Elder Statesman Leveille Voted Team USA Captain
|Attackman Kevin Leveille will serve as Team USA captain during his first world championship apperance. (Scott McCall)|
DENVER – He's the elder statesman, yet a first-time world championship participant, and now Team USA captain.
Attackman Kevin Leveille, Major League Lacrosse's all-time leading goal scorer who was a Team USA alternate in 2010, was voted solo captain of the U.S. men's national team on Tuesday night in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the group is finishing off a four-day training camp at the Air Force Academy ahead of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship, which begins Thursday.
Head coach Richie Meade informed the team at the end of a Tuesday morning practice session at Air Force that the group would vote on captains later in the evening, and that he preferred a solo captain elected with two-thirds majority vote, but would be open to having more than one captain if the team preferred it.
That didn't happen, and the nod went to Leveille, the 34-year-old who, by two months over defenseman Lee Zink, is the oldest member of Team USA. One of the game's all-time great finishers, Leveille has been in the U.S. mix before, in the running to make every team since 2002, and even traveling with the last Team USA group to Manchester in 2010, where his brother Mike, helped the team win gold.
There was a bit of foreshadowing of the news Monday night during the team's visit to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. For a symbolic torch lighting ceremony, an Olympic facility official asked the team captain to do the honors. A captain had not yet been named yet, but a few teammates suggested Leveille, who currently plays for MLL's Rochester Rattlers, to do it.
"A couple people threw my name out and no one else was going, so I kind of just ran with it," Leveille said. "It's been a great start to the week for us. Being together as a group and feeling it grow organicaly. It's a really smart and advanced group. It's been a lot of fun so far."
Team USA will hold a short practice session Wednesday morning before heading to Denver ahead of Thursday night's opening ceremony and first game against Canada at 9 p.m. ET at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. The game will air live on ESPN2 and LaxMagazine.com will have live and post-game coverage.
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