Devo's Direct Kicks

Rhinos Soccer.com

USL Soccer.com

It only took 450 minutes of soccer the the Rhinos to score a goal in 2008. Unfortunately, that goal didn't produce the team's first win of the season. But, it did salvage a late tie in Seattle and the Rhinos return home for Saturday's opener with one monkey off their back.

Mauricio Salles got a head on a Johnny Menyongar corner in the 90th minute and defender Scott Palguta put away his third career goal to give the Rhinos a 1-1 tie against the Sounders.

The team will not get a lot of training time between last night and Saturday's home opener against the Charleston Battery. But, at least they don't have to worry about questions in regards to when will they score a goal.

One would hope that Palguta's goal will relax the team and this will open the offensive floodgates.

Given that the Rhinos are the lone winless team in the USL 1st Division and they are 4 points out of the final playoff spot, this team needs to start digging out of the hole that they have created for themselves ASAP.

Other news heading into the opener:

- The Rhinos have announced the other vendors that will be at PAETEC Park along with Famous Dave's BBQ. Some, such as Simply Crepes, Dippin' Dots, and Sweet Spot II, are the same vendors that fans became accustomed to at Frontier Field. New options such as Empanada Stop, Freshwise Catering, Nancy's Fried Dough, and Calabria Italian Express are also joinign the mix.

Also of note, the Miller Brick "Hot Spot" fireplace looked like it was being installed when I visited PAETEC Park today.

RNews also had a piece on all the work that has been put into PAETEC Park's "Re-Opening" on Saturday.

Now let's hope that the forecast that is currently calling for a 60% chance of rain on Saturday improves over the next 48 hours.

- Devo has talked to the Rhinos and apparently Danny Earls may be headed this way after contract talks appeared to break off after he was in Rochester to train for a week and he played in the preseason game versus the Cleveland City Stars. With the Rhinos already having six foreigners on the roster, it will be interesting to see how this plays into things.

- And if you are wondering what the Rhinos home uniforms will look like, I would venture to guess that they might be the Black & White version of the Black & Green uniforms that the Rhinos have worn the last few games.

News & Notes:

- US Soccer is taking for granted that the USMNT will advance past Barbados and into the next round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as they have already announced three of the home dates and venues.

- Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke may be able to up his 12% investment in Arsenal.

- English winger Darren Huckerby may be the next player that two MLS teams play a little Discovery tug of war over with both Toronto FC and San Jose interested.

- Toronto FC has added former Newcastle United strength coach Paul Winsper and themove has already helped change the team's physical and mental make up.

- Jeff Bradley's latest First XI column at MLSNet.com may be my favorite of all time.

- Bloomberg.com has a cool article about how Moneyball has been embraced by Manchester United and Chelsea amongst other clubs.

- There is some more info on the potenial Texas Southern University-Houston Dynamo stadium. I hope that it doesn't look like Real Salt Lake's current home field.

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.