Chicago Machine (MLL)
|Home stadium||Toyota Park|
|Based in||Bridgeview, Illinois|
|Colors||Light blue, white, black
|Head coach||John Combs|
|General manager||John Meister|
|Local media||Daily Herald|
The Chicago Machine was a men's field lacrosse team that played in Major League Lacrosse and was based in Chicago, Illinois until the franchise left after the 2009 season to be a travel team in 2010. The team then transferred its roster to the reborn Rochester Rattlers on November 23, 2010 when it was announced that the team's roster would be moved there. In January it was announced that in 2012 an expansion team would move to Columbus, Ohio. Later that team was revealed to be a reborn Machine franchise, rebranded as the Ohio Machine.
The establishment of a Chicago Major League Lacrosse expansion franchise was announced on August 21, 2005. Along with expansion teams representing Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver, the Chicago Machine became part of the Western Conference of the MLL in 2006. The team played its home games in 2006 at Sports Complex at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois.
The Machine finished the 2006 season on August 12. The team became the first and to date only MLL team to go the whole season without a victory. The team lead most of game against the Dragons on August 12 only to see the Dragons tie the game at the end of regulation and then win the game in overtime.
After losing their season opener in 2007, the Machine won their first game in franchise history on June 2 defeating Denver. The Machine had lost a league record 13 consecutive games (including all 12 games in 2006). They have yet to place any better than fourth in the Western Conference.
From 2006 to 2008, they were in the Western Conference. With the MLL contraction for the 2009 season from 10 to 6 teams (due to the state of the U.S. economy), there will only be one conference.
John Meister first signed on with the Chicago Machine in March 2006, he helped to start the team, and was the President from 2006–2009. He left the Chicago Machine September 2009 to pursue other opportunities. After Kevin Finneran was fired from the Chicago Machine after the inaugural season John Meister took on the role of general manager as well as president of the Chicago Machine.
John Algie took over as President for the 2010 season. In 2010 the team elected not to play any games in the Chicago metropolitan area and instead chose to compete as a traveling team with its "home" games being scheduled in a variety of potential MLL expansion markets. On November 23, 2010, Inside Lacrosse.com reported that the Machine franchise would be moving to Rochester, New York and would assume the team marks of the inactive Rochester Rattlers franchise. The team would play at Capelli Sport Stadium. The Rattlers played in this stadium during their tenure in Rochester before relocating to Toronto, Ontario. (An expansion team at Columbus will revive the Chicago nickname for the 2012 season as the Ohio Machine.) The revived franchise has the same light blue and black uniforms as the Chicago Machine.
- Kevin Finneran (2006)
- John H. Meister (2007–2009)
All-time head coaches
- Kevin Finneran – (2006)
- Lelan Rogers – (2007)
- John Combs – (2008–2009)
- B.J. O'Hara – (2010)
Players of note
Both current Machine star Doug Shanahan (midfielder) and former star Todd Rassas (defensemen) were named to the 2006 USA team after competing together in the 2002 World Championships. The 2006 USA team competed in the IFL World Championships in Ontario, Canada from July 13–22, 2006.
Machine attackman, Kevin Leveille, was named to play in the 2006 Major League Lacrosse All-Star game on July 6, 2006 in Boston, MA. Leveille was also named an alternate on the 2006 USA team to compete in the IFL World Championships in Ontario, Canada from July 13–22, 2006.
Michael Culver, Machine defenseman, was voted 2006 New Balance Sportsman of the year by both general managers and coaches of each of the ten Major League Lacrosse teams. Culver received this award after starting all 10 games for the Machine and recording 27 ground balls. Culver is a leader both on the field and off. Off the field he helped the community by donating half of his 2006 salary to the Children's Heart Foundation.
In the November 2005 expansion draft, the Chicago Machine drafted Philadelphia Barrage Midfielder Doug Shanahan as their first pick.
The Chicago Machine also drafted Todd Rassas in the 2005 supplemental draft. He is a local product from Northfield, Illinois. He was a three time All-American at Notre Dame, Captain of the 2002 Gold Medal Team USA and part of the 2006 Team USA.
Another Machine draftee, Lyle Shirley, is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame at Lake Forest College.
It is not uncommon for retired athletes to become sports broadcasters when they retire. However, the Chicago Machine may be the first team to have a former broadcaster become a professional player. In the December 2005 supplemental draft, the Machine drafted former WCAV-TV anchor Zach Heffner.
|Year||W||L||Regular season finish||Playoffs|
|2006||0||12||4th in Western Conference||—|
|2007||3||9||4th in Western Conference||—|
|2008||3||9||4th in Western Conference||—|
|2009||3||9||6th in MLL||—|
|2010||4||8||5th in MLL||—|
|Totals||13||47||Regular Season Win % = .217||Total Playoff Record 0 - 0
Playoff Win % = .000
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