The Rhinos have gone back to their glory years to come up with the head coach that will lead the new era of Rhinos soccer with the naming of Darren Tilley as the third head coach in franchise history.
And while new owner Rob Clark doesn't want to utter the "rebuilding" term, I don't see how it is realistic to expect anything other than a learning year for so many people that will be involved in the 2008 season for the Rhinos.
The head coach is entering his rookie season as a professional coach.
The owner is entering his rookie season as an owner of a professional franchise.
The turmoil that has surrounded the club all off season has left the new coach with a roster of only 16 players under contract with less than a week to go before training camp starts. And those 16 players were brought in by the previous coaching staff.
Plus, the club still hasn't announced any other coaches as being hired.
Sorry, but that list of issues doesn't make me automatically think that this team is a front runner for the USL 1st Division title in 2008. Nor do I expect a miracle US Open Cup run like the team had in Tilley's last season in Rochester.
Rob Clark will soon learn that soccer fans in this town are too soccer savvy to have the wool pulled over their eyes. So, rather than putting unrealistic expectations on his new coach, I would hope that everyone involved is spending every waking minute trying to support their new head coach as he tries to recapture the Rhinos' glory years.
And honestly, I think this team can both make the playoffs this season and have a rebuilding year all at the same time.
News & Notes:
- Ryan Whirty has an update on City Council approving the PAETEC Park lease agreement.
- Ridge Mahoney thinks that Landon Donovan should have been left off the roster to save him the travel. Given how well he played, I'm glad he made the trip!
- I don't know what to think of the new US away uniforms. I think it's the monochromatic look that I'm not jumping up and down about.
- If your child is in the 9-17 age bracket, they may want to head down to PAETEC Park on Sunday afternoon for a free clinic that the Rhinos are going to run.
- The Sports Bog at Washington Post.com is always a good read, but this one about Ben Olsen, landlord is especially funny.
- I'm guessing that Toronto FC is really happy that their fans are more patient than Rhinos fans tend to be.
- On the DC United stadium front, MLS may pressure the club to look outside of DC because the district is taking so long to get a deal done. Real Salt Lake is getting a stadium before DC United is. That's sad.......
Although, RFK is one of the better settings in MLS as is. But, that doesn't help the bottom line like a top of the line new stadium will.
- The RailHawks have a new jersey sponsor - Saturn . I may have to get a new car just so that I'm not driving a vehicle that sponsors one of the Rhinos main rivals.
- Dear Rob Clark, Get John O'Brien off the beach , pleeeeeeeeease.
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.