HUGHES AND COMPANY FACE TRUE TEST ON SATURDAY
(Atlanta, GA- Friday, July 8, 2016)
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.
Atlanta is coming off a 77-0 blowout in their season opener against an over-matched 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 have 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.
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 term goals:
“The initiatives and goals of the 2016 Atlanta Steam unfortunately no longer coincided with the initiatives and 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.