It wasn't pretty, but the Rhinos once again played 120 minutes and advanced on in the US Open Cup with a 2-1 win over Cleveland last night.
While you could make the argument that the Rhinos got lucky against Pittsburgh, I felt that they deserved the win last night.
Despite the ongoing issues with getting shots on frame (only 7 of the team's 21 shots were on target), they did do a better job of controlling play and Cleveland really only had two really good chances.
The first was when Rhinos defender Nano Short (starting for the injured Brent Sancho) coughed up the ball early in the second half. Luckily, Scott Vallow covered up for Short with a great diving save.
The other chance was the PK that was given due to a Darren Kenton foul. And while it was a tough call with the ball almost out for a goal kick when the foul occured, Kenton has to know better than to give the referee the chance to make that call.
But, second half sub Ryan Heins cracked a highlight reel goal from about 20 yards out to level the match at one and Kenney Bertz converted a Mike Ambersley corner to clinch the victory in Added Extra Time.
So now it's the defending MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew that come to town with a spot in the Quarterfinals against the winner of the Kansas City Wizards-Minnesota Thunder match on the line.
News & Notes:
- USL Soccer.com has a good wrap up of the 2nd Round matches from last evening.
- Goal.com and SI.com are both reporting that Toronto FC has waived young American striker Johann Smith. I would love to see the Rhinos go after the guy. And for those that were at the US-Argentina U-20 match at then PAETEC Park a couple of years ago, he was the speed demon on the right side for the US. Smith would add the speedy forward that many have been clamoring for. The downside is his lack of experience and issues finishing. But, you aren't going to get Giuseppe Rossi to come to Rochester.
- The Whitecaps have updated the punishment given to Charles Gbeke and Wesley Charles. Both players have been fined and suspended a game by the league and the team meaning that they will miss league matches versus Montreal and Cleveland.
- Freddy Adu needs playing time? Call him up, too! [Note: I'm not being serious]
- Speaking of Rossi, I like Ives Galarcep's take on US fans hating him. On the other hand, I have to disagree that the issue with Rossi was how he celebrated. It's 99.999% about the fact that he is playing for Italy and not the US. I am a US Soccer supporter. Rossi could have played for the US and he chose not to. I dislike him very much for that and the fact that he scored twice for Italy against the US only adds salt to the wound.
- So who is Juventus' main rival? I may need to start rooting for them soon.
- There goes any chance of being able to catch a World Cup game at The Ralph.......
- It didn't take the Bald Yank long to find a new job in the EPL.
- It looks like Jermaine Jones could play for the US starting in August now per SBI.net.
- This whole MLS and baseball stadium thing in Portland sure is fun to watch from the other coast.......
- Yup, visa issues don't just affect USL clubs.
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 email@example.com. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.