Dressel, Le Clos To Miss Opening Match of ISL Playoffs (Day 1 Start Lists)


Two of the sport’s biggest stars will be absent from the opening match of the International Swimming League (ISL) playoffs on Thursday, as both Caeleb Dressel and Chad Le Clos aren’t entered to compete.

Dressel, the two-time reigning ISL Season MVP and the top scorer (points-per-match) in the regular season, won’t be in action for the defending league champion Cali Condors.

Dressel missed the club’s final regular season match, opting to head home and rest up after the club had clinched a playoff spot back in September. The 25-year-old American left as the season points leader, having scored 233 points in just five days of racing.

Dressel won 11 events during the regular season, including the freestyle skins in Match 4, and Cali’s chances of ultimately defending the league title in December rest largely on his shoulders.

Le Clos, a top contributor to the 2019 champions Energy Standard, pulled out of the FINA World Cup stop in Budapest in early October with an injury, and is one of many swimmers for the club that are absent for the opening match.

Energy Standard only has 12 men and 12 women slated to compete in Match 1, reportedly due to sickness and injury. With 114 event slots to fill, swimmers will have to race an average of 4.75 events for the club.

This has resulted in some off-event entries, such as Siobhan Haughey being entered in the women’s 50 breaststroke with the absence of Italian Benedetta Pilato.


Cali Condors

  • Sherridon Dressel joins brother Caeleb in being out for Cali. Dressel won the women’s 50 and 100 backstroke during Match 2.
  • Hali Flickinger, who missed the regular season but was on the club’s playoff roster, is not entered as well. Flickinger ranked 13th in Season 2 MVP scoring.
  • Oleg Kostin, one of the club’s top men’s 50 breast options, is out.

DC Trident


  • Marco Orsi, who is coming off of competing at the SC European Championships, is out for Iron. Orsi won the men’s 100 IM four times during the regular season, including at the do-or-die Play-In Match.
  • Also absent for Iron will be women’s freestyler Veronika Andrusenko and backstroker Silvia Scalia.

Energy Standard

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1 year ago

Where is the warrior mindset? Why would Dressel post that he’s rejoining his teammates then not show up? Seems like a chump move.

Reply to  Orange
1 year ago

Team captain my ass.

Reply to  Orange
1 year ago

I was wondering the same.
Could it be that he skipped match 1 since it is fairly long until match 2 for the condors and will do match 2 & 3?

Stewart 100 back gold in Fukuoka
1 year ago

Too many absences, and relatively pedestrian results compared to the preliminary round. 💤💤

1 year ago

Dressel is just a 1x league MVP. Sjostrem was the MVP the first year.

Reply to  theloniuspunk
1 year ago

Correct. But, Dressel was the Finals MVP both times.

1 year ago

Gotta let that leg sleeve heal

1 year ago

Forgive my ingorance, but will someone please explain how “skins” work? Thanks.

Reply to  RCP
1 year ago

Each team enters 2 swimmers. Top 4 advance (regardless of team) to semis. Top 2 advance to final. Points can be Jackpotted in every round.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Thanks, Braden.

Reply to  RCP
1 year ago

So it’s a little complicated.

Skins is 3 x 50m sprints. Each team enters two swimmers. The top 4 go to the semi and top 2 go to the final. The first two rounds are worth the same points as regular events. The last round is worth 14 points for a win and 7 for second. So if you win all 3 rounds, assuming no jackpot, that’s worth the same as winning about 3.5 regular events. With jackpots it can be significantly more. I believe (and quite a few people agree) that skins is massively overvalued in terms of points.

There are four strokes to choose from. The team with the third highest points in the medley relay eliminates one… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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