The Player Movement Policy gave MLL players last offseason the most control they've ever had in determining which team they play for. Entering into the second year of Player Movement, MLL Press Box will break down each player who is eligible and files their paperwork. Players must have five years of service time and an expiring contract to enter Player Movement.
Current Team: New York Lizards
2017 Stats: 12 games - 26 goals - 7 assists - 34 points
Q&A with Matt Gibson:
Why did you file for player movement?
Just to see what my other options were around the league. Given the roster on New York, my role had changed over the past year, so I just wanted to see what my options were around the league in terms of being a lefty attackman.
How do you see yourself as a player?
Certainly, my role has become more specialized. My role was tailored to what it was on the Lizards, which was an off-ball guy – and that’s what my training centered around. But, that kind of changed halfway through this year as I got moved up to midfield. Given my lack of experience at that position, since I think freshman year of high school was the last time I played midfield, I did surprisingly well, especially given that all my training centers on being just a catch and finish guy. So, I think in the second half of this year I proved that I can run through the midfield and beat a shortstick. I was kind of psyched about that, just on a personal level, that I still have that repertoire. I would say I want to be more of an off-ball finisher, but I’m fairly confident that I can play different roles as well.
Did you have difficulty deciding to file for Player Movement given that you’re from Long Island?
Yeah, there was, because my family lives on Long Island. That’s where I am right now. This is where I’ve spent all my seasons with the Lizards. I just feel at home. So it’s tough to consider other options, given that, but at the same time, I would love if every team I play for was located up the block from my house, but you don’t have that luxury sometimes. You have to set that aside and consider the pros and cons of playing somewhere else.
What are your thoughts on Player Movement in general?
I think it’s a good power to have from a player’s standpoint. Especially given that there’s a lot of ambiguity in the offseason with the protected rosters. Even I’ve had a pretty prominent role on the Lizards, but every time that protected roster list comes out, I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to be on it. There’s not a ton of transparency, so it’s nice to be the one in charge of that when I’m saying I’d like to open it up and maybe look at some other options. It just feels like you have more of a part in the process, as opposed to just kind of being a piece on the board. Not that I feel incredibly powerful now, it’s just that I’ve taken things into my own hands and let people know what’s going on in my mind, because a lot of times it goes the other way. You’re not sure what’s going on with the organization and sometimes that can work out poorly. So, it’s nice to just be in the driver seat a little more than usual.
Do you foresee Player Movement ever leading to a “Super Team” with multiple stars going to the same team?
I think that’s a definite possibility. It’s a unique sport in that you can’t just throw the best out there. They have to be guys who mesh well together and are willing to complement each other. I think sometimes that can bite you. Only one guy can have the ball, so if you’re not willing to work with what he does when he has the ball then that becomes an inherent issue. So, I think it’s definitely possible and definitely has happened a little bit, but I think that if it becomes a regular thing, there’s going to have to be a science to it and you’re going to see a lot of downsides.