January 3, 2020
By Adam Ruffner
2020 is going to be a huge year for the AUDL. With expansion, divisional realignment, and yardage stat tracking already announced for the new season, we're just now getting into really interesting part of the winter: roster construction. With team tryouts already underway, and a slew of teams active in free agency, there figures to be a lot of player movement in the coming weeks. Minnesota (and now Dallas) have made considerable additions to already potent lineups—what teams will be next?
- Wind Chill Impress 60,000 Home Crowd In Halftime Exhibition
In the fourth AUDL halftime exhibition of the 2019 NFL season, the Minnesota Wind Chill hosted the Madison Radicals in front of a sold out crowd of over 60,000 on December 29 at US Bank Stadium. It was the second NFL halftime exhibition for the two teams, as they met on December 8 at Lambeau Field for a similar showcase. Jordan Taylor made the highlight of the afternoon with a full speed layout grab that delighted the Minnesota home crowd.
Full video of the halftime showcase is available on YouTube.
- Minnesota To Play Montreal In 2020 Regular Season Matchup
The Minnesota Wind Chill will play the Montreal Royal in a first-ever matchup between the two franchises during the 2020 regular season. The game will be hosted by Minnesota at a neutral location in Winnipeg; the Wind Chill signed a host of Canadian natives—Cam Burden, Jesse Greenberg, Mathew Ladyman, and Quinn Snider—to their 2019 roster that will return in 2020. Additionally, two current Wind Chill players formerly played with Montreal: Burden and Jordan Taylor.
- Dallas Adding Stars
After leading the Austin Sol in goals scored (66) over the past two seasons, young phenom Kyle Henke is signing with the rival Dallas Roughnecks for the 2020 season. A highlight machine his first two full seasons in the league, Henke excelled as a primary downfield option for the Sol, and now joins a Roughnecks offense loaded with talent.
Joining Henke is two-time AUDL champion and ultimate legend Kurt Gibson, who played with the Roughnecks in 2016 and 2017. While Gibson has struggled with injuries in recent years—he's played just 10 total games since the start of the 2017 season—he's been wildly effective in limited action; Gibson threw 31 assists and scored 32 goals in just eight games with the Chicago Wildfire in 2018.
Dallas has qualified for the AUDL championship game in three of the past four years, but their sole title came in 2016 during their inaugural season.
- Montreal Re-Signs Veterans
The Montreal Royal have begun announcing more names to their 2020 roster, re-signing a trio of team veterans in Gabriel Monfette, André Arsenault, and Kevin Groulx.
Monfette has been a central part of the Royal defense since the team's first game, generating 55 blocks in 74 career games. Arsenault has been Montreal's premier playmaking defender since joining the team, earning 60 blocks in 50 career games, good for second all-time in franchise history; he has 40 blocks in the last three seasons alone. Groulx—the franchise leader in blocks—is making a triumphant return after a brutal arm injury ended his 2019 season.
- Philly Continuing To Build
After being in the thick of the playoff race for most of the season in 2019, the Philadelphia Phoenix are buildling from within heading into the new year by adding Himalaya Mehta, Eric Nardelli, Brice Dunn, and Marc Sands among other returners in a re-signing spree.
Mehta has been the team's most dependable downfield option the past two seasons, racking up 80 goals while also completing 371 passes at a 94.20 percent rate. Nardelli has quietly put together an impressive defender resume in his first five seasons, and has four straight campaigns with 10+ blocks. Dunn and Sands are a part of the Phoenix's newest wave of talent, and really made improvements towards the end of 2019;