November 17, 2009
Bob Lilley will have a pretty busy first 28 hours or so on the job with the Rhinos.
Yesterday they had the press conference.
Earlier this afternoon he did an online chat with Jeff at the D&C's website.
He'll be on the radio with Rob Clark and Pat Ercoli this afternoon as he tries to get the word out on how he sees the Ercoli-Lilley era of Rhinos soccer being an upgrade over the Ford-Tilley era.
Of course, Bob was being polite and not trying to make it like that, but it's obvious that he feels the need to blow things up when he expects less than 10 players to return to the Rhinos in 2010.
It will be very interesting to see how Ercoli and Lilley go about re-making the roster. It will also be interesting to see if they make other changes that might affect the on the field performance of the team.
For instance, will they look at getting back to praticing on the grass fields at TSE like they did in the Frontier Field days? More than one Rhinos player complained about the wear and tear of playing and practicing on the Marina Auto Stadium turf in 2009.
Will there be changes in the team's strength and conditioning program? That is another area that there were whispers of unrest amongst the players this past season.
Will they look to carry a larger roster and spend less on the top 5 or 6 highest paid players to provide greater depth when injuries do occur?
Lilley mentioned the need to connect with the community when having training camp down south was brought up. It will be interesting to see if the Rhinos can balance the need to get players face time in the community with the need to play some tougher pre-season competition.
I like the direction the team took in naming Ercoli and Lilley to replace Ford and Tilley. Now hopefully this duo can live up to expectations.
News & Notes:
- The Rhinos brass is getting ready to head to the USL Annual General Meeting that begins on Thursday in Tampa.
- Don Garber had his state of MLS press conference yesterday. The MLS Insider blog has the audio and the Soccer Insider Blog, The Fake Sigi Schmid Blog, SBI.net, and Big Apple Soccer.com all have takes on what Don had to say.
- Apparently MLS has yet to be informed that Vancouver might need a temporary home to start the 2011 season.
- It looks like the Texian Army needs to stump for one candidate in the Houston mayoral race.
- If this is the US jersey for the 2010 World Cup, I think it will grow on me.
- Greg Lalas and Adam Spangler doing an MLS podcast? I can't wait to listen to it!
- Could the Pontiac Silverdome be the home to a soccer team in the future?
- The MLS First XI is out. Ljungberg over Schelotto?
- SBI.net takes a look at the MLS coaching carousel. I hope Richie Williams lands in DC.
- This news on the "New Cosmos" is funny. Now I can't wait for reports that they will be a part of the TOA's new league! [And for anyone out there that wants to try and create a rumor out of nothing, I WAS JOKING]
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.