Devo's Direct Kicks

Rhinos Soccer.com


The Oregonian

Portland Timbers.com

USL Soccer.com

The Rhinos almost pulled out another road draw in front of a sold out crowd of 15,000+ in Portland on Saturday night.

But for the second year in a row Portland won an early match with the Rhinos on a late PK. This time around the call appears to be less sketchy as rookie forward Andrew Hoxie took responsibility for the handball in the box that led to Ryan Pore's penalty kick goal.

Although, Scott Vallow took his share of the blame for the play that led to the Timbers corner kick that led to the hand ball call.

Up next is a red hot Austin Aztex squad that has a full six points through their first two games after they went into St Louis and spoiled their home opener with a 2-1 win. 

If you look around the league (NASL.com & SBI.net have nice wrap ups), there were a few more interesting results.

NSC Minnesota went into Carolina and came away with a 1-0 win. 

Miami FC got their second straight home draw with Vancouver visiting the Blues.

Tampa Bay went into Baltimore and got a 1-0 win in their first game in club history.

If you look at the standings , the calls for a stratification of teams may not play out quite as expected. Although, it is really, really early.

News & Notes:

- Here is the layout of the Marina Auto Stadium concessions for 2010. I find it interesting that Bill Gray's is being put in a location that was closed due to a lack of traffic for most of 2009.But, I like a lot of the choices, especially the coffee stand for early and late in the year.

- Abby Wambach had a goal and 2 assists as Washington defeated Atlanta over the weekend.

- St Louis may be winless, but they had a spirited supporters section at their opener.

- Puerto Rico is one step closer to earning another spot in CCL play.

- Set your DVRs for tomorrow's edition of ESPN's E:60 as they have a piece on Clint Dempsey.

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.