Players To Watch: Week 1

April 5, 2019
by Matt Rezin

The 2019 AUDL season kicks off tonight in Dallas. Here are some players to keep an eye on when you're watching this weekend: 

Friday, April 5

Raleigh Flyers at Dallas Roughnecks - 8:30 PM/ET 

  • Jacob Fairfax (RAL) — 4th in the league in goals per game (4.36, 11 games) last season, Jacob Fairfax returns as a valuable downfield weapon for the Flyers. Could he test his 9-goal single-game record from 2017 against the Rougnecks?
  • Jay Froude (DAL) — With an average Plus/Minus of 6.00 across 16 games last season, Froude makes the Dallas offense tick. He returns this year seeking redemption for their finals loss as the Roughnecks look to get off to a strong start against possibly their toughest divisional rival.

Saturday, April 6

Raleigh Flyers at Austin Sol - 7:00 PM/ET

  • Mischa Freystaetter (RAL) — Mischa had a strong showing in his first year with the Flyers, demonstrating a more balanced game (27 assists, 33 goals) than his earlier career focus on downfield heroics. In his second season with the team Freystaetter looks to continue dominating the skies. 
  • Kyle Henke (ATX) — Highlight machine Kyle Henke returns to the Sol this year. There may be Sol players with a bigger impact on the box score, but Henke has shown great promise as a go to cutter for the Sol and should continue improving as he enters his third season in the league.

Atlanta Hustle at Tampa Bay Cannons - 7:05 PM/ET

  • Matt Smith (ATL) — Every regular season Atlanta Hustle goals record is held by Matt Smith. 9 goals in one game, 66 goals in one season, and 203 over his career thus far are all records for the Hustle. After a quieter statistical year in 2018 than his averages, I expect Smith will be testing some of his own records this season.
  • Andrew Roney (TB) — A consistent handling presence for the Cannons since his first full season in 2017, Andrew Roney has had 50 assists in each of the past two seasons and he does it without turning the disc over. Roney will look to improve on his 2018 plus/minus of 4.83 this season but he's set a high bar for himself.

San Jose Spiders at Seattle Cascades - 9:30 PM/ET

  • Lior Givol (SJ) — After two seasons across the bay, Givol returns to the Spiders after a hugely productive season in 2018. Scoring 50 goals, 24 assists and 14 blocks in 11 games, Givol is ready to make a significant impact on the Spiders offense.
  • Mark Burton (SEA) — The Cascades quarterback returns for his 4th season! Mark Burton has been in the upper echelon of elite throwers since joining the league. Averaging 5.08 assists per game in 2016, his consistent improvement (6.75 a/g in 2017, 8.10 a/g in 2018) at the head of Seattle's offense has me thinking of Burton as a potential MVP candidate in 2019.

Los Angeles Aviators at San Diego Growlers - 9:45 PM/ET

  • Sean McDougall (LA) — After a career year in 2018 that had him in the MVP discussion, McDougall looks to return his team to the playoffs this season. Having set the single season Aviators records for both Blocks (23) and Goals (58) in 2018, McDougall will attempt to improve on his greatness.
  • Travis Dunn (SD)  — While his player page lists Dunn as a Cutter, don't leave him open without a mark when he's got the disc in his hands. Dunn holds the career records for the Growlers for both Assists and Goals, and like McDougall, will look to improve on a career year last season (52 assists, 30 goals, 10 blocks).

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