July 6, 2007
Nuno Luís Costa Santos is the fourth goalkeeper on the Rhinos roster. Yesterday the club made the long rumored signing official with the player expected in town as early as Sunday.
Santos comes to the Rhinos from Clube Desportivo Santa Clara in Portugal after having spent time in the past with Leeds United and Benfica.
Santos is hoping to use his time with the Rhinos as a springboard to MLS.
But the real interesting questions are about what do the Rhinos do?
Who is the starting goalkeeper on Tuesday versus New England? Will a day or two of training be enough to throw Santos in versus the Revs?
And what do the Rhinos do roster wise now that they have 25 players under contract against a 26 player roster limit and they are carrying 4 goalkeepers?
Add in injuries up and down the lineup and something has to give, it would appear.
The capper is what happens when Scott Vallow returns from his biceps injury in 2 to 4 weeks?
A while ago this signing may have been the answer to a question. Now this just creates a boatload more questions for the Rhinos.
RailHawks come to town tonight
Chris Economides, Scott Schweitzer, Chris Carrieri, Frankie Sanfilippo, Connally Edozien, Jonny Steele, and the rest of the Carolina RailHawks will be in town tonight to take on the Rhinos in what may be the most highly anticipated regular season match in a long time.
Add in Sanfilippo injuring Nate Craft's knee earlier in the season and there is just a formula for bad blood.
But, the big question for the Rhinos is how many healthy bodies will they have tonight?
The Rhinos may have as few as 3 healthy bodies on the bench tonight. Going down the roster, Matthew Delicate is out with the broken jaw, Kevin Novak is out with an ankle injury, Ryan Wileman is out due to knee surgery, Aaran Lines missed practice yesterday with a throat ailment, Chad Severs is out on loan to Harrisburg of the USL 2nd Division, Mike Ambersley is likely out with a foot injury suffered on Wednesday when he struck the bottom of Jason Perry's boot in practice, Kevin Burns is out with a liver malady, Scott Vallow is out recovering from surgery for his biceps tendon, back up goalkeeper Hector Zapata tweaked a hamstring in practice on Wednesday, and Nate Craft is out with the knee injury suffered versus Carolina.
If Lines and Zapata can't go, that would leave Coach Calloway with only three field players on the bench to start tonight's game. Add in Hamed Diallo having to travel to France again to clear up visa issues regarding travel to Canada and John Ball's upcoming trip to Pan Am Games as part of the US Futsal Team, and the Rhinos are facing a serious roster crisis.
I wonder if the Rhinos can get Chad Severs back from Harrisburg on an emergency basis?
And last night, Scott Vallow mentioned a very interesting name: Greg Simmonds. Greg was unwilling to relocate from Virginia Beach after the Mariners folded. But, with only a few months remaining in the USL season, I wonder if he'd come back to Rochester and give Calloway a big body up top while Matthew Delicate recovers from the broken jaw?
US closes out Copa America with 1-0 loss to Colombia
The US closed out their forgetful trip to Copa America with a 1-0 loss to Colombia.
Whether it was the poor results on the field, getting slammed by CONMEBOL for bringing a less than full strength squad, or even having security personnel getting hassled by the local military, the 2007 Copa America will not go down in the history of US Soccer as it's best moment.
However, going into the tournament, everyone on the US side knew is was more of a learning experience than anything else. I just wish that the learning had been experienced by more players that are likely to be in the mix for the 2010 World Cup squad, or at least players that will play a sizable role in qualifying for 2010.
But, this is always what happens when the MLS season conflicts with international tournaments.
Chicago Fire looks south of the border for their new head coach
I'd be lying if I said that I had any clue who Juan Carlos Osorio was.
But I can say that I believe that this will end up being a big mistake by the Fire. I'd venture to guess that this isn't a decision that former Fire GM Peter Wilt would make. Wilt hired Bob Bradley and Dave Sarachan to coach the Fire. My guess is that he knew that foreign coaches rarely make great MLS coaches, unless they have spent years in this country previously like Peter Nowak and Sigi Schmid.
Only time will tell whether this works out for the Fire. I'm betting that it won't.
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.