July 5, 2007
The Rhinos were dealt a double blow on Tuesday evening when the Seattle Sounders came to town. Not only did the Rhinos lose the match 1-0 thanks to a misplay by first year goalkeeper Chase Harrison, but forward Matthew Delicate broke his jaw in a first half collision and will miss 4 to 6 weeks.
The injury and missing player list continues to grow and grow for the Rhinos. Scott Vallow is still recovering from surgery to repair his torn right distal biceps tendon, defender Nate Craft is still walking around with a brace on his knee thanks to Frankie Sanfilippo, Ryan Wileman is recovering from knee surgery, Kevin Novak missed the Seattle game with an ankle injury, Kevin Burns has an inflamed liver, back up goalkeeper Hector Zapata tweaked a hamstring in practice yesterday, forward Hamed Diallo is leaving Wednesday to again work on visa issues that prevent him from traveling to Canada, and John Ball leaves on July 18th to represent the US in futsal at the Pan-Am Games. And forward Chad Severs is still on loan with the Harrisburg City Islanders.
It's going to be interesting to see if the Rhinos will even have a full 18 player roster tomorrow night versus Carolina.
So the next question is will the Rhinos be able to use the two remaining roster spots that they have to add some reinforcements. And if they are willing to fill those spots, who's out there to boost the lineup?
There will likely be calls for former Rhinos such as Doug Miller and the like. Personally, I'd look to teams in the USL 1st Division that are struggling and try and pry some talent off their rosters.
Could teams like Minnesota, Miami FC, and Puerto Rico be convinced to part with a quality forward or midfielder? An interesting deal could be sending Johnny Menyongar back to Minnesota along with say someone like Ryan Wileman that would open up roster space and budget space.
It will be interesting to see what the Rhinos have up their sleeves as the team is struggling in a multitude of ways right now.
The best of times and the worst of times for US Soccer
The U-20s 6-1 stomping of Poland is contrasted by the fact that the senior squad will not advance out of group play at the Copa America.
Danny Szetela and Freddy Adu having 3 goals apiece through two games is a stark contrast to the USMNT's inability to finish the chances that they did create versus Argentina and Paraguay.
Granted, the US did bring their B squad , at best, to the Copa America, but they did put themselves in the position to have much better results through two games.
But who am I kidding, I'll be taking in the US-Colombia game tonight. And yet again, I'll be expecting the worst and hoping for the best..........
News and notes
- Waldo's back! Well, he's another former player knocking it around in the PDL as he's signed with the Bakersfield Brigade of the PDL. It's too bad the Rhinos didn't sign him to help out up top.........
- Nate Jaqua was traded yet again , this time heading to Houston for defender Kelly Gray. What's the record for most times an MLS player has been traded within a 12 month period?
- Beckham feels like he can make it back from his ankle injury and play in the July 21st exhibition versus Chelsea. It's going to be really interesting to see if Becks can elevate the play of the Galaxy that got a much needed 3 points yesterday thanks to two Landon Donovan PKs. With LA sitting in 5th place in the west and 12th place overall, they need to turn things around quickly if they are to make the playoffs in Beckham's first season in MLS.
And you know the suits at MLS HQ and ESPN/ABC are hoping that he can get it done.
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.