Devo's Direct Kicks

Rhinos Soccer.com

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If the 3-3 tie versus Minnesota on Wednesday night was like kissing your ugly sister, then Saturday's scoreless draw versus Carolina was like kissing your hot step sister. It's not all that you want, but it's a step in the right direction.

Given how the Rhinos' previous five league games had gone, this was a quality effort across the board with the lack of scoring a goal the only blemish on the night.

The Rhinos held possession well, they were good defensively, and when they did let Gregory Richardson get behind the defense, Chris Nurse's make up speed erased the chance.

This is the type of game that the Rhinos will need to play in the playoffs and it was nice to see the team get a result in a match like that.

Next up is a four game road trip that will see the Rhinos travel to Vancouver, Portland, Puerto Rico, and finally Miami. All four teams have something to play for at this point, so this stretch will feature four games that will be a good measuring stick for where the Rhinos are heading into the playoffs.

The best thing about Saturday night: seeing Soccer Sam back and better than ever!

News & Notes:

- The Rhinos playoff chances got a boost over the weekend with Miami FC dropping road games in Portland and Vancouver. So with the Rhinos gaining a point versus Carolina, the Rhinos are now 9 points up on Miami FC with Miami only holding one game in hand. The back to back games versus Miami FC can solidify the Rhinos playoff spot.

- Devo posted a great letter from Drew Brown. Winning solves most problems when it comes to sports teams. And Drew isn't the only person thinking about what Portland has right now.

- If you were at the game on Saturday, you probably saw the City of Rochester 175th Anniversary Big Wish ads. I sent my big wish in: cleaning up the area around MAS and turning the Kleen Brite site into a park or parking lot.

- Things could be worse: we could be an FC Dallas fan. That comes on the heels of FC Dallas being the team that the Red Bulls beat to end their streak of futility. On the bright side, they could add Heath Pearce.

- In the Red Bulls win, Juan Pablo Angel became the franchise's all-time leading goal scorer. The win was also the first in Richie Williams' second stint as the interim Red Bulls head coach.

- Player/coach Christie Rampone and finals MVP Heather O'Reilly led Sky Blue FC over the LA Sol to capture the first WPS title over the weekend.

- Jozy Altidore didn't take long to make an impression at Hull City.

- This XanGo/Real Salt Lake ad is funny and this Nike/Wayne Rooney ad is pretty cool.

- The Landon Donovan to PSG rumors may have been premature. But, LD's agent is saying that more than a few teams are interested in the LA Galaxy captain.

- I love how Grant Wahl compares Beckham to Dennis Rodman in this SI.com piece.

- Boyzzz Khumalo's recovery from the broken wrist suffered when Tim Melia kicked a ball into his arm had a scary infection.

- If you were wondering how some NY Red Bulls rookies live, check this out.

- U2 destroys football pitches.

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 news@soccersam.com. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.