A rough trip to Charleston which had the Rhinos getting to town a mere three hours before kickoff and allowing an early goal for the second straight game had the Rhinos somehwat happy to escape Blackbaud Stadium with a 1-1 draw against the Charleston Battery.
Johnny Menyongar was able to give the Rhinos their first goal through the run of play on the season as he scored the equalizer in the 58th minute. Many are wondering how former Rhino goalkeeper Dusty Hudock failed to stop the shot by the former captain of the Liberian National Team.
Gordan Chin, who was making his debut for the Battery, had scored in the 3rd minute to give the hometown team the early lead.
Charleston outshot the Rhinos 15 to 8 and led in corners 5 to 2, as the Battery had the better of the play for most of the match.
The Rhinos had a few lineup changes between Friday's home opener and Sunday's game in Charleston. Matthew Delicate started up top with Hamed Diallo instead of Rey Martinez. Danny Kramer started on the right side of midfield and Kevin Novak slid into the right back spot that had been filled by Chris Aloisi against Vancouver. Aloisi was the one player that played on Friday and wasn't on the 18 man roster in Charleston. Rookie Ryan Wileman replaced Aloisi on the 18 man roster for the Rhinos and he came on in the last two minutes for Aaran Lines.
The Rhinos did seem to pick things up a bit after John Ball and Rey Martinez entered the match. Ball came on for Diallo in the 40th minute and Martinez replaced Kramer at halftime.
The Rhinos now head out on the road for a four game, two week, west coast roadie. They will play the expansion California Victory on Friday, the Portland Timbers on Sunday, and then travel to Seattle where they will practice for a week. The Rhinos will take on the Sounders on Friday, May 18th and then finish the west coast swing in Vancouver on Sunday, May 20th.
USL 1st Division Week in Review
Puerto Rico 0 - Carolina 0
For the third straight home match, the expansion Carolina RailHawks both tied the game and saw a smaller crowd in the stands. Ex-Rhinos Chris Carrieri, Connally Edozien, and Frankie SanFilippo started for Carolina with Anthony Maher coming off the bench in the second half for the RailHawks. Noah Delgado came on at the half for the visiting Islanders.
Carolina 0 - Atlanta 2
The RailHawks were shut out for the third straight game as they fell to the Silverbacks in Atlanta. Former Rhino David Hayes scored the game winner on a penalty kick for Atlanta. Ex-Rhinos Chris Carrieri, Connally Edozien, and Frankie SanFilippo once again started for Carolina with Anthony Maher coming off the bench at halftime for the visitors.
Montreal 1 - Miami FC 0
520 fans came out to see the Montreal Impact defeat Miami FC 1-0 on a goal by ex-Rhino Charles Gbeke. Mauro Biello and Gabe Gervais started for the Impact and Patrick Hannigan made 7 saves in the loss for Miami FC.
Portland 0 - Seattle 1
Greg Howes made his season debut for the Sounders when he came on in the second half. Seattle got the lone goal of the match in the 20th minute from Nathan Knox. Former Rhinos Neil Dombrowski and Chris Bagley were in the starting lineup for the Timbers with Neil going the full 90 and Chris getting subbed out in the 89th minute.
Vancouver 2 - Minnesota 1
Martin Nash set up the winner in the 88th minute as Steve Klein's goal secured the three points for the Whitecaps. Edy Sebrango was a second half sub as both he and Joey Gjersten entered the match in the 55th minute. The Thunder drew 3641 fans for a home opener with free attendance.
Clint Dempsey may have saved Fulham's season
Fulham had been plummeting down the Premiership table and hadn't won in three months. Then Clint Dempsey scored in a match where Fulham was being outplayed and outclassed by Liverpool.
Hopefully Dempsey's first Premiership goal not only keeps Fulham in England's top flight, but also ignites Dempsey's game going forward.
News and Notes from around MLS
- MLS Underground is reporting that David Beckham will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated's July 11th issue. They are also saying that Beckham will be spending significant time on the road interacting with fans. The report hints at how fans will be able to get up close to Beckham after matches. That sounds somewhat like what the Rhinos did after the opener. Although, there will have to be much more security surrounding Soccer Spice than there was around Danny Kramer.
- Big Apple Soccer.com is reporting that Juan Pablo Angel will be in the Red Bulls lineup tomorrow night as they play the LA Galaxy in the second round of US Open Cup MLS qualifying matches. Angel was with the team in Salt Lake City over the weekend. However, he's still awaiting a work permit. The hope is that the paperwork will come through either today or early tomorrow so that he may be able to participate in the match.
- Big Apple Soccer.com also has a piece where rookie RSL head coach Jason Kreis calling his team's 3-3 tie with the Red Bulls as good as a win when they needed a late rally from two goals down to get the home point in Kreis' debut as coach.
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.