xrayDevo's Direct Kicks

Is it breaking news that Ross Smith's toe is not broken?

The Rhinos officially did not have a timeline for Smith's return when I asked them  yesterday, but Darren Tilley told Jeff that he hopes that Ross would be available on Sunday when the Rhinos roll into Minnesota to take on the Thunder.

It will be interesting to see if T-Bone or Loera lines up next to Scott Palguta on Friday night in Seattle. My guess is that Earls-Palguta-Bonseu-Ball will be the starting back four, but we shall see.

News & Notes:

- Danny Earls was named to the USL 1st Division Team of the Week. Seattle goalkeeper Chris Eylander was named the USL 1st Division Player of the Week. Apparently his giving up 1 goal to the Rhinos in Rochester and getting a clean sheet in Montreal was more impressive than Scott Vallow getting back to back clean sheets at home versus Seattle and Miami FC. 

But, I would tend to disagree since Montreal is in last place and the Rhinos are in 9th. But, I'm biased!

- At 10 pm tonight on Fox Soccer Channel, the USWNT will play their final tune up match ahead of the Beijing Olympics. I wonder if Brazil will play their A-Squad after players like Marta sat out Sunday's match versus the US?

- MLSNet.com , Big Apple Soccer.com , Grant Wahl at SI.com, and SBI.net (Part I & Part II) are all over the news that today at 2pm, Claudio Reyna will announce his retirement from the NY Red Bulls. Unfortunately, this was the big risk when NY signed Reyna to a DP contract as his injury history was no secret.

- MLS has made the final seven All Star selections official, including Pat Onstad backing up Matt Reis in goal.

- Speaking of DP's with injury issues, DC United Designated Player Marcello Gallardo may be headed to Germany to have Sports Hernia surgery per Steven Goff.

- Ronaldinho to AC Milan appears to be a done deal. The deal could cost up to $40 million shoudl AC Milan qualify for the 2009-10 Champions League.

- This bit of news about the sale of Bologna to an American group made me go hmmmmmm. It's cheaper to acquire a low level Serie A team than it is to acquire an MLS expansion team........

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 news@soccersam.com. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.