June 17, 2008
My long weekend started with me waiting for the Rhinos-Whitecaps game to start on Friday night.
But, I had to take my two young sons home about 45 minutes before the match actually started.
So while I missed the 3-0 pounding that the Rhinos put on Vancouver to escape the basement of the USL 1st Division, I was able to catch the replay on Fox Soccer Channel.
Once again, we are left to wonder if this is the turning point for the Rhinos. The really good news is that the Rhinos next two matches are against teams that are going in the opposite direction.
On Friday, the Rhinos host the Carolina RailHawks. Carolina is in the midst of a five game road trip and they have been on the losing end of the first three matches of the trip. To make matters even worse for Scott Schweitzer and his club is that they've been outscored six goals to none over the course of those three matches. Those three losses have the RailHawks on the outside looking in on the playoff picture right now.
After that match, the Rhinos host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds a week from tonight in the second round of the US Open Cup. Currently, Pittsburgh is in last place in the USL 2nd Division with an 0-7-3 record. The Riverhounds have scored 9 goals and conceded 22 in USL 2nd Division play in 2008.
So it would appear that the stage is set for the Rhinos to build upon the wonderful result they got last Friday evening.
The only bad thing is that Weather.com is saying that there is a 50% chance of rain on Friday and they are calling for scattered thunder storms.
Someone over at PAETEC Park needs to buy off the weather man!
News & Notes:
- Kick This! karma is alive and well this season. We had Rhinos goalkeeper Joy McKenzie in studio on Saturday morning and she went out and got her first clean sheet of the season on Sunday afternoon versus Hamilton.
Fans should come out on Saturday night to see the women take on the Ottawa Fury Women at 7:35 p.m. Newcomer Adjoa Bayor should feel much better since her long trip from Ghana to Rochester will be a distant memory and she'll have a few full nights sleep under her belt.
- The scoreline from the US destruction of Barbados on Sunday pretty much said it all. Clint Dempsey scored the game winning goal in the 1st minute and the route was on from there. It will be interesting to see what they do for an encore during the secod leg in Barbados this weekend.
- The USWNT has won their first two matches at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea. They defeated Australia 2-1 in the opener with Abby getting the game winner (her 96th with the WNT). Early this morning local time, they defeated Brazil 1-0 on an Amy Rodriguez goal late in the first half. It willbe interesting to see how the US deals with injuries to Carli Lloyd (broken nose) and Christie Rampone (ankle) that were suffered in the match. The US closes out group play on Thursday as they take on Italy at 4 am local time.
- The players coming to MLS rumor mill is in overdrive with Ronaldinho turning down a rumored offer from LA, specualtion on the hang ups in getting Brian McBride to Chicago, and talk of another mid-30s European player looking at MLS as a possible landing spot.
Of the three, it's the Ronaldinho rumor that doesn'tmake any sense. How on Earth would the Galaxy fit Ronaldinho under the salary cap when they already have Beckham and then Donovan and Ruiz at DP-level price tags?
- Thomas Rongen takes a look at the Dutch's new take on Total Football in his latest Euro 2008 notebook entry at SI.com.
- I wonder if the Rhinos could go after some American versions of Danny Earls like Johnny Exantus in the Red Bulls Academy?
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.