Ryan Murphy and Kristian Gkolomeev Due to Rejoin LA Current for ISL Playoffs

The LA Current will receive arguably the biggest boost of any team in the ISL this season headed into the Playoff round. That’s a boost they badly needed as the team, for the first time in the three-year history in the league, is on the outside looking in for a berth in the season finale in December in Eindhoven.

Ryan Murphy and Kristian Gkolomeev will both rejoin the team for the ISL Playoff after missing the entire regular season.

Murphy was the #3 scorer in the 2020 ISL regular season, scoring 233 points and averaging 58.25 MVP points/match. He is the only swimmer among the top 12 from the 2020 ISL regular season MVP standings to have not competed in the 2021 ISL regular season.

Murphy won 15 races during the 2020 ISL season (regular season and playoffs). That included going a perfect 5-for-5 in the 50 backstroke, and winning the high-value skins races 4 times, including in the league semifinals. His ability in the backstroke skins gives the Current more resilience in skins, and a much better chance at winning the skins races. They really struggled in the backstroke races this season, trying swimmers like Abrahm Devine, Maxime Rooney, and even Ryan Held in the backstroke events (Held was actually 2nd in the 50 back in Match #8).

The Greek sprinter Gkolomeev scored 71 points in 4 regular season matches last year, averaging 17.75 per match.

The Current ranked 5th in the regular season, one spot behind the vastly-improved Toronto Titans. In the teams’ only head-to-head matchup, in Match #5, the Titans won with 536 points and LA was 2nd with 452.5 points.

In total, Toronto averaged 62 more points than LA per regular season match. With Murphy and Gkolomeev good for about 75 points/match, that battle for a spot in the finals should tighten up considerably behind the likely top three Energy Standard, Cali Condors, and London Roar.

The Current finished 4th in both Season 1 and Season 2 of the ISL

The team will still be without Katie McLaughlin and Matt Wilson, who are both on the team’s season roster but not their playoff roster. If those two had joined the team, their chances would have improved substantially.

Will Licon and Lani Pallister are also eligible but absent from the roster, and Australian Bronte Campbell, as previously announced, will miss the ISL playoffs.

But the Current still have some other places to find points. Kathleen Baker, who swam in three regular season matches and averaged 8 points in each, and Held averaged just over 8 points in each. Both are capable of double digit points.

Another concern for the Current is the health of Tomoe Hvas. Hvas averaged over 22 points per match in the regular season, which rose to almost 28 points per match in the team’s last three. He left the European Championships early because of a non-COVID related illness, so his status is up-in-the-air.

The Current’s top two scorers in the regular season were Tom Shields and Ingrid Wilm. Wilm, who broke the Canadian Record in the 100 backstroke, is one of the two breakout performers in ISL history, and was the team’s top female scorer. She’s also not on Canada’s Short Course World Championship roster, which means she gets to focus on ISL as her primary meet this winter if she chooses.

The LA Current open their 2021 ISL Playoffs on November 13 and 14 against London Roar, Toronto Titans, and Aqua Centurions. While not necessarily so, the teams that finish in the top two in that match will have a huge advantage in advancing to the final.

LA Current Roster for 2021 ISL Playoffs

Women Men
Kathleen Baker Javier Acevedo
Imogen Clark
Mikaela Dahlke
Valentine Dumont Breno Correia
Sara Franceschi Abrahm DeVine
Helena Gasson Kristian Gkolomeev
Béryl Gastaldello Ryan Held
Anastasia Gorbenko Tomoe Hvas
Anna Ntountounaki Martin Malyutin
Kotryna Teterevkova Ryan Murphy
Abbey Weitzeil Brett Pinfold
Ingrid Wilm Maxime Rooney
Madison Wilson
Alyssa Marsh
Tom Shields

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Hswimmer
2 months ago

Why no McLaughlin?

JP input is too short
2 months ago

They have a worse breaststroke problem for the playoffs than the Roar men did for the regular season…

PFA
2 months ago

Somewhat related Blake pieroni said he is not competing in the ISL playoffs for Toronto as he injured himself from lifting.

Swimmer
2 months ago

Interesting that Murphy was such an ISL supporter and an anti FINA advocate when the whole ISL league was created. Why did he sit out the first session and threat to strike if swimmers didn’t get paid.

Chad Chad
Reply to  Swimmer
2 months ago

I’d imagine it’s because he (and many other athletes for that matter) support the concept of a league that provides opportunities for swimmers to make a living without dealing with the corrupt and unreliable FINA organization. But the whole “making a living” thing goes out the door if the athletes don’t get paid. I don’t blame him for advocating for the concept of the league while criticizing very foundational faults in its execution.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Swimmer
2 months ago

How dare he need a break after a grueling Olympics and want to get paid for work he performed!

Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

It’s going to be a long time before I care about Ryan Murphy again. He stayed away this long to allow memories to fade.

Didn’t work

Taa
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

Did he kick your dog or something worse?

Sub13
Reply to  Taa
2 months ago

People in the Emma McKeon articles are still bringing up the fact that 5 years ago she forgot to tell management she was staying with friends, and obviously that makes her an awful person lol. Critics will cling to whatever they can.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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