“This year it’s been all about patience,” Sawatzky said Tuesday. “Be grateful for the opportunity you have.”

Sawatzky coached Thomas Jefferson (Auburn, Wash.), his alma mater, from 2002 to 2006. He won a state title there in 2005 and went 56-8-9 overall.

But, considering all the things that can — and sometimes do — go awry at that level, consistent success is not easy.

“The interesting thing about high school is you walk in and you don’t know which kid skipped class that day,” Sawatzky said. “You don’t know which kid didn’t eat their lunch or whose girlfriend broke up with them. So the variables were so vast that, to win something there, you need a little bit of luck.”

During 2016-17, Sawatzky guided the Guam national team. Traveling to play other teams in the East Asian Football Federation presented its own set of challenges, from 15-hour flights to canceled flights. Training schedules could subsequently be truncated significantly.

A planned five-day training camp could be cut to one day.

“So I look at those things and say they were challenging,” Sawatzky said of coaching Thomas Jefferson and Guam. “This season’s been very similar.”

It seems the Kickers have adjusted as well as they can. Newcomer Emilio Terzaghi has sparkled, leading the league with seven goals and spearheading the Kickers’ unbeaten run.