Mauricio Salles has spent time in the USL 1st Division with Puerto Rico, Montreal, and Atlanta and he is set to join the Rhinos in 2008.
In signing the Brazilian forward to a two year deal, the Rhinos now have four forwards with USL experience under contract in Salles, Matthew Delicate, the team's leading scorer in 2007, Hamed Diallo, and Chad Severs.
It looks like the roster is being updated throughout the off season on the team's website. And if that is up to date, it would appear that the club has been able to bring back Alfonso Loera. Although, I have not seen an official announcement with regards to the former Chivas USA defender.
Now it will be interesting to see if the club can bring in at least a couple of new midfielders to help shore the team up in an area that has been hurting for the past couple of seasons.
And will Salles fit in with what Coach Calloway likes to do or will his time with the Rhinos end like in much the same way that Connolly Edozien's time with the club did? Big name forwards signing in Rochester has been a roller coaster ride over the years and I doubt that this signing will end that.
News & Notes:
- In case you care, Nike has unveiled new balls and my guess is that this will be the match ball when the US takes on Mexico on Wednesday night.
- Gregory Sica at SI.com has a piece on the South American flavor that has been added to MLS. Ridge Mahoney from Soccer America has his own piece at SI.com that focuses on DC United's moves to add more South Americas to their roster this off season and how the South American influence has been a long standing tradition with United.
- People in suburban Philly are hoping to get $45 million in aid for a stadium to lure MLS approved today. We shall see, but if this happens, it could nudge Philly ahead of St Louis in the race for the 16th MLS franchise.
- Apparently the Chicago Fire aren't being as cooperative as Luis Arroyave of the Chicago Tribune would like. I don't get why a team wouldn't want to work with the paper to get free publicity..........
- MLSNet.com has a piece on how FC Dallas is really counting on Kenny Cooper to step up with Carlos Ruiz traded to LA.
- Speaking of Ruiz, he's out for a game with his national team due to a lingering knee injury. I wonder if LA is freaking out yet?
- Here is a cool interview with MLS Seattle owner Drew Carey. I wish he was the Rhinos white knight!
- Fulham's website has a news article on Brian McBride's comeback from a major knee injury and the attacking options the team will have with the addition of Eddie Johnson.
- The Columbus Dispatch and the Evening Times both have articles on the transfer talks between the Crew and Celtic for Polish forward Maciej Zurawski. Is a roughly $600,000 transfer fee really too rich for the Crew's blood?
- DC United has lost their first pick in this year's MLS SuperDraft to a French club. As Steven Goff points out in his blog, this is all caused by the low salaries given to young players entering MLS. Well, young players not named Freddy Adu..........
- Michael Lewis breaks down the potential new Hall of Fame players. If Preki gets in, I want to see him introduced by his full given name even though I'm too lazy to even type it out!
- Head on over to Devo's blog if you have a take on how the Rhinos got as deep into debt as they have. Personally, I think it's just a factor of the revenues not being as strong as they planned and the costs to both build and operate the stadium being way higher than they expected.
The tough part for me to swallow is the idea that perhaps the Sports Authority was right all along and the numbers weren't good enough to make the new stadium plan work.
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.