defensive prowess is going to be one of the tighter matchups all season.

Connor Fields and Curtis Dickson both had strong performances in their weekend games, so the Chaos know how to put points up on the board; shutting down the Redwoods, though, is going to be their key.

Gambling:
The Redwoods enter the game as 1.5 point favorites. The 25.5 O/U seems pretty low for how many elite scorers both teams can post, and this could easily be a high-scoring affair.

 

Ramifications

Both teams lost their opening contest, and in a tournament where every game -- every goal -- counts a lot more than in a longer season, falling into a hole doesn’t bode well for anyone.

That’s a lot of urgency for just the second game of the year for both squads, with the Redwoods already at 0-2 and Chaos trying to avoid getting to that point.

Add the revenge factor in from the Redwoods side and suddenly this feels more intense than any regular-season game.

A tournament like this was always going to carry more urgency than just a normal season, but Wednesday is going to be the first look at just what kind of a playoff environment it is so early on.

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