The Rhinos were able to secure a much needed 3 points on Sunday night with a 2-0 win over visiting Miami FC.
Matthew Delicate ended a long goalless drought by scoring both Rhinos goals and Chase Harrison earned his first shutout of the season by making 4 saves on the night.
- Deli getting the monkey off his back with two goals was huge. Perhaps finally getting him Kick This! this past Saturday is all he needed to get out of his goalscoring funk?
- Rookie Kevin Burns got his first start of his Rhinos career on Sunday and looked really solid in the defensive midfield role. Burns is a guy that looked good in the preseason, but I didn't know if that was because he was really that talented, or if it was just because of the level of competition. Now Burns needs to step up and look good against teams with attacking central midfielders that can run. No offense to Zinho, but I think Soccer Sam could keep up with him at this point in his career.
- Chase Harrison and the defense got the first shutout since Vallow went down with the elbow injury. Although, the one shutout the team had prior to Vallow going down was also against Miami FC. The hope is that the defense is starting to gel, Harrison is getting more and more comfortable in the back, and Sunday's result is a sign of things to come.
- The new home uniforms looked better in person than they did in the mock ups that the team had released prior to the season starting. The only complaint I had was that the font size for the names was so small that I had a hard time reading them from my seats. The weird thing is that the women's jerseys had a much larger font that made the names easy to read. Why they changed that, I'll never know.
- Rey Martinez looking like Steve Nash after catching an elbow late in the game. The team and the fans were obviously less than thrilled when the fourth official was ready to let him back in and the referee was taking his sweet time. Although, with the Rhinos still having a sub left, perhaps it would have been easier to put in Diallo or Perry at that point. And I think everyone is happy that the ref didn't make Rey change his shorts that were covered in blood as well.
- It didn't come close to causing the Rhinos the match, but there were quite a few referee's decisions that left something to be desired. My favorite non-call was when John Ball got taken down in the second half right in front of my seats. Ball and the player that took him down were both a good yard away from the ball. Why there was no call is beyond me as the defender could only have gotten a piece of the ball if he were Plastic Man.
- Given the $1 tickets for children 12 and under, the free tickets given away at the women's game on Friday, and the Italian Night promotion, I was hoping for a better crowd than what showed up on Sunday. Granted the wind and the chance of rain might have kept some people home, but the crowd was still disappointing. For the sake of the franchise's health, I hope that they figure out a way to improve attendance pronto.
The Rhinos are now preparing for their second Miami/Puerto Rico roadtrip of the season. This time they will open up against Miami FC on Friday and play Puerto Rico on Sunday. The Rhinos were able to secure 3 points on their first weekend of the season which was earlier than expected thanks to the Virginia Beach Mariner debacle.
In The Six Yard Box With....Adam Spangler
The first edition of my "In The Six Yard Bow With......." podcast is up. Tonight's guest was Adam Spangler from This Is American Soccer
and we talked about Bob Bradley, the Gold Cup, the Red Bulls, and Clint
Dempsey getting the $100 million goal amongst other things.
I hope to get plenty of more guests lined up for future editions.
If there are any Rhinos fans, players, coaches, or executives that people would like to hear from, let me know.
Off the top of my head, I'd like to talk to people like Frank DuRoss, Jukka Masalin, Kevin Burns, Kevin Novak, Chris Aloisi, and some of the other new guys that I have yet to talk to.
US Men's National Team Camp is open
Bob Bradley's first camp as the full time US Men's National Team head coach opened up yesterday with the full squad for the Gold Cup assembled at the Home Depot Center to prepare ahead of Saturday's warm up match versus China.
Saturday's match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 8pm ET and will be the US's last match before the Gold Cup opener versus Guatemala on June 8th.
Grant Wahl on Beckham
It's funny how a guy that was supposedly going to rot on the bench because he dared sign with another club before his time with Real Madrid was up is now the straw that stirs the drink.
Hopefully all those that think that Beckham is washed up and that's why he's coming to MLS are re-evaluating that position. Add in how well Juan Pablo Angel is playing for the Red Bulls and perhaps the whole "retirement league" idea can be put to rest.
I'm always up for a free book!
I haven't made my way through this 80+ page review of the 2006/07 season for Fulham, but I can't wait to read it. With Brian McBride being named the club's player of the year yet again, Carlos Bocanegra being a surprisingly good offensive producer for the Cottagers, and Clint Dempsey scoring the goal that may have saved their season, this should be a good read for US Soccer fans. Especially those that lose the English Premier League.
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.