In case you haven't heard, the Virginia Beach Mariners franchise was terminated by the USL yesterday. What that means for the Rhinos is that their season will begin a week earlier than expected in Puerto Rico as they travel to take on the Islanders on Friday, April 13th to open the 2007 campaign. The Rhinos season opener had been scheduled to be on April 21st at Virginia Beach.
The Rhinos have two other games that are new to the schedule to replace the lost games versus Virginia Beach. The Rhinos will travel from Puerto Rico and take on Miami FC on Sunday April 15th. The new schedule will now mean a three week lull between the Rhinos first two games of the season and their third, the home opener versus Vancouver on May 4th.
The Seattle Sounders will come to PAETEC Park on July 21st in the final replacement game being added to the schedule.
Now it will be interesting to see if the Rhinos go after any of the newly minted free agents and if anyone steps up and tries to bring the Mariners back in 2008.
Rhinos defeat Montreal 3-1 in final preseason game in Florida
The Rhinos got two goals from newcomer Hamed Diallo and a penalty kick goal from Johnny Menyongar as they defeated the Montreal Impact 3-1 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida yesterday. Scott Vallow also saved a Freddy Moojen penalty shortly after Diallo had put the Rhinos ahead 1-0.
The team is traveling back to Rochester today and will continue their preseason schedule a week from tonight versus Colgate University at PAETEC Park. Tickets for the 6:00 p.m. contest will only be available on the day of the game and will be sold for $3.00 each. The PAETEC Park Box Office will open at 4:30 p.m.
A couple of US-Guatemala pieces of note
Adam Spangler of This Is American Soccer.com talks about how Bob Bradley used Eddie Johnson versus Guatemala and how that looks to be a defining difference between how Bradley wants his team to play and how Bruce Arena's squads approached games like Wednesday night's over the years. Personally, I'm hoping that Bradley plays for the ugly win when games like that really matter. But, I do agree that it was a very good teaching moment for Johnson and that the USMNT can only hope that EJ regains his form sometime soon.
Marc Connolly at US Soccer Players.com has a piece on Michael Bradley doing his father and the US proud. While the USMNT continues to search for the next generation of forwards to replace Brian McBride, the midfield certainly appears to be in good hands for the future with the play of Bradley and Benny Feilhaber in these past two matches.
The return of Cletus to New York
It is being reported that the New York Red Bulls have acquired Clint Mathis in a trade with the Colorado Rapids. It had been reported that Bruce Arena was desperate to acquire a forward to put the ball in the back of the net. Who knew he was so desperate that he would roll the dice on the guy in MLS who personifies the old cliche of "Million dollar talent and a five cent head"?
Although, the Red Bulls traded away Amado Guevara this offseason, so perhaps they needed to add a combustible talent for entertainment value?
Either way, Mathis to New York will provide entertainment.
Decision on new stadium in San Jose expected soon
Earthquake fans that are hoping that their team makes a comeback will certainly be awaiting this announcement. Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff, who owns the rights to an MLS expansion team in San Jose, expects to knwo the fate of a deal with San Jose State University on a new soccer stadium within the next 30 days.
Hey, at least he didn't break out the old two weeks line..............
Right said Fred!
I'm probably the only one that cares, but Fred will be able to pull on a #7 DC United jersey when the club takes on Chivas in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinal series. DC needs to get a result south of the border to advance to the final after they played the first leg to a 1-1 draw in DC.
With Moreno, Gomez, and Emilio, can Fred now turn the magic triangle into a magic diamond for DC?
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.