It wasn't the prettiest match, but at least the Rhinos finished off the Wilmington Hammerheads in regulation time last evening to advance to the US Open Cup Semifinals where they will take on the defending champion DC United.
The Rhinos were able to pull out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Mike Ambersley's cross that found Tai Atieno's head and penalty kick that was converted by Andrew Gregor.
Some poor marking of Hammerheads leading scorer Jamie Watson pulled the visitors to within a goal with less than 20 minutes left in regulation. But, the Rhinos were able to kill the game, despite giving up countless corner kicks in the final 5 minutes of play.
Up next is a road trip to Maryland to take on DC United, a team that the Rhinos have gone 0 for 3 against in US Open Cup play.
Other US Open Cup Action
DC 2:1 Harrisburg
DC rested a lot of their starters, but they did bring on Christian Gomez to kill the game and get a measure of revenge against the City Islanders who have one victory over United on their Open Cup resume.
Houston 4:0 Charleston
So much for Charleston having Houston's number in the Open Cup. Houston got some revenge in a big way last night at Blackbaud with a convincing win in the stadium where the Dynamo had been knocked out of the last two Open Cup tournaments.
Seattle 1:0 Kansas City
The lone all-MLS match up of the evening saw the expansion Sounders advance thanks to a late penalty kick that was converted by Sebastian Le Toux.
News & Notes:
- Bernardo Fallas is happy for Gooch.
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T I don't know if I buy it. But, it's a nice thought.
- I almost forgot that US-Honduras was tonight.....
- I received an advance copy of Grant Wahl's new book The Beckham Experiment last night and I can't put it down. I'm about halfway through and some of the best stuff has nothing to do with Beckham, like how Alexi Lalas threw out the media voting for the 2007 team MVP and the fallout for that decision.
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.