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Wednesday, 06 July 2016 09:09

Steam tweak roster ahead of final home game of the season

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Atlanta to host Los Angeles in critical East vs West LFL contest. Image courtesy Tony Villatoro/Toro Photo.

The Atlanta Steam (1-0) will face the Los Angeles Temptation (2-1) on Saturday night in their final home game of the 2016 season in the first meeting between the two franchises. The outcome of the East-West meeting at the Infinite Energy Arena will have a big impact on the postseason life of both teams.

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The Steammates will take part in a pregame tailgate party that begins at 3:00 PM on Saturday.

Atlanta is coming off a 77-0 blowout in their season opener against an overmatched Omaha (1-2) squad that lacked intensity, and was physically intimated by the Steam style of play. While the W was a great start to the season, the fact it came against the Heart, a team that Atlanta is 6-0 against since joining the league in 2013, means that the game with LA will be the first true test of season for the Steam.

The Temptation has won two straight, and are tied with the Dallas Desire (2-1) for second in the Western Conference coming into the contest with the Steam. LA is averaging 31 points a game with an offense that includes two players well known by Atlanta fans, Nas Johnson and Jayne Caldwell, and a defense that is allowing 28 points a game.

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Jayne Cladwell (in action against Austin) is one of two LA players well known to Atlanta fans. Nas Johnson, an original Steam player, joins Caldwell as key parts to an offense scoring 31 points a game. Image courtesy LFLUSA.   

Atlanta head coach Dane Robinson announced some changes to the roster ahead of the Los Angeles game that included one Steam veteran, Sharlene Fuller, being released, one LFL veteran, Theresa Petruziello, being placed on the inactive list, and another, Heather Hudson, being signed.

Robinson’s statement concerning Fuller’s release pointed to a difference in long goal goals:

“The initiatives and goals of the 2016 Atlanta Steam unfortunately no longer coincided with the initiativesand goals of Sharlene. It was best to remove her from the Steam to continue the forward and upward trajectory of this program. We wish Sharlene the best in her future endeavors.”

Petruziello’s placement on the inactive list was expected because she will be attending her sister’s wedding on July 9. Robinson was informed months ago about the wedding, and has been preparing for the move. The third-year head coach plans to reactivate Theresa so she will be available for the New England game on July 23.

 

Hudson was signed to play against LA in the absence of Petruziello. Robinson is excited to have Heather on the field against the Temptation, saying that she “provides another great athlete to play in our secondary and do an amazing job.” He went on to say that “Her speed and strength for being a smaller player is a welcomed addition to this team and we are excited about the great job she will do for this team to help us towards 2-0.”

 

This is a must-win game for both teams. Los Angeles must win for a post-season berth, and Atlanta must win to continue the march to a head-to-head battle with Chicago on the final day of the regular season. While the Steam would still have a chance to reach the post-season even if they were to lose on Saturday, a loss would be tough to bounce back from before the Bliss game because the next team on the schedule is the Liberty-a team that lost to Omaha (26-6) and Austin (42-21) en route to a 0-3 mark that includes a 70-7 blowout loss to Chicago.

 

A loss to LA would send Atlanta into the Chicago game still winless against a competitive team with questions about their ability to get a W against a team not from Omaha or New England.

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Read 5019 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 July 2016 09:27
Mike Delrio

After six seasons covering pro sports as a credentialed writer/photogrpaher in the Atlanta area, Mike began covering Gwinnett County High School sports in 2013 which led to the launch of Gwinnettsportsreport.com. GSR is a site that highlights prep and youth sports in Gwinnett County. While baseball. basketball, and football receive the majority of the attention, GSR will include updates and news on a variety of sports across the county.

GSR coverage of pro teams in the county began in June 2015.  

With many of the top athletes and teams in Georgia calling Gwinnett home, there is a never-ending stream of news and Gwinnettsportsreport.com looks forward to becoming one of your favorite sports blogs for updates on the outstanding athletes in our county.

 

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