In the first MLU Power Rankings for the 2014 season released yesterday, the San Francisco Dogfish were ranked second in the Western Conference and fourth overall.

Last year at this time the Dogfish were the darlings of the league, predicted by many to go all the way. The team did make it to the league championship game, but fell six points short of taking the title. They ended the season first in the Western Conference and second in the MLU. So why the downgrade?

Like several other teams in the league, the Dogfish lost some key players and had to rebuild their roster for this season. We all know change can be scary. It can also be just the reboot a team needs.

The Dogfish have a solid core of returning players. They also have an endless pool of Ultimate talent around them, and they’ve recruited an athletic and enthusiastic squad from that pool. Justin Safdie is still at the helm as head coach, and his savvy insight into the game and how best to use his players’ skills will be the difference between other re-formed teams and the 2014 Dogfish.

“We’re comfortable coming into the season as the underdog,” said Dogfish General Manager Chris Sherwood. “Our players are hungry and have something to prove. We’re confident, ready for the challenge ahead and grateful for the community that supports us.”

The important thing to remember is that these are only preseason picks. Each team’s true colors will be on display this weekend. And the fans—especially San Francisco’s Fish Faithful—are a huge part of that. What better way to start the season than with a repeat of the Western Conference match-up? Come out and support your hometown team on Saturday as the Dogfish take their first step toward the title!

The season opener against the Seattle Rainmakers is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Boxer Stadium. Buy your tickets here.

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