I don't really want to rehash last Friday night's 2-0 loss to Montreal.
But given that there are only two games left in the regular season, I think there does need to be some discussion on what that game meant in the big picture.
Both teams have clinched playoff spots. The question now is about seeding, getting healthy, and getting in top form heading into the playoffs.
The Rhinos were getting healthier heading into Friday night's game and that is perhaps one reason why the result was so disheartening. Sure, the Rhinos were without Nate Craft (family emergency) and Matthew Delicate and Kenney Bertz were second half substitutes. But, this team is as healthy as it's been in a while and that still wasn't enough to get it done at home versus Montreal.
The trend of the Rhinos getting outshot by their opponent continued. The Rhinos have not outshot an opponent since their July 6th home win over the Carolina RailHawks. That is eight straight matches where the shots have either favored the Rhino's opponent or been even.
Add in the fact that the Rhinos didn't have a foul or an offside called against them the entire first half and you have to wonder if the players realized that they were playing the Montreal Impact and not some team like Miami FC or the California Victory.
It will be very interesting to see what the Rhinos show in Montreal on Friday night when they once again are featured on Fox Soccer Channel's USL Game of the Week. I hope it's must see TV and not something that puts me to sleep before 9pm.
First impressions mean so much
That's the gist of Joseph Spector's latest article on PAETEC Park.
The fact that people are comparing the reputation of PAETEC Park and the surrounding area to that of the former Irondequoit Mall is not a good thing. And while I'd love to paint a rosy picture, poor first impressions and bad reputations are hard things to shake.
Hopefully the Rhinos can turn the tide. I just have real doubts if they have the right plan and the financing needed to make all the changes needed to turn PAETEC Park from the disappointment it's become into the dream that everyone had when the idea was first brought forward.
News & Notes:
- FC Dallas signed Denilson and claimed it's the biggest signing in the league outside of Beckham. Ummm, I'd take Angel and Blanco ahead of Denilson. But, that's just me. And apparently, the New England Revolution didn't think that Denilson was worth the money.
- Speaking of Designated Players, there is a rumor that DC United is trying to land Chelsea forward Andriy Shevchenko for the 2008 MLS season. The problem there is that Shevchenko doesn't seem to fit in with that Central and South American thing that DC has going on with the likes of Moreno, Gomez, Emilio, and Fred. Now if that rumor was New England or San Jose going after Sheva, then I'd tend to believe it a little more.
- Speaking of big MLS rumors, how about the one making the rounds that Jurgen Klinsmann could be replacing Frank Yallop as the head coach of the LA Galaxy? That rumor makes perfect sense. And if that happens, then I'll call my shot alreqady on Yallop's next job: head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes v3.0.
- The group lookign to get an MLS stadium deal done in St. Louis is going to take their plan public soon. That can only help the situation as people get extremely skeptical about these deals when they are done behind closed doors.
- Run DMB is happy how his career at Rangers has started out according to Yanks Abroad. With two goals and two assists early in the season, the on the field adjustment has been a quick one for the American midfielder.
- Juan Pablo Angel is a little worried about the announcement that the Red Bulls are building a trainign facility. Why you may ask? Apparently he was not long for Aston Villa when they made a similiar announcement. Although, I can't imagine the Red Bulls wanting to get rid of Ange after the way his MLS career has started off.
- Don't look now, but the Carolina RailHawks control their playoff destiny. The fact that they stunned the Montreal Impact 1-0 at home puts them in the driver seat for the 8th and final playoff spot.
- With Abby Wambach leaving the USWNT's game versus Finland early due to a foot injury, some people may have been worried about her status for the Women's World Cup as the US opens play on September 11th. But, according to the USWNT Blog, there is nothing to worry about.
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.