The longest running franchise in pro paintball is having a tough year, at least by their own high standards. Despite the Los Angeles Ironmen’s talented, rebooted and experienced roster the best result they’ve been able to post in 2013 is 4th place at the Mid Atlantic Open. When they do get to the Semi Finals on Sunday, they keep losing to San Diego Dynasty, and considering the complicated relationship those two team have had over the years, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Though they are mostly still the same team who came into this season as one of the favorites to win the Championship there’s been some roster moves—they cut long time baller Justin Schwarz, and they lost Corey Bornstein, who had come over from XSV at the beginning of the season. The Ironmen are not lacking in talent, support, or leadership but they haven’t been able to find a groove and get the whole team playing on the same page. It will come down to time, personal performances, and the players on the squad coming together when it counts.
Alex Goldman (ranked 41st Overall) is starting to look like his old self, and Marcello Margott has retaken the #1 spot on the Overall Player Ranking with his consistent performance across the board. The big issue with Margott is he will be playing the event with a broken right hand, so we’ll just have to wait and see how much it will affect his performance. Goldman looked fast and mean toward the latter part of the Chicago Open, and everyone who watched him play over the years knows he’s very capable of destroying opposing teams when he’s on.
Danny Park (ranked 76th Overall) looks solid as the main attacker on the snake side of the field. He came back to the game after a long layoff this year and looks better than ever, and he’s only going to get increasingly productive and consistent with more reps. They still have Alex Rodriguez (ranked 47th Overall), a rookie of the year candidate last season. Rodriguez can definitely clean up games, and so can Mike Paxson (ranked 97th Overall), who hasn’t seen much playing time this year with way the fields have been laid out. That could change with this layout. Also, Steven Pitts (ranked 37th Overall), who is technically a support player, might just be the most versatile player on the team; he’s a huge asset to the franchise and their second highest ranked player.
If they start performing up to their level of talent, they could start getting past the semis finals, and contending for wins. This tournament is going to be a big test for the historic team.
Mark your calendars for the 4th event of the 2013 PSP season, the PSP West Coast Open, brought to you live from the AB Brown Sports Complex in Riverside, CA, August 16th – 18th, by Paintball Access.
Can Upton 187 Crew and the Ton Tons fight out of the Challengers Division? Will Houston Heat win their second tournament of the year? Can Dynasty make it to the finals 4 events in row? Find out the answers as the best paintball players in the world fight it out at the PSP West Coast Open!