June 16, 2006
The Rochester Rhinos will host either the New Hampshire Phantoms from the USL 2nd Division or Milford International of the USASA on July 12th at 7:30pnm at PAETEC Park in the 3rd round of the 2006 US Open Cup.
New Hampshire and Milford will play on June 28th for the right to move on and play the Rhinos.
Milford International advanced into the second round of the tournament thanks to a 1-0 win over fellow USASA side the Chicago Lightning on Wednesday.
New Hampshire clinched their spot in the tournament on May 20th when they defeated the Long Island Roughriders by a score of 3-1. This will be the third time in four years that the Phantoms have qualified for the knock out phase of the US Open Cup.
The Phantoms are currently third in the USL 2nd division with 13 points in 7 games played.
Scott Palguta named to the USL 1st Division Team of the Week
Scott Palguta was named to the USL 1st Division for the second time in three weeks. Apparently every time the Rhinos play Virginia Beach to a scoreless draw, Scott gets named to the team of the week.
Ex-Rhino Gabe Gervais was one of the other defenders named to the USL 1st Division Team of the Week for Week 8.
The lead over second place is almost gone
The Rhinos will be playing for first place when the Portland Timbers come to town tomorrow evening.
Even though the Rhinos have three games in hand over the Timbers, Portland is only one point behind the Rhinos and could move into first place with a win in the second ever match at PAETEC Park.
Also chasing the Rhinos are the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact. Vancouver is tied with Portland for second place and only trail the Rhinos by a point. Rochester has two games in hand over the Whitecaps.
Most concerning however is the fact that Montreal is within striking distance as they have a game in hand over the Rhinos and only trail Rochester by two points in the standings. So, it appears that the Rhinos will have two games in a row for first place as Montreal comes to town next Saturday night.
Romario is serious
My concerns over how seriously Romario would take playing in the USL 1st Division have officially been put to rest.
Not only did Romario play three straight games in Canada, he is also leading the league in goals (6) and points (12).
Last weekend, Alex Loj said that Miami FC was the best team in the USL 1st Division. But, they did let Toronto come back and get a point in Miami after Miami FC had gone up 2-0 in the first 12 minutes thanks to goals from Romario and Mario "Loco" Rodriguez. Perhaps Toronto is a lot better than their 0-7-2 record, worst in the USL 1st Division, indicates. But, they're Toronto, so I doubt it. Miami has to get three points in that spot if they are to be a big time contender.
USL on Fox Soccer Channel makes it's debut
Surprise, surprise, but Romario will be involved in the first USL on Fox game for the 2006 season. At 5pm on Sunday, the Seattle Sounders will visit Miami FC and the game will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.
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.