I didn't have room to include it in the preview, but here's what RSL coach John Ellinger said when I asked what he had learned in his first two years guiding the squad that would make a difference in their fate this year.
"For me, I have to say that the first year was the hardest, just getting comfortable with the level of play and the speed of play and trying to find the roster that makes sense and that can win some games. Last year, not hitting the panic button early was key for us, continuing to show some patience, and then in the second half of the season we hit our stride and we played extremely well. For me, knowing the importance of every league game you play is of the utmost importance as far as getting the points you need to make the playoffs. We need an early start and we need a strong finish. For us, it’s a long season and understanding that it’s a long season and that we need to get our points at different parts of the season to make the playoff. I’ve got a good group of senior leadership. They’ve been through it before. I was an assistant coach in the first year of the league and we ended up making the playoffs on a nice run there. I know it can be done. What I’m looking for now is that I want more consistency out of our team as far as not giving away silly goals. We were second in scoring last year, but we definitely needed to play better defense, if we’re going to get to the playoffs and go anywhere in the playoffs. The importance of scoring goals and also having a quality defensive unit out there is key."