We're Going To Be The Real Rochester Lancers
By: Doug Miller
Something very special is going to happen at the Dome Arena this year.
When you root for the local Major Arena Soccer League team, you will be watching an honest-for-goodness Rochester Lancers team with strong and deep area roots.
Most of our players grew up here, learned their soccer here or performed for the Lancers in previous seasons.
If things go the way team owner SoccerSam Fantauzzo and I believe, the Lancers are going to set a precedent. We're a locally owned team with local players who are good soccer players.
You might have seen them play before, whether you are live in Brighton, Chili, Churchville, Gates, Henrietta, Mendon, Pittsford, Rush, Victor or Webster.
Other than a handful of players, none of them have any MASL experience. So, it will be a challenge for us. Still, we're excited about the challenge and the opportunity to prove if we all come together and play collectively as a group, we can compete.
Last year the Lancers took third place in their first year in M2 as a new team. We were proud of that accomplishment. This year we face a greater challenge, moving up a league. Still, we're much further ahead of the curve.
On Sunday, about 15 of us -- players, coaches and Sam -- went to watch the Utica City FC-Canada pre-season game down the Thruway. The physicality and the athleticism of the game and the speed, you can't replicate it. That could give us a bit of a challenge. If we stay organized and defend together and attack together and keep teams under six goals, we'll surprise a lot of teams.
Success can be defined in different ways. This year's success is growing as an organization and growing as a team for the future. We want to be competitive in all the games and then steal games here and there. If something else more positive happens, so be it.
We don't have somebody who's going to score 50 goals and be an MVP of the league, but we have good players who are committed to each other and committed to the organization. That's the first step in creating an environment that the players and coaching staff are buying in. That's what we solidified very early on during the 2018-19 M2 season
The coaching staff has liked what it's seen in training, from the way we want them to play with our system, understanding it and the movements in the game. If we replicate it, I think we'll have a bit of success. Confidence will come from that. Once players get more confident and they've gone through the physicality and they have risen to that occasion, those are steps forward that we want to take.
So, if you haven't purchased season tickets or a ticket for our two opening weekend matches, come down to the Dome Arena on Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30 on our home opening weekend. Who knows? You might even see a neighbor or two on the field.
They won't only be playing their hearts out just for the team, but for the city and Rochester area as well.
After all, we are the real Rochester Lancers.
Tickets are available for November 29 & November 30 at RochesterLancers.com/Tickets.