THE BALTIMORE CONNECTION: Lancers player-coach Schindler is in line to help the Blast in the playoffs

The Rochester Lancers' affiliation with the Baltimore Blast could have great implications for the latter club this season.

With the Major Arena Soccer League 2 playoffs slated to end April 1, Lancers player-head coach Jake Schindler is slated to join the M1 side that week for that league's postseason.

Schindler, who has called Rochester his home all his life, is considered one of the best all-around indoor soccer players. He leads the Lancers with seven assists and has contributed three goals entering Saturday night's encounter at the Iowa Raptors.

"They contacted me. They were looking to fill out their roster going into the end of the season," Schindler said on the Soccer is a Kick in the Grass radio show on Monday night. "I thought that I could definitely be available, if they're in a situation where they need a defender to come in. Obviously, I've got a ton of respect for [Blast owner] Ed Hale and [head coach] David Bascome, who's been coaching them for the past two or three years. He's really got that team well organized, playing some really attractive indoor soccer."

Second-place Baltimore (10-6-3, 33 points) hasn't clinched a playoff spot yet, although the squad is in good shape to reach the post season with five games remaining in the regular season. The top four teams in each division qualify for the playoffs.

"As much as I'm excited to play for them, I'm almost just as excited to sit in on a training session for Dave and really understand how he's running the club so I can just continue to develop my coaching perspective and see what I can bring back to my team and continue to improve the players that we have here."

The Blast, which has been around in two incarnations, has won 10 indoor titles.

"It will be a great place, a great opportunity for other players that his culture," Schindler said. "I mean, it's a good association, a good thing that certainly is going to be a plus for everybody.

"I'm really excited about the affiliation. We've got three college players on our roster who are just learning the game. This is the perfect place for them to be if they want to move to the next level. they can spend their college career getting exposure and then once they graduate, they're trying to decide, where do I want to live? What do I want to do? They're going to have these skills in their back pocket."

A player who is able to hone his skills with the Lancers will help his aspirations of moving up the indoor ladder with the Blast or another team. The unofficial rule of thumb indoors in that players need two full seasons before they become proficient in the game.

"When you go into a training camp with a team and you have some outdoor skills and knowledge of what to do and where to go, that separates you from the pack very quickly," Schindler said. "Then it just can be really down to their desire, their motivation to prove to the coaches that they deserve to be there. My goal is to give them all the tools that they need to be successful. Then it comes down to the individual on how motivated they are to make that leap."