May 17, 2006
English club Sheffield Wednesday is the first confirmed international opponent for the Rochester Rhinos at PaeTec Park. Sheffield's website is saying that the Owls will play the Rhinos on Saturday, July 22nd at 7:35pm. This is three days after the Owls will take on the USL 1st Division All-Stars at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, NC and one week after they are play the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL 2nd Division.
Hopefeully, American defender Frank Simek is making the journey stateside with the Owls.
Guevara in trouble with the Red Bulls
Apparently Amado Guevara's issues with New York Red Bull management didn't go away with Alexi Lalas leaving for LA. After being subbed early in the second half of last week's match versus the Chicago Fire, Guevara opted to sit in the stands with his friends and family as opposed to with his teammates on the Red Bulls bench.
Red Bulls head coach Mo Johnston and managing director Marc de Grandpre have made a bold statement in response as they have fined Guevara $4000 and will leave him off of the 18 man roster for the Red Bulls match versus Chivas USA on Saturday.
This is yet another clash between the 2004 MLS MVP and his club. During the offseason, Alexi Lalas was not happy that Guevara opted to train with his former club team back home in Honduras as opposed to with his MLS club. There were also tons of trade rumors during the offseason that had Guevara leaving NY, most notably to land in Dallas. And then Guevara was late coming into camp with what were explained away as visa issues.
It will be interesting to see if this is the straw that breaks the camel's back and if Guevara does finally get moved out of NY or not.
As the Galaxy turns
Things keep getting more and more interesting in LA. This week not only saw the LA Galaxy make a very interesting trade, but they also had perhaps their most embarassing loss ever.
The trade saw a former Rhino pack up his bags and head out west. John Wolyniec and Kyle Martino were sent from Columbus to LA for Joseph Ngwenya and Ned Grabavoy. Wolyniec gives the Galaxy a hard working forward that can eat up minutes will Cornell Glen and Landon Donovan are away due to the World Cup. And Martino gives the Galaxy a creative playmaking midfielder that can run the show while Donovan is gone, but also allow Donovan to play up top once he returns. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing how Martino and Donovan work together in LA.
Now to the loss. To say that Saturday's 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake was the most embarrassing loss in LA Galaxy history might not be an understatement.
Real Salt Lake had never won on the road in their season plus in MLS prior to Saturday.
Real Salt Lake had yet to win a game in 2006 prior to Saturday.
Real Salt Lake was also in the midst of an MLS-record 18 game winless streak prior to Saturday.
those three dubious streaks all came to an end Saturday night at the
Home Depot Center in front of almost 20,000 Galaxy fans. The Galaxy is
now 1-4 since Alexi Lalas was named GM with the loan win coming in Salt
Lake by a 3-2 score. And in their last three matches, they have been
outscored by a combined 8 goals to 0. Alexi Lalas came to LA preaching
about how the team had to not only win trophies liek they did last
year, but that they had to entertain their fans each and every time
they play. Somehow, I don't think this is what he had in mind.
Foreign ownership in the USL 1st Division
With a long history of having clubs in Canada and in Puerto Rico, the USL has a long history as a league of being more than just about soccer in the United State. In 2007, the USL will reach across the pond for it's newest ownership group.
Dmitry Piterman, President of Spanish League club Deportivo Alaves from Vitoria, the capital city of the province of Alava in the Basque country of Spain, has signed a letter of intent to operate a USL First Division franchise beginning in the 2007 season.
Further details are expectecd to be announced by July 1st, but longtime soccer executive and coach Terry Fisher is already working on putting the pieces in place for the club during the start up phase. Fisher is expected to concentrate the next 45 days in securing a playing location in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This would be the second USL 1st Division expansion team joining the league in 2007 as Cary, NC has already announced their intentions to join the league next season and play at SAS Soccer Park.
Congrats to Frankie SanFilippo
The Rhinos defender was named to the USL 1st Division Team of the Week for Week 4 due to his assist on Matthew Delicate's goal versus the Toronto Lynx.
Frankie is the fourth different Rhino to be named to the USL 1st Division Team of the Week in 2006.
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.