February 16, 2007
The Rhinos have announced that they will play the LA Galaxy on March 22nd and FC Dallas on March 24th at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, the home of the USL 1st Division's Puerto Rico Islanders.
This trip to Puerto Rico will come on the heels of the Rhinos player combine to be held from March 18th through the 21st in Boca Raton, Florida. The Rhinos will take the players that they like from the combine, add in their players already under contract, and head to Puerto Rico to take on the 2006 US Open Cup runners up, in the LA Galaxy.
Given that they won't have any practice time together prior to the game, I'm not expecting great results out of these two exhibition games.
Real Salt Lake Stadium deal hits a speed bump
Apparently the powers that be in Sandy, Utah want a more detailed study done around parking for the proposed 20,000 seat stadium for Real Salt Lake before they will approve the plans.
Hopefully this is just a minor road block, but yet again, I have to laugh at how it seems like soccer teams need to jump through so many hoops to get stadiums built. Although, it's nice to know that it isn't happening just to the Rhinos, but teams like Real Salt Lake and DC United, amongst others, are having loads of fun getting their stadiums built.
St. Louis investor working with a suburb to see if a stadium would work
Jeff Cooper, the investor in St Louis that was in talks to buy Real Salt Lake a few weeks ago, is still moving forward in trying to get a plan together for a stadium to lure MLS to the midwest city with loads of soccer history.
Personally, I hope this works out. No disrespect to cities like San Jose, Milwaukee, and Rochester, but I just think that St. Louis' long and rich tradition of developing soccer talent makes it the best soccer market that MLS is currently not in today. Granted, they would be going head to head with the Cardinals, but I just have a feeling that an MLS team in St. Louis would be a hit. Especially if they were able to acquire a few big time hometown heroes such as forward Taylor Twellman of the New England Revolution.
Jay Needham turns down DC United for the Puerto Rico Islanders?
The Washington Post is reporting that SMU All-American defender Hay Needham has rejected an offer from DC United and is instead signing with a minor league team in Puerto Rico. It sounds to me like the Islanders just landed a solid young defender.
I wonder why the Rhinos weren't in on that?
DC United solidifies the goalkeeping position
DC not only has re-signed Troy Perkins, the reigning goalkeeper of the year in MLS, but the Washington Post is reporting that they are close to signing Jay Nolly to back Perkins up. Nolly was acquired by DC in the Freddy Adu trade. United needed salary cap space, so they insisted in sending Nick Rimando to Real Salt Lake and got Nolly back. But, Nolly had his eyes on a potential move to Europe, so DC was in a holding pattern. But, the move overseas didn't happen for Nolly, so he appears set to back up Perkins and solve DC's dilemna in net.
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.