It wasn't pretty, but the Rhinos got 3 points in Carolina last night when Jamie Franks' cross deflected off of RailHawks defender Matt Bobo and into the Carolina net in the second half.
The win gives the Rhinos 33 points two-thirds of the way through the season. The Rhinos have pulled to within 2 points of the Austin Aztex for first in the league and the USL Conference. Although, Austin holds three games in hand over the Rhinos.
Even if you go on a Pts/GP basis to take away games in hand, the Aztex and Rhinos are 1-2 in the league.
The Rhinos now have a week off as they host Portland next Wednesday.
The Timbers will be wrapping up a three game road trip that will see them play 3 away matches between tonight in St Louis and a week from tonight at Marina Auto Stadium.
And while Rhinos fans likely want to welcome Ross Smith back to town, his status may be in question as he left the Timbers last match last Thursday in the 33rd minute due to a head injury.
News & Notes:
- Toronto FC is up 1-0 after thir first leg against Montagua in CCL play.
- Today is not only the MLS All-Star game, but the expansion priority coin toss between Vancouver and Portland. I wonder what will be the first pick by the winning team? I would lean towards the SuperDraft or Allocation slots.
- Steve Davis has some sweet nuggets from around the league ahead of the All-Star game. Love the Schellotto and Starbucks reference.
- MLS really, really likes the All-Stars vs a big club team model. As do I even if too many MLS backers make a big deal about a good result against a European team in pre-season.
- It may be a couple of more months before DC United hears more about a potential stadium in Baltimore.
- I'd love to know how the NASL would help bring back the MLS Reserve Division.
- DC United has released Boyzzz Khumalo. I wonder if the Rhinos would bring him in for a look?
- Could Mac Kandji really move to an EPL team? He's good, but this smells to me like an agent leaking rumors to me.
- Jozy Altidore has a few suitors. I'd like to see him land with Ajax.
- Freddy Adu is on trial with FC Sion in Switzerland.
- Sacha Klejstan scored in his Champions League debut for Anderlecht.
- Don't make Maradona fans angry . You won't like them when they are angry.
- Mexico can draw crowds in the US.
- Twice in a Lifetime? Now if the NY Cosmos are the 20th MLS franchise and they have some deep pockets backing them, that could be really interesting.
- This is one of the craziest goal celebrations ever.
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.