June 30, 2009
Rhinos owner Rob Clark is making tonight's match versus Columbus as the only one being hosted by a USL 1st Division club that won't be carried on USLLive.com.
He is also trying to see if he can pull the plug on radio broadcast of tonight's match as well.
The reason? He wants to sell more tickets to tonight's match, despite the threat of rain. Personally, I think the approach will do more harm than good in the long term. One only needs to look at how former Chicago Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz's similiar ban on local TV broadcasts of home games hurt that team's attendance. Things didn't pick up until Bill's passing and the policy was revoked by his son who inherited the team.
While I'm sure ticket sales for tonight's game are less than the team is hoping for, I don't believe this approach will draw fans to the game. It will likely have the opposite effect where fans may question whether they want to support the club any longer.
But let's look to the match, where I really like the Rhinos' chances as Columbus will be leaving the big guns either at home or they are on their way to LA to take part in the USMNT Gold Cup camp ahead of the US opener on Saturday in Seattle.
Sure, there are health questions on the Rhinos part with Danny Earls (ankle) and Scott Vallow (hamstring) questionable for this evening. But, if Columbus is counting on former USL players like Kevin Burns and Eric Brunner, this looks more like a match between Rochester and Puerto Rico than Rochester versus the defending MLS Cup champs.
News & Notes:
- I love this bit about LA Galaxy GK Donovan Ricketts working to get All Star votes.
- So much for Bouna Time in Philly.
- Pavel Nedved to MLS? That's interesting. I wonder what team is going to go after him?
- While Steven Goff downplays Edgar Castillo wanting to play for the USMNT instead of Mexico, he does play left back. And unless they keep Carlos Bocanegra out there, it is pretty wide open for competition.
- I think that is more than I wanted to know about tonight's DC United-Ocean City Barons USOC match.
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.