Friday night, the Carolina RailHawks helped the Rhinos by defeating Austin 3-1.
Saturday night, the Rhinos got two second half goals from Isaac Kissi, after giving up a goal in the 3rd minute, to defeat AC St Louis 2-1 on the road. That win moved the Rhinos ahead of Austin and into first place in the league.
Sunday afternoon, the Montreal Impact defeated Austin 2-0 and thus cemented the Rhinos regular season title.
But, with the Rhinos going 2-3-0 down the stretch, it doesn't quite have that same feeling as other Rhinos teams that have won regular season titles.
Certainly, the fact that Austin went 1-4-1 in their final six regular season matches has something to do with that as well.
But, the Rhinos did have the best regular season in the league. They were balanced in that they were 3rd defensively and 4th offensively and led the league in goal differential.
Now the Rhinos face a familiar playoff foe in the 8th seeded Puerto Rico Islanders.
The Rhinos and Islanders both had big home wins against the other during the regular season. But, they haven't seen each other since late July.
With the Islanders going 1-3-1 down the stretch, it's not like the Rhinos have drawn a team that has been lighting the league on fire. But, that could be because they have been concentrating on the CONCACAF Champions League where they are 2nd in Group D.
I just hope that we aren't talking about the officiating after Thursday night's 1st leg.....
News & Notes:
- Brian Quarstad at Inside Minnesota Soccer.com wondered if the Rhinos were going to the USL PRO League in 2011. So, he asked Rhinos owner Rob Clark.
- Crystal Palace Baltimore & Real Maryland have issues.
- The USWNT defeated China over the weekend.
- Could Schelotto be on the way out of Columbus?
- The Original Winger checks in with Herculez Gomez.
- Roy Hodgson's honeymoon at Liverpool didn't last long.
- It must be nice to not have to worry about the bottom line.
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.