Devo's Report Card , Match Report , Notebook, & Saturday's edition of Kick This! pretty much finished beating the dead horse that was the less than stellar performance of the Rhinos versus NSC Minnesota on Friday night.
It will be very interesting to see how the team not only comes out on Saturday night versus Crystal Palace Baltimore, but also a week from tomorrow versus the Dayton Dutch Lions in the 1st Round of the 2010 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournament.
While the team has to focus first on Saturday, I'm much more concerned about the Open Cup as Rochester knows how crazy things can get in a one and done tournament.
US versus Australia
Bob Bradley is going to have some very tough decisions up top and in center defense due to injuries.
Jozy Altidore's sprained ankle and the strong performances by Edson Buddle (2 goals) and Herculez Gomez off the bench (1 goal) versus Australia could make things very interesting heading into the England match. Although, having Buddle, Gomez, and Robby Findley looking good in the past couple of tune up events gives Bradley the problem that most managers like to have: many options from which to choose.
In center defense, Bradley has to figure out whether it's likely that Oguchi Onyewu can give him 90 quality minutes (or close to it). Bradley has options like moving Carlos Bocanegra inside to going with Clarence Goodson, or just putting Gooch in the starting XI and praying.
My guess is that Bob will be getting out his rosary on Saturday evening.
News & Notes:
- MLS Talk is still a member of Gooch's posse.
- Dirty Tackle has the 10 things that have to happen if the US beats England. This is classic!
- Nutmeg Radio has an ode to US Soccer.
- MLS Talk has the US World Revenge Tour.
- Clint Dempsey is confident heading into Saturday's match up with England.
- The Final Third has a post about the US leading in World Cup ticket sales. The question I have is how many of those tickets sold are for US matches versus say Mexico, Honduras, and other nations that US citizens tend to support?
- The third clue about the Portland MLS logo is live.
- Inside Minnesota Soccer.com is reporting that Steve Ralston will be headed back to MLS soon due to the financial issues that AC St Louis are struggling with. It's too bad this is happening to a soccer market like St Louis.
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.