March 23, 2007
The Rhinos got first half goals from Matthew Delicate and Mike Ambersley, held a 2-0 lead over the LA Galaxy at the half, but lost 3-2 after LA turned it on in the second half.
Given the fact that the Rhinos are in the first week of their pre-season camp and LA is nearing the start of the MLS season, it would appear to be expected that the Rhinos would lose their legs in the second half. So, all in all it was a decent showing and nothing to get too freaked out about.
The interesting thing to me was the starting lineup. From the defensive midfield and back, it was nothing shocking. Stephen Shirley-Black started in the midfield and Coach Calloway talked about the former KC Wizard getting the first crack at replacing Greg Howes at D-Mid. Palguta, Perry, Bertz, and Aloisi along the back line was as expected with Nate Craft still playing indoor with Detroit. And of course Scott Vallow was in goal.
Coach Calloway did go with a somewhat interesting trio of attacking mids in Mike Ambersley, Aaran Lines, and Danny Kramer with Matthew Delicate and Johnny Menyongar up top. I was sort of expecting something like Lines wide left, Menyongar in the attacking center mid spot, Ambersley out right and then Delicate and newcomer Hamed Diallo as the forward pairing.
It seems a tad curious to me that Diallo isn't starting given the hype around him so far.
You can catch Rey Martinez and the Baltimore Blast on Versus Saturday night . Their game versus Philadelphia will be on at 5pm. And next Saturday you can catch the California Cougars take on Greg Howes and the Milwaukee Wave at 5pm on Versus.
And for the MLS fans out there, the Direct Kick Package pricing for 2007 has been released. At $79 it doesn't appear that there has been a huge bump in price due to a certain midfielder joining the league. That is a very good thing, IMO.
The Colorado Rapids have been doing some lighting tests at Dick's Sporting Goods Par k and the stadium looks nice.
Also, Montreal has finalized the deal for the location of their new stadium and they are set to begin construction next month. Whatever happened to the plan to have their stadium up and running to host the FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer?
Random MLS news
Ives Galarcep says that the Red Bulls have traded for Colorado Rapids defender Hunter Freeman. Michael Lewis of Big Apple Soccer.com says that Bruce Arena is scouring the globe looking for a forward that can score goals for the Red Bulls. And the one name being dropped is Aston Villa forward and Colombian International Juan Pablo Angel. Reportedly Angel has offered his services to MLS and the Red Bulls may have been in contact with him.
Steven Goff has the latest on Fred (he'll be with DC for their match in Mexico versus Chivas one way or another), as well as his take on Blanco to Chicago, and a rumor about Boca Juniors midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto being linked with the Columbus Crew.
And Chivas USA is searching for a new GM today . Whit Haskel, the club's original GM, has left to pursue other business options. It will be interesting to see what direction Chivas USA goes to replace Haskel. How much fun would it be if they named an interim GM for the remainder of the season and then made Cobi Jones an offer he couldn't refuse after he retires at the end of the 2007 season?
Simek getting some pub!
Marc Connolly goes one on one with the Sheffield Wednesday defender ahead of his likely first cap for the USMNT.
One of the best names for a soccer blog yet!
If you've seen some better ones, pass them along.
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.