Devo's Direct Kicks

I didn't come away from yesterday's preseason game versus Hartwick College thinking that this team is a lock to be a USL 1st Division title contender in 2008.

There were things I like and some things that I think need to be addressed moving forward.

But, here are my quick takeaways:

- It's no surprise that the rhinos offense so far this preseason have come from Diallo, Delicate, and Menyongar. While a lot of players are trying to get on the same page, these three guys have a season's worth of experience and work well together.

The big key now is to get everyone else on the same page.

- I liked what I saw out of Alfonso Loera at defensive mid last year more than I liked what I saw out of Tiger Fitzpatrick last night.

- John Donohue (center back wearing #2) is one big guy. It will be interesting to see if he sticks as a depth defender.

- I'd like to see Luke Kreamalmeyer in a more attacking role, likely as the right outside midfielder. The question then becomes who fills the right back spot?

- It's disappointing to hear that Danny Earls isn't coming back. I would have liked to have seen if he would live up to the hype.

- I liked the way Darren Tilley was getting on Diallo and Delicate to play wider and how he was on Tiger to up the tempo.

- Former Montreal Impact forward Massimo Di Ioia played much the night wide left in the Rhinos midfield. He looked OK, but not spectacular.

- I'm still wondering how much the Rhinos will get out of Steve Guppy. The tempting part is that from what I've seen in training, he'll make them a whole lot more dangerous on dead ball situations. And with guys like Diallo and Menyongar, this team will get dead ball situations in dangerous areas.

- Boom Boom is still on crutches. That is not good.

- I hope that the Detroit Ignition get bounced in the MISL playoffs soon. I want to see Ze Roberto and Nate Craft get into camp.

- It's good to be able to pick apart a 3-0 start to the preseason.

- And finally, here's hoping the weather is nicer tomorrow night, even if I can only watchthe first half.....

News & Notes:

- Steve Davis at MLSNet.com has some interesting thoughts follwoing Week 3.

- Luis Arroyave has his write up on John Guppy leaving the Fire and Steven Goff has one lead on the new GM.....

- It looks like Dema Kovalenko is starting to kick the "overpaid" tag with Real Salt Lake.

- Greg Lalas' latest at SI.com talks about four young MLS players to keep an eye on.

- Portland has picked up a couple developmental players from LA on loan. Midfielder Vardan Adzemian had tried out with the Timbers before signing with LA and defender Scott Bolkan is an Oregan native. So, it would appear that the Timbers already know what they are getting in these two.

- Chivas USA is still trying to make up for the mistake of trading their DP slot to NY for Amado Guevara. It willbe interesting to see what team offers up a DP slot and what Chivas USA needs to give up to get it.

- Zinha to San Jose? The first year club could use the offensive spark that the Brazilian born Mexican International would bring to the table.

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 news@soccersam.com. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.