January 22, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 3 comments
There’s been a lot of news coming out of the pro ultimate leagues over the last week or two. Although nothing deserved a full article of its own, much of it is newsworthy and important. Here’s a look at what’s been happening.
The big news out of the AUDL this week is that Brodie Smith, easily the world’s most famous ultimate player, signed with the Windy City Wildfire. Smith had been courted by both the AUDL (where he played last season with the Indianapolis Alleycats) and Major League Ultimate. The MLU even had him in an early promotional video that many read as a sign that he would play for them this season.
But, after a lot of consideration, Smith decided to play with the Chicago AUDL franchise. The terms of his deal with the team have not been made public, so it’s difficult to know whether it was a pure economic decision for him or if other factors played a role. “I am so blessed for this amazing opportunity and I am excited to be going back to my birth city and playing for the Wildfire,” he wrote in a statement on his Facebook page. His friend and former Indy teammate Jonathan “Goose” Helton also lives in Chicago and, as announced this week on the AUDL homepage, will play for the Wildfire as well.
The MLU has been busy announcing player, coach, and General Manager signings since their big website launch last week. The DC Current team will be coached by Truck Stop veteran Keven Moldenhauer and managed by Dusty Rhodes, a long-time Northeast player.
“The ability to attract players in the same area from different club teams, as well as those who do not play club, gives us an opportunity to put together a team who promotes and fosters the highest level of play,” Rhodes said in a statement.
Teams have started announcing some player signings as well. The Seattle Rainmakers just landed Seth Wiggins, a former Sockeye player and Northwest stalwart. The Portland Stags announced the signing of Cody Bjorklund, the Rhino captain and former Oregon star. He was also a member of the 2011 NexGen Tour.
“I was immediately intrigued by the innovations the MLU is bringing to Ultimate,” said Bjorklund in a statement. “Signing with Portland seemed like a no-brainer. I am looking forward to being part of one of the strongest teams in the league and proving my value as a player and leader all the way through, from our tryouts to the final.”
They also announced that Mark Evangelisto, the AUDL referee who left the league for the MLU, will now be the general manager of the Philadelphia Spinners.