The International Swimming League (ISL) “Play-off phase” is set to get underway on Thursday in Eindhoven, and some of the league’s best clubs are receiving reinforcements in the pursuit of championship glory.
Among the eight clubs that have qualified to compete in the six-match playoffs, seven have revealed their rosters to SwimSwam, though it needs to be acknowledged that the lineups for each specific match are expected to vary, especially early on.
The Aqua Centurions are the only club that has not released their playoff roster.
Below, we’ll take a brief overview of the changes the seven other clubs have made to their rosters compared to the regular season.
The defending champions have received a massive boost with the addition of the ever-versatile Hali Flickinger, who was the 13th-highest scorer during the 2020 season. The club also adds 200 fly specialist Eddie Wang on the men’s side, who scored 49 points across four matches last season.
Some of the swimmers that missed time during the regular season—including Caeleb Dressel, Olivia Smoliga and Natalie Hinds—are on the playoff roster as well.
|Khader Baqlah||Erika Brown|
|Marcin Cieslak||Kelsi Dahlia|
|Kevin Cordes||Kathrin Demler|
|Caeleb Dressel||Maaike de Waard|
|Nic Fink||Sherridon Dressel|
|Townley Haas||Emily Escobedo|
|Oleg Kostin||Hali Flickinger|
|Kacper Majchrzak||Molly Hannis|
|Angel Martinez||Natalie Hinds|
|Tomas Peribonio||Lilly King|
|Jesse Puts||Leonie Kullman|
|Justin Ress||Beata Nelson|
|Coleman Stewart||Marie Pietruschka|
|Mark Szaranek||Katerine Savard|
|Eddie Wang||Olivia Smoliga|
|Brodie Williams||Anastasia Sorokina|
The biggest addition for 2019 champion Energy Standard comes in the form of Great Britain’s James Guy, who takes over for Italian Marco De Tullio. Guy competed for the London Roar last season and is a versatile option across free, fly and relay events.
Emily Seebohm and Boglarka Kapas, also absent during the regular season, remain out for the playoffs.
|Maddy Banic||Adam Barrett|
|Evgenia Chikunova||Simonas Bilis|
|Georgia Davies||James Guy|
|Victoriya Gunes||Kliment Kolesnikov|
|Mary-Sophie Harvey||Chad le Clos|
|Siobhan Haughey||Felipe Lima|
|Femke Heemskerk||Travis Mahoney|
|Benedetta Pilato||Florent Manaudou|
|Helena Rosendahl-Bach||Clement Mignon|
|Simona Kubova||Ben Proud|
|Janja Segel||Evgeny Rylov|
|Anastasiya Shkurdai||Ilya Shymanovich|
|Sarah Sjostrom||Max Stupin|
|Fanny Teijonsalo||Charlie Swanson|
|Jessica Vall||Andrey Zhilkin|
A top contender through the first two seasons of the ISL, London will need a breakthrough to reach the top of the mountain this season, especially with the continued absence of Australian sprinter Cate Campbell.
Campbell remains out for the Roar, but they could potentially get back men’s breaststroking star Adam Peaty, who was recently eliminated from the British dance show Strictly Come Dancing. Peaty is on the roster, but if or when he shows up in Eindhoven remains to be seen.
London also gains fellow breaststroker Kirill Prigoda and 200 free Olympic gold medalist Tom Dean, who missed the regular season.
Men’s breaststroke was a weak spot for the Roar this season, so the addition of Prigoda and potentially Peaty could be huge for them.
|Adam Peaty||Alia Atkinson|
|Christian Diener||Annie Lazor|
|Duncan Scott||Emma McKeon|
|Dylan Carter||Freya Anderson|
|Edward Mildred||Ilaria Bianchi|
|Guilherme Guido||Jenna Laukkanen|
|Katsumi Nakamura||Katie Shanahan|
|Kenzo Simons||Kim Busch|
|Kirill Prigoda||Kira Toussaint|
|Kyle Chalmers||Laura Lahtinen|
|Luke Greenbank||Marie Wattel|
|Ross Murdoch||Minna Atherton|
|Samuel Williamson||Sydney Pickrem|
|Teppei Morimoto||Valerie van Roon|
Like the three teams listed above them in this article, the LA Current have qualified for the ISL Final in each of the past two years. A third straight appearance looked to be far from a sure thing given the strength showed by the Toronto Titans in 2021, but the Current will receive a massive boost for the playoffs that could very well push them over the Canadian-based club.
Ryan Murphy, the third-highest scorer in the 2020 ISL season, will join the Current for the playoffs after missing the entire regular season. Murphy averaged more than 58 points per match in 2020 and could be a game-changer if he’s able to race the backstroke skins during the playoffs (he won the event four times last season).
Also coming into the fold for the playoffs is Greek sprinter Kristian Gkolomeev, who scored 71 points in four matches last year and gives the club flexibility in the men’s sprint free and relay events.
Katie McLaughlin, Matt Wilson and Will Licon remain absent for the club after missing the regular season, while Aussie Bronte Campbell is also confirmed to be out.
The Titans were recently dealt a blow when freestyler Blake Pieroni announced that he injured his knee and would miss the playoffs.
