There are a lot of unknowns heading into tonight's 3rd Round US Open Cup match between the Rhinos and DC United.
Here are my Cliff's Notes:
What we know:
- There is a sizable carrot for winning the US Open Cup with a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League going to the Open Cup champs.
- Steve Guppy is out for the Rhinos due to his red card versus Pittsburgh in the 2nd round.
- Santino Quaranta is on the shelf for DC due to a hamstring injury.
- DC's second leading scorer Jaime Moreno is saying that he is out for tonight's match due to an ab strain.
- John Ball and Alfonso Loera are available for selection tonight as their red card suspensions only apply to USL 1st Division matches.
What we don't know:
- Will DC rest players like leading scorer Luciano Emilio and attacking midfielders Marcelo Gallardo and Fred who played major minutes on Sunday afternoon versus LA?
- It would appear unlikely that Ben Olsen would play in tonight's match given the situation with his ankle.
- Will T-Bone Bonseu be in the mix for the Rhinos after returning from Uganda in the past couple of days?
What DC head coach Tom Soehn is thinking is really hard to tell as he is playing his cards really close to his vest. my guess is that he'll dress guys like Emilio and Gallardo and start them on the bench. He can insert them into the game in the second half if the need arises.
And given that Emilio has scored 9 goals in his last 6 MLS matches, he is a guy that might not need a lot of time to make a huge impact in this evening's match.
I hope we are talking about a Rhinos Quarter Final match versus the Chicago Fire or Cleveland City Stars, but I wouldn't bet on it right now.
News & Notes:
- SBI.net talks about the tight turnaround for the US Open Cup matches. What I'm wondering is why they moved from Wednesday nights to Tuesday nights as the preferred day of the week for Open Cup matches this year..
- I love Steve Davis' breakdown of the Broken Galaxy at MLSNet.com.
- Josh Wolff will be back with the Kansas City Wizards as soon as the transfer window opens up in two weeks. Somehow, I doubt his return from Europe will be met with the same criticism as Landon Donovan's return from Germany.
- Grant Wahl has his Best XI from Euro 2008 up on SI.com.
- And in USL news, two players with ties to the Rhinos were traded for each other yesterday with Tony Donatelli and cash heading to Montreal for Charles Gbeke. Vancouver gets a forward to help with an attack that has only scored 11 goals in 12 league matches. Montreal gets a younger midfielder as they are struggling this season with their core getting old at the same time.
I wonder if this move will affect how the Rhinos approach things moving forward?
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.Â Â