MILWAUKEE — After a 20 month pause due to local health restrictions and a COVID-19 shutdown, the Milwaukee Wave is back on the field.
They played one game on the road, but as they return home, do they feel they are still the defending champs, since they won it all in 2019?
There were no playoffs in 2020 and they didn't play in 2021. You can tell the passion is there to do something special, this year.
"Because San Diego won it with like a 12 game league," Wave Forward Ian Bennett says. "It wasn't really legit. So I feel like, it's like boxing right? It's like, this year is undisputed."
So do they feel like they are the defending champion?
"In a way yeah, because we didn't get a chance to defend our title," Wave Head Coach Giuliano Oliviero says. "But at the same time, we know that San Diego can't take it away."
On loan for one season, Marcio Leite actually won the championship last season with San Diego.
Leite has his opinion if the Milwaukee Wave is the defending champs.
"That's a tough one man. I know I am," Wave Defender Leite says with a laugh.
Ian Bennett used his one year in Florida to win league MVP.
"Yeah, it was kind of crazy," Bennett says. "I was in actually white and orange. So different colors, it doesn't bring out my eyes like black and yellow. But it was good, man. The weather was awesome. The organization was great there, they welcomed me with open arms. I tore it up, man. You know, I was going to take advantage. If I'm going to leave my family, my friends, my teammates. I was like, I'm going to make it worth it, right?"
They can't wait to see fans back at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
"Oh I miss them. I miss them a lot," Leite says. "I believe we have the best fans in the league so I'm really excited to finally play in front of them and get some wins in front of them too."
"Electric. We've got the best fans in the league. We've got the black turf," Oliviero says. "We put on a great show. I would highly recommend everyone in the community. Everyone in the city of Milwaukee. Let's get out there. Let's support these guys."