GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (Sept. 28, 2017) - The acquisition of Will Manny was one of the blockbuster deals of the past MLL Trade Deadline, as he and teammate Joe LoCascio came to Long Island from the Boston Cannons this past June. Manny, who became an instant threat on offense and led the Lizards to a 4-2 record to finish off the 2017 season after the trade, will stay with the green and black now after signing a one-year contract on Wednesday (Sept. 27).
"I am very excited to be back with the Lizards for the 2018 season," Manny stated. "Having the opportunity to have a full season with this team is pretty exciting and I am very thankful for the support from the front office and teammates. I want to thank Coach Spallina for his trust in me and bringing me back to my roots."
To Coach Joe Spallina, the contract negotiations were an absolute no-brainer. Manny, in just six games with the Lizards this past summer, scored 17 goals on a .347 shooting percentage. Put those stats together with his numbers from the first eight games with Boston and Manny was a 48-point scorer in the MLL in 2017, tied for fifth-most in the league with teammate Paul Rabil and New York's newest acquisition Mike Bocklet.
"Re-signing Will," Spallina said, "was a huge part of our off-season. He changed the complexion of our team the moment he put our jersey on. Will is a team-first guy that plays with great energy and purpose."
Coming back to Long Island was a big key to the deal for both Manny and Spallina; the former claims Massapequa as his hometown and was a proud alumnus of Saint Anthony's High School in South Huntington. The latter is one of the more well-respected and well-known coaches on the Long Island circuit and has a career record of 261-31 as a high school and college coach.
"Being able to play back on Long Island where my family and friends can gather and come support the Lizards always makes for a special weekend," Manny said about his home. "I think about it all the time, how lucky I am to have that supporting cast and seeing everyone after every home game."
Spallina echoed those sentiments, stating that Manny is "a Long Island born-and-bred player. It means a lot to him to wear our jersey."
With the 't's crossed and the 'i's dotted, now Manny and Spallina can focus on one thing: bringing the Steinfeld Cup back home to the Lizards in 2018.
"We have a special core group in New York," said Manny, "and I am just looking forward to continuing that camaraderie and playing whatever role I need to in order to win. That is what I want to do with this group, win."
"Will is a team leader," added Spallina, "and someone that wants to win first."