The Atlanta Silverbacks looked like a shell of the team that Came to PAETEC Park on August 3rd and came away with a 4-3 win.
Ansu Toure has been traded to Miami FC, Macoumba Kandji, the 2nd leading scorer in the USL 1st Division, was out with an injury, and the team lost in Montreal on Wednesday night.
All that conspired against Atlanta and the Rhinos got goals from Ross Smith and Tiger Fitpatrick in a five minute span and the defense clamped down to earn their first clean sheet since their win in Montreal on July 27th.
The Rhinos now stand in 5th place in the USL 1st Division standings and they have a six point cushion over 8th place Portland. With 4 of their 5 remaining matches against teams behind them in the standings, the Rhinos are certainly in control of their playoff destiny.
News & Notes:
- Luke Kreamalmayer's assist on Ross Smith's goal was his 8th of the season and keeps him two back of Jonny Steele for the USL 1st Division lead.
- Hamed Diallo scored a hat trick and Rey Martinez made his Carolina debut. But, it wasn't enough as Carolina fell in Seattle by a 4-3 score last night.
- Chase Harrison made his Portland debut in Vancouver on Friday night. Alas, that didn't end well for the former Rhino either as the Whitecaps won by a 2-1 score.
- With the roster freeze date coming up later this week, I wonder if any of the three teams currently tied for last place will have a fire sale? For instance, I'd love to see USL 1st Division leading scorer Alex Afonso in Rochester......
- Steven Goff's The Good,The Bad, and The Coyote Ugly for this week has a bunch of cool links to MLSNet.com's video goal highlights. I especially liked Jimmy Conrad's team leading 5th goal of the season that gave the Wizards a point in stoppage time.
- Freddy Adu made his Monaco debut when he was a late second half sub over the weekend.
- The team is saying that we are a little over a year away from Red Bull Arena opening up. I'll believe it when I see it.
- I got a few chuckles reading Grant Wahl's take on soccer fans in China at SI.com.
- SBI.net wonders what MLS should do about the East-West disparity. The simple answer is a single table and balanced schedule, no?
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.