It was really nice to see the announcement today by the Rhinos that rookies Kenney Bertz and Patrick Hannigan were going to visit the kids at Camp Good Days and Special Times today and that Greg Howes and Scott Palguta were going to go visit a Flower City Soccer League practice tomorrow.
This team could get a lot of free marketing done merely by getting the players out and about at events like this.
I was thinking about this on Saturday afternoon when I was watching my wife and two boys march in the Chil-E Fest parade down Chili Avenue. The Rhinos could have had Rex, a couple of Rhinestones, and Jonathon Bolanos and Juninho riding in the back of a pick up truck throwing out tickets to the Sheffield Wednesday game instead of candy.
But, I guess new Director of Marketing Jon Crabbe has better ideas and that's why the team was turning people away on Saturday night.
Speaking of Saturday Night
There was all sorts of action during the first half in Section 117 where our season tickets are located.
Apparently a fair number of Sheffield Wednesday supporters were given tickets in the upper reaches of Section 117. And throughout the early part of the first half we saw plenty of Wednesday supporters hiking up the stairs with multiple beers in hand.
The fun part was seeing the reaction of some of the soccer moms in our area. Although with the number of four letter words mixed in to some of the Wednesday chants, I'm not surprised by the reaction.
Security appeared to chase away the Wednesday fans from the section at the end of the first half. And a good portion of them relocated to Section 132 behind the Stampede for the second half.
Hopefully the next time they have an international friendly like this, the team will be a little more prepared for opposing fans. But I do have to say, I believe that was the largest contingent of foreign fans I've ever seen at a Rhinos game. And that includes games versus Toronto and Montreal.
What's going on with Real Salt Lake?
Things have settled down after all the rumor mongering of two weeks ago. But, the August 12th deadline is only 18 days away. So, it will be interesting to see if anything happens with the Geneva Steel site in Utah County, if Sandy or Salt Lake City come up with something new, and if August 12th is a true deadline or not.
Even if August 12th is a hard deadline, nothing gets done, and Checketts has to relocate the team, I'm not holding my breath for it to land here. I just don't see how buying Real Salt Lake right now will "make financial sense" to Frank DuRoss and the Rhinos ownership group.
Arena takes on MLS' Moby Dick
Will a third World Cup experienced coach be a charm for the team formerly known as the Metrostars?
Carlos Alberto Parreira and Bora Milutinovic have both failed as the coach of the Metrostars.
The Metrostars/Red Bulls have the worst record of the nine remaining original MLS teams.
And now the New York Red Bulls have hired the most successful coach in US Soccer history. And they have also hired arguably the most successful MLS coach ever. The question now is whether that will make a difference with a club that has been the least successful team in MLS history.
The amazing thing is that with the team being based in the largest media market in the US, you would think that the club was destined for success. But, the team has been more about trying to get star power over the years than it has been about getting results. And that has led to the franchise never having won anything of substance in it's first ten years of existance.
That's right, the Rochester Rhinos have one more major trophy than the Metrostars/Red Bulls do thanks to their 1999 run to the US Open Cup title.
It will be interesting to see if Bruce Arena can change the culture of losing in New York. It's obvious that to this point Red Bull hasn't done a whole lot to change things. But, this is the best move they could have made, in my opinion.
Although, as a DC United fan, I do have to hope that Bruce is the eleventh head coach to get nothing done while running that franchise. Although, if John Harkes is indeed named Bruce's assistant coach, it will be even harder for me to hate the Red Bulls.
Congratulations to Brian Bliss
While it's only the interim head coaching job in Kansas City, it's nice to see that Brian Bliss has finally gotten a shot to be a head coach in MLS.
While his tenure in charge of the Wizards got off to a less than stellar start with a 1-0 loss in NY versus the Red Bulls, hopefully Brian can get the Wizards to finish strong.
And if Bliss wins the 4th Round US Open Cup match up of two Rochester native led teams as KC takes on the Dave Sarachan led Chicago Fire, then he might be able to experience a similiar homecoming that Sarachan enjoyed last season. That is if the Rhinos can take care of New England next Wednesday evening, of course.
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expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily
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