July 12, 2007
In a story that has been talked about "off the record" for a while now, Rhinos defender Kenney Bertz is undergoing surgery today on his injured wrist. The Rhinos are expecting that Bertz will miss 4 to 6 weeks recovering from the surgery.
With the recurring Achilles issue causing Jason Perry to leave Tuesday's match at halftime, the Rhinos will again be forced to shuffle the lineup due to injury.
Right now it looks as if Stephen Shirley-Black will be starting at left back on Saturday versus Atlanta, Scott Palguta will move inside next to T-Bone Bonseu, and Chris Aloisi will once again start at right back.
The Rhinos are hoping that Hamed Diallo will be able to get to Atlanta in time for the match on Saturday. He is in Paris today for another meeting to get a visa that would allow him to travel to Canada for the upcoming matches in Montreal and for any potential playoff games north of the border.
Chad Severs will be available to Coach Calloway and Kevin Novak is expected back from the ankle injury that has kept him out of the Rhinos past two matches.
Some people have too much time on their hands
Some anonymous fan has been talking about Diallo going to France to try out or sign with a French club. With the Rhinos announcing that Diallo was under contract through 2008 when he signed with the club prior to the season and his being red hot of late, I'd be surprised if too many people believed this one.
My favorite new one is that some local Benfica fans have never heard of Nuno Santos and they are attempting to get a hold of some Benfica officials to see whether the newest Rhino has embellished his resume.
If Santos has never played for Benfica, then I'm wondering who impersonated Jose Mourinho in talks with Laurie Calloway and Matt Ford?
US U-20s advance to Quarterfinals with stunning 2-1 AET win over Uruguay
It wasn't enough that the US was playing a team that they had never beaten in U-20 World Cup action. It wasn't enough that the US was without their first choice goalkeeper, Chris Seitz. It wasn't enough that the US would lose Josmer Altidore early in the second half.
All that drama was prelude to an amazing finish last evening at BMO Field in Toronto where the US three minutes from being sent packing, but they managed to put away two chances off of Freddy Adu corner kicks to advance to Saturday's Quarterfinal in Toronto versus Austria.
None of the three goals scored last evening were all that pretty. Uruguay's 73rd minute goal by Luis Suarez was off of a rebound when US goalkeeper Brian Perk had to make a reaction save and couldn't control the rebound.
The US then countered with an own goal when a corner kick by Adu glanced off a player or two, bounced off Danny Szetela's elbow, and Szetela's half pass/half shot in the direction of Andre Akpan was directed into the Uruguay goal by Mathia Cardaccio for a game tying own goal that would force extra time.
Then in the 2nd minute of the second 15 minute extra time session, the US would score on another scrambly play that started with an Adu corner kick. This time the ball found it's way to defender Jules Valentin near the top of the box after Uruaguay goalkeeper Yonaton Irrazabal came off his line, but was unable to clear the ball. Valentin's shot would deflect to Michael Bradley who one touched it into the top of the Uruguay net.
The fireworks continued after the final whistle as players from Uruguay and the US got into a pushing and shoving and taunting match.
Now the US moves on to face Austria on Saturday with a spot in the Semifinals on the line. It will be interesting to see if the US will get Seitz and Altidore back for that match or if they'll have to go without their #1 goalkeeper and #1 forward.
Harrisburg stuns DC United in the US Open Cup
DC United became the 2nd MLS team to fall to a USL 2nd Division team in this year's US Open Cup as the Harrisburg City Islanders were able to get a goal from Steve Fisher late in the first half and then hold on for the 1-0 win.
DC took a roster to rural Pennsylvania that was hardly their A Squad. Luciano Emilio, Christian Gomez, Ben Olsen, Jaime Moreno, Fred, and Troy Perkins were amongst the many members of DC's first team that were not on the 18 man roster last evening. Additionally, players such as Bobby Boswell and Josh Gros only played half the match for United.
I'm sure Harrisburg won't mind at all that DC brought a less than full strength squad as they advance to the fourth round where they will meet the New England Revolution in the US Open Cup Quarterfinals. That match will be played on August 8th at Lusitano Field in Ludlow, Mass.
The Beckham media blitz just getting started
Whether it's a cover article on Sports Illustrated or W Magazine, articles in USA Today, Reuters UK getting Sunil Gulati's take on Beckham's arrival, all sort of leaks around the new logo and home and away jerseys of the LA Galaxy, or even a blog posting from This Is American Soccer.com, it's amazing to see the response this is getting even before Beckham is introduced tomorrow or he makes his Galaxy debut next Saturday on ESPN in a friendly versus Chelsea.
Hold on to your hats, soccer fans. The ride is just beginning!
Other News & Notes:
- Devo has a nice article in today's D&C about Abby Wambach being named to the US World Cup roster. I love having a Rochester native as the centerpiece of the US National Team. Now if we could only say the same thing about the Men's National Team..........
- The Kansas City Star has an article talking about how the newer MLS stadiums have had a positive influence on the neighborhoods that they were built in.
Imagine that, a local paper that is supportive of the idea of building a soccer specific stadium. I'm speachless!
- Ex-Cuban national team players Osvaldo Alonso and Lester More are having their trial with Chivas USA talked about in the LA Times and LA Daily News. The most shocking news is that they had to take a Greyhound bus from Miami to LA!
Couldn't Chivas USA at least spring for train tickets?
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 email@example.com. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.