June 11, 2008
That was waaaay too close for comfort last night.
After RWB Adria scored to tie it up, I was wondering if I'd have to write a piece about how someone needs to get fired because the franchise that won the Open Cup in 1999 just got knocked out of the first round at home by an amateur squad.
The Rhinos controlled play in the first half by a rediculous margin. But, their combination play in the final third was horrible and the finishing was non-existant.
Adria looked dead on their feet, but that wasn't helping much.
Sure, there were a few plays where the referee could have awarded the Rhinos a PK. But, this squad shouldn't need to get PK calls in a match like that. Menyongar should have put away the header on the nice cross from Kreamalmayer and there were two or three other glorious chances that should have put the match away before halftime.
But, the Rhinos lack of offense kept Adria in the match.
Hamed Diallo was a difference maker off the bench and drew the PK that Tiger Fitzpatrick calmly converted. But, he also had two or three unconverted chances and he blocked one or two almost sure goals by teammates as well.
Then the linesman blew an offside call on the Adria goal. It wasn't as bad as the missed offside call at PAETEC Park versus Charleston, but he did appear to be 3 or 4 yards off when the ball was played.
That being said, the match should have been three or four to nothing at that point.
The good news is that the Rhinos advanced and they will host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in two weeks. But, with Pittsburgh coming of a 4-0 win over an amateur squad on the road, what are the fans to expect?
- Danny Earls on the attack. I liked the pace and the imagination that I saw out of Earls last evening. Now if only they could translate that to goals....
- I liked sme of what I saw out of Hamed Diallo last night. There were times that he looked a bit lazy, but he was the differencemaker and who knows if they advance without him last night.
- Palguta looked good coming back from injury and Vallow made the one huge save that the team needed.
- They live to fight another day....
- I'm really growing tired of the lone striker formation. Too many times they were playing crosses into the box and there were not enough players on the otehr end to take advantage.
Seeing Deli get the ball out on the wing with nobody in the box is getting tired as well.
- Why they didn't go with three in the back to start the second half is beyond me. I was hoping to see Palguta give way to Diallo or Severs up top to start the second half given the finishing woes and the dominance with regards to possession in the first half.
- Danny Earls needs to work harder defensively. It looked like he was running out of gas, especially in OT, but he needs to realize that there is more to the game than going forward.
- Just needing to go to OT and scratching out a 2-1 win.
- Having to play an extra 30 minutes after a game on Saturday and Vancouver comign to town on Friday. Hopefully guys like Salles and Milward are fired up for the Whitecaps.
News & Notes:
- At least we're not Portland Timbers fans today........
- Tiger was named to the Team of the Week this week.
- Bob Bradley has announced his roster for Sunday's World Cup qualifier versus Barbados.
- Cat Whitehill is the latest USWNT player to tear an ACL and be forced out of the Olympics.
- The Jozy Altidore to Villareal deal should be made official today according to SBI.net.
- What does the USMNT need to do so that articles like this are no longer written?
- This is a nice little article on the newest member of the USMNT 100 cap club.
- FC Dallas is reportedly going to hire SMU head coach Schellas Hyndman as head coach and technical director per the 3rd Degree.net.
- Greg Lalas' latest at SI.com talks about the US-Argentina match.
- It's hard to imagine that Preki was reportedly on the hot seat earlier in the year.
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.