Author’s Note: The Launch made major news while I was away with this trade. Matt Landis being traded clearly shows how new Launch Head Coach Tom Mariano is making his mark on reconfiguring the Launch roster. The lacrosse media pretty much sees the core defense of the Launch as a strength and sometimes you need to deal from strength to plug holes elsewhere. This looks to be a pretty good draft and loading up on early picks (the Launch now hold #1, #4 and #10 overall) will give Coach Mariano the ability to continue the changes. Coach Mariano complimented Landis on the job he did with the Launch last season and noted to me that there were multiple offers for Matt, and even noted that he has received offers from other teams for that #4 overall pick. The flexibility that gives the Launch to make further moves will also help the rebuild. Coach Mariano was also excited about acquiring Evan Connell, feeling he just needs a chance to play.
The Florida Launch have acquired a conditional first round pick in the 2017 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft from the Boston Cannons in exchange for defensemen Matt Landis and Rob Haus.
If Landis does not report to Boston for training camp, the fourth overall pick will return to the Cannons and the Launch will retain Landis’s rights. Florida already holds the first overall pick in the draft in addition to today’s acquisition.
“This gives us tremendous flexibility going forward to continue to build the Launch,” said Head Coach Tom Mariano. “Our goal is to build the Launch into a championship organization.”
The Launch also received defenseman Evan Connell in the trade. Connell, a former seventh round draft pick by the Charlotte Hounds, will reunite with his former University of North Carolina teammate Steve Pontrello in Florida. Connell, a LSDM during his time at UNC, will look to make an impact in a talented Launch defense led by All-Star Tucker Durkin.
The Launch return to action on April 23 as a part of a three game roadshow dubbed “The Florida Tour.” The tour will take professional lacrosse to three different Florida cities for the first time. The Launch head back to FAU Stadium on June 10 to face the New York Lizards. To reserve your seat for all of the action, visit www.floridalaunchlacrosse.com/tickets or call 561-923-9067 for more information.