Jack Concannon made 13 saves in the second half and was selected as the MVP of the inaugural Premier Lacrosse League All-Star Game, helping lead Team Baptiste to a 17-16 victory over Team Rambo Sunday at Banc of California Stadium.
Will Manny scored the tie-breaking goal with 56 seconds to play.
Team Rambo trailed 15-13 entering the fourth quarter, but tied the score on goals by Michael Ehrhardt and Jake Froccaro. Team Baptiste regained the lead on Kyle Harrison’s goal with 2:08 remaining, but Jules Heningburg re-tied the score with 1:38 left.
Team Rambo led 11-8 at halftime and increased its lead to 12-8 20 seconds into the second half on Jordan Wolf’s second goal of the game.
Concannon held Team Rambo to one goal for the remainder of the quarter, while Team Baptiste scored six times, including a two-point goal by Mike Chanenchuk.
Players wore their Instagram handles on the backs of their jerseys.
The league’s top 50 players were determined by a fan vote. Trevor Baptiste and Matt Rambo received the most votes to become captains, who then chose the players for each team.
Los Angeles was chosen as the site for the game in part because “the sport has grown exponentially in Southern California over the last 15-20 years in terms of participation and viewership,” CEO Mike Rabil told City News Service before the game.
That was also the reason El Segundo was chosen as the site for the league’s headquarters, said Rabil, one of the league’s co-founders.
Another factor was to attempt to increase the chance of lacrosse being added to the program for the 2028 Olympics, which will be held in Los Angeles, Rabil said.
After settling on Los Angeles as the site for the game, league officials “vetted numerous facilities in the Southern California region” and were “blown away” by the 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park “when we first saw it,” Rabil said.
Rabil called the stadium which opened in 2018 and is the home of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club “sleek, modern, comfortable.”
The PLL began play in June. The league consists of six teams playing in a tour-based model stopping in 12 U.S. cities and Hamilton, Ontario in 14 weeks.
The league is backed by an investment group comprised of Creative Artists Agency, Blum Capital, the San Francisco-based investment management firm chaired by Richard Blum, the husband of California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, The Chernin Group and The Raine Group.
Compensation for players includes stock options in the league, unprecedented in professional sports. The league’s games are streamed on NBC Sports Gold and shown on cable’s NBC Sports Network, which carried the All-Star Game, and NBC.
“The season has been a tremendous success for us so far,” Rabil said. “The on-field competition has been first class and fans have been coming out to finally see meaningful, high-stakes pro lacrosse action.
The crowd included Jim Brown, a member of the pro and college football and national lacrosse halls of fame.
The league’s MVP award is named for Brown, who was a second-team All-American selection in 1956 and a first-team selection in 1957 at Syracuse University, when he was second in the nation in scoring and scored five goals in the first half of the Collegiate North/South All-Star game.
Brown works closely with the league’s leadership team and is an advocate for its charitable PLL Assists program that supports local philanthropic initiatives catered to increasing lacrosse accessibility, supporting veterans and aiding cancer research.
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