Denver Outlaws midfielder Justin Anderson

Sorting the pieces of the Denver Outlaws midfield

By Topher Adams | May 28, 2024

On any given game week, a team will dress four or five midfielders. For the Denver Outlaws, those four or five spots need to produce a lot more this season.

Denver struggled to generate offense from its midfield a season ago, and the unit has seen significant changes since. Longtime veteran Jordan MacIntosh retired, and Colin Heacock left in free agency.

This leaves a diverse blend of hungry young players looking for a chance to contribute at the highest level. Here’s the breakdown of where the pieces stand heading into training camp:

Converted Attackmen

Denver’s midfield won’t truly be settled until the attack line is settled.

At the top of the roster, it’s still not decided whether No. 1 draft pick Brennan O’Neill will run out of the box this season. Denver also needs to start at least one of its other attackmen -- Josh Zawada, Cross Ferrara, Connor DeSimone, Dalton Young or Jack Myers -- down low. 

The first battle will be for spots at attack, then the rest of the group will compete for the remaining roster spots in midfield. And there won't be many of those, as there are three more natural midfielders already on the roster.

Zawada and Ferrara will likely make the roster, with at least one playing at attack. Unless someone has a huge training camp, I’d expect the trio of DeSimone, Young and Myers to compete for playing time in the midfield. 

DeSimone was a productive midfielder two seasons ago with the Utah Archers. Young is an interesting undrafted rookie, and Myers couldn’t quite find a spot to contribute last season.

True Midfielders

Denver has a trio of true offensive midfielders who should provide range and dodging to the offensive structure.

It starts with two-time All-Star Justin Anderson. The North Carolina product had a down season last year in terms of points, but he’s one of Denver’s leading stars on offense. He’s totaled 28 goals, two two-point goals and 10 assists over his three PLL seasons.

Anderson does everything needed from a midfielder: dodging, shooting, cutting. He’s even played as a two-way midfielder in spots throughout his career. Heading into Year 4, Anderson is ready to do whatever the team needs from him again. 

“I want to be able to, when needed, have great hockey assists or have the assist or have a big-time goal,” Anderson said, “but I don't necessarily have to have those every single game. I just want to be an impact player that can help out the team as best as possible.”

The Outlaws have a pair of young guns looking to make a splash behind Anderson. 

Rookie Graham Bundy Jr. was one of the best shooters in the 2024 PLL College Draft. When Denver drafted him No. 11 overall, it immediately added the stretch shooter that didn’t exist elsewhere on the roster. 

Second-year pro Sam Handley struggled at times in his rookie season, but he finished with 14 points in nine games. With a year of professional experience and potentially more help around him, Handley is a breakout candidate this season.

Undrafted rookie Mac Costin is another wild card in the room. He broke out in his last season at Penn State (30G, 3A) and could add an additional spark if he breaks camp with the team.