The clock is ticking towards the start of the 2008 USL 1st Division season. And while Rhinos CEO Steve Donner said on Kick This! on Saturday that the league hasn't given the team a deadline to get the ownership situation figured out, there are rumors out there that the USL has put together a 2008 schedule without the Rhinos in it.
So right now, the big question for everyone involved with this situation from fans to the media to the current Rhinos ownership, management, and staff to local government to Dan Williams himself is are you a part of the problem or part of the solution?
Steve Donner and Matthew Ford wanted to keep Saturday's conversation focused on the positive. They also want Dan Williams to get the feeling that the Rhinos have a good chance to return to the Glory Days under his stewardship and that there are a lot of people that want to pull on the rope with him to get things back on track.
Personally, I think that the Rhinos are a very unique situation when it comes to soccer in the US. People still care about the Rhinos more than most clubs around the country. Few markets have as many soccer specific radio shows as Rochester. How many markets would have TV crews staking out potential investors in a soccer club? And how many markets have fans that know as much about the game as here in Rochester? How many markets have a soccer crazed fan whose done a radio show, a TV show (see the old shows linked to above), and has a website dedicated to the game and the club in town?
While some may see some of these things as negatives, I believe that they are all positives. If people didn't care, then there would be a problem.
If you have a "Letter to Dan" that you want to get out there with why Dan Williams should sign up to be the Rhinos' savior, please email it to me at email@example.com and I'll post segments of the best of the bunch, if not every single one.
That's just my way of trying to be part of the solution.
News & Notes:
- As Big Apple Soccer.com is reporting, the Red Bulls have two scrimmages coming up tomorrow and Friday in LA. This should start to give us some feedback on where Scott Palguta lies with the Red Bulls and what the odds are that he sticks with the MLS club.
- The Charleston Battery have signed Darren Spicer away from Minnesota and picked up Nate Norman from Cleveland of the USL 2nd Division.
- US Soccer.com has the state of the USWNT camp as they prepare for next month's Algarve Cup.
- The Chicago Fire have a cool 10th Anniversary logo for this season.
- Greg Lalas' latest at SI.com is about how MLS should look into African talent more. With Diallo's success last season, the same may hold true for the USL!
- SBI.net has a breakdown of the weekend's European action including Michael Bradley's league goal total hitting a baker's dozen.
- SBI.net says that rumors out of England suggest that the US will head to Wembley to take on England on May 28th. I wonder if Beckham and Donovan will have a friendly wager on the match?
- SBI.net with the news that Clint Mathis scored in his Greek debut. It doesn't mention whether he went with the tapping of the wrist during his celebration after coming on as a sub in the 76th minute.
- Michael Lewis at Big Apple Soccer.com talks to U-23 USMNT head coach Peter Nowak ahead of this year's Olympic qualifying.
- Adam Spangler at This Is American Soccer.com talks about the new USMNT jersey. Personally, I want to see a red jersey, white shorts, and blue socks kit as the go to look for the USMNT. Sam's Army has red as their color of choice to stand out in a stadium and I would like to see the uniform work with the old line of the "Red, White, and Blue". But, I don't work for Nike or US Soccer.............
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.