On Thursday, the Rhinos were robbed by a ref in Portland.
On Saturday, the Rhinos stole three points in Vancouver.
In a gutty performance for a whole host of reasons, the Rhinos were able to grab a share of the USL 1st Division lead when two first half goals by Chris Nurse and Johnny Menyongar stood up despite Vancouver outshooting Rochester 23 to 4, Vancouver having a 15 to 2 edge in corners, and the Whitecaps being awarded a second half penalty kick due to a Kenney Bertz foul.
But you know that Scott Vallow had an outstanding night when the Whitecaps website says that he "made himself a strong candidate for the USL-1 Player of the Week honour after making 11 saves in the Rochester goal, including a decisive penalty stop midway through the second half."
So now the Rhinos get to rest up before Saturday's night's game in Charleston that very well could be another game with 1st place in the league on the line. Charleston trails Rochester and Carolina by three points. But, they host Miami FC on Wednesday. So, there could be a three-way tie atop the table when Carolina heads to Cleveland on Friday night.
Carolina has three more games to Rochester's one before the Rhinos home opener in eleven days versus Montreal, so the odds appear to be against the Rhinos in their bid to be in first place on the night of the home opener. But, who would have thought that the Rhinos could be in first place after the Charleston game when the schedule came out?
This road trip is turning out about as good as I could have hoped.
News & Notes:
- Jeff is going to have an online chat with Rhinos head coach Darren Tilley at 1pm on Thursday.
- Montreal is unbeaten under their new head coach. It did take 141 minutes for the Impact to score under Marc Dos Santos' watch. But, they have yet to allow a goal in the two games since he took over.
- Canada.com , The 24th Minute.com, and WVHooligan.com are all talking about Montreal to MLS. Apparently Joey Saputo met with Don Garber in early May and he feels like things could be looking up for his bid to make the jump to MLS. I know some people are thinking that if Montreal joins Vancouver in the MLS Expansion class of 2011 that a Canadian TV deal could be in the offing for MLS.
- The Puerto Rico Islanders have once again qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League.
- For all the people that want more USL rumors, head to USLNews.com. One rumor of note is the one that Umbro might look to sell it's stake in the USL by 2010. And I'm not buying this one from MLS Rumors.
- It looks like Cornell Glenn to San Jose is a done deal.
- Real Salt Lake is now down to the #3 goalkeeper as Chris Seitz went down over the weekend and Nick Rimando already on the shelf.
- MLS Talk has a podcast up that talks about the potential for the Michigan Bucks to move up to either the USL 1st Division or MLS.
- Apparently the WPS team in Philly will be called the Independence. I think I might like better than the Union.....
- Steven Goff doesn't like all the ties in MLS. But, he's not for the shootout, either......
- This is an interesting take on the responsibility that comes with being an MLS fan.
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.