Toronto will also be without Canadian native Finlay Knox, who was a huge asset to the club during the regular season, especially in the men’s medley events. Sergey Fesikov comes in his place.
|Anika Apostalon||Tobias Bjerg|
|Lisa Bratton||Sergey Fesikov|
|Tessa Cieplucha||Brent Hayden|
|Michelle Coleman||Yuri Kisil|
|Candice Hall||Luc Kroon|
|Louise Hansson||Marius Kusch|
|Julia Hassler||Jay Lelliott|
|Kylie Masse||Max Litchfield|
|Summer McIntosh||Anton McKee|
|Kaersten Meitz||Grigori Pekarski|
|Larissa Oliveira||Blake Pieroni|
|Kayla Sanchez||Cole Pratt|
|Laura Stephens||Alberto Razzetti|
|Dominika Sztandera||Shane Ryan|
|Kasia Wasick||Fabian Schwingenschlogl|
|Kelsey Wog||Lorenzo Zazzeri|
The Iron roster for the playoffs remains largely unchanged compared to the regular season, though they will gain Serbian sprinter Andrej Barna.
The club will also be without Turkish breaststroker Emre Sakci, who was a star in 2020 but only raced twice in the Season 3 regular season and combined for 24.5 points.
Katinka Hosszu, who didn’t race in the regular season despite being on the roster and attending meets, remains in the lineup but it’s not confirmed that she will race.
|Ranomi Kromowidjojo||Thom de Boer|
|Katinka Hosszú||Leonardo Santos|
|Melanie Henique||Nicholas Santos|
|Ida Hulkko||Guilherme Basseto|
|Maria Ugolkova||Marco Orsi|
|Veronika Andrusenko||Mikhail Vekovischev|
|Emilie Beckmann||Bernhard Reitshammer|
|Barbora Seemanova||Matt Richards|
|Ingeborg Vassbakk Loyning||Kirill Strelnikov|
|Jenna Strauch||Luiz Altamir Melo|
|Costanza Cocconcelli||Lorenzo Mora|
|Africa Zamorano Sanz||Erik Persson|
|Alys Thomas||Andrej Barna|
|Silvia Scalia||Robert Glinta|
|Casey Fanz||Maxim Lobanovszkij|
Coming off an emotional victory in the Play-In Match to qualify for the playoffs, the DC Trident lose a pair of prominent figures on the men’s side for the postseason in the form of Jacob Pebley and Zach Apple.
Pebley was the second-highest scoring swimmer on the men’s side for DC during the season with 101.5 points, while Apple largely underwhelmed in 2021 (9.2 points/match) compared to his standout showing in Season 2 (29.75 points/match).
The club will also be without Australian Tristan Hollard for the postseason, while Mohamed Samy, Drew Loy and Rachel Nicol will all be available.
|Bailey Andison||Tommy Cope|
|Tatiana Belonogoff||Felipe Franca|
|Annika Bruhn||Zane Grothe|
|Ali DeLoof||Zach Harting|
|Joanna Evans||Ryan Hoffer|
|Maddie Groves||Jay Litherland|
|Bella Hindley||Drew Loy|
|Anna Hopkin||Cody Miller|
|Zsu Jakabos||Camden Murphy|
|Madison Kennedy||Mark Nikolaev|
|Linnea Mack||Mohammed Samy|
|Klaudia Nazieblo||Aleksandr Shchegolev|
|Leah Neale||Serhii Shevtsov|
|Rachel Nicol||Velimir Stjepanovic|
|Ting Wen Quah||Andreas Vazaios|
These changes just seem to reinforce the same top 4 as last year. Chalmers and McKeon should mean Roar are closer than last year but if Dressel shows, still difficult to see past same 1-4 as last year
No, Toronto will beat LA to the final because of how the playoffs are matched up. LA will be up against Roar 3 times and probably lose all 3 times. Toronto is up against Iron 3 times and will probably win all 3 times.
Even if LA beats Toronto in the one match they go head to head, Toronto still probably beats LA overall.
In terms of the order in the final, Toronto lost to Energy, Roar and Cali every time, so I’m fairly sure they’re last. Cali are the ones to beat, with Energy having a solid chance to do so. Roar has an outside chance to beat Energy and/or Cali though. I think safe bet is Cali-Energy-Roar-Toronto, but… Read more »
It’s hard to get firm information, but it’s starting to feel like the rosters are even going to be quite different than these.
No Seebohm really hurts Energy’s chances of picking the women’s skins.
I’m not really sure it matters if Energy can choose skins in the final or if they get second veto.
Presumably, the final will be Cali, Energy, Roar and Toronto. Toronto will probably come 4th so get no choice. Roar will probably come 3rd and will almost certainly drop either fly or breast. If they drop breast, Cali would drop free, leaving Energy to choose fly. If energy was second they would drop back, leaving Cali to probably choose fly. If Roar drops fly, then Cali would drop free, leaving Energy to choose between their two weakest strokes, back and breast. If Roar drops fly and Energy are second, they will drop either back or breast, and Cali will choose… Read more »
Manaudou is on French Celebrity Hunted so is not going to be back for the playoffs
But that isn’t live! Outcome may be the same but that was filmed months ago
Summer McIntosh also back for Toronto after missing 2nd half of regular season.
ISL will be streamed on CBC in Canada (likely need a VPN though).
This isn’t a good look for ISL. If you commit to swim during the regular season, then you should commit to the playoffs. Also, if you sat out the regular season, it doesn’t seem fair for athletes to be eligible for the playoffs.
yeah I agree. Unless there’s a injury or sickness, you have to commit to the full season.
Peaty is doing a book signing on Monday in Nottingham so seems unlikely he’ll be in Netherlands on Sunday to race
Regardless of whether he is out of the dancing show or not I don’t think Peaty ever planned to swim in the ISL this year.