Haifa announced as first Premier League club

HAIFA, ISRAEL — Israel men’s national team head coach Bill Beroza will be manning the sidelines in Haifa this summer, as the city was named the first of at least four men’s teams competing in the inaugural season of the Israel Premier Lacrosse League.

A member of both the US Lacrosse National Hall of Fame, and the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Beroza was a three-time medalist for Team USA (1978, 1982 and 1986) amongst other accolades.

The Premier League, which kicks off its inaugural season in Summer 2015, will be comprised of primarily collegiate players with NCAA eligibility remaining.

An ownership group led by Daniel and Wendy Kraft spearheaded the initiative to bring the club to Haifa, which has a strong partnership with the city of Boston.  Israel Lacrosse recently held a Showcase event at Harvard and Boston University to drive interest in the expansion.

“My family and I are thrilled to be part of the Haifa franchise in the new league,” said Kraft, who was instrumental in establishing a lacrosse scholarship fund to send Israeli high school athletes abroad. “This exciting project combines two loves and passions for our family: lacrosse and the State of Israel. We look forward to spreading the beauty of this sport to the youth population of Haifa.”

Haifa LC is expected to play home games at Kefar-Galim Training Grounds; participation in the Premier League is contingent upon the club obtaining a membership of at least 100 youth lacrosse players in the city.

Beroza, a Boston resident who recently led the blue-and-white to a No. 7 world ranking, now adds coaching the “green-and-white” to his duties with Israel Lacrosse.

“I’m excited to spend time in Haifa to help further lacrosse there,” said Beroza. “We expect Haifa, and the entire Premier League, to be a strong feeder for our World team.”

Premier League athletes will have internship and volunteer opportunities in coaching young lacrosse players in their city, as well as in marketing, public relations and operations for their club. Affordable housing will also be made available to visiting players in the “Lacrosse Embassy” of each city.

Athletes who are interested in competing in Haifa, or elsewhere in the Israel Premier Lacrosse League can register at http://www.israellacrosse.com/IPLL — Players of all nationalities and religious backgrounds are encouraged to participate.