The Carolina RailHawks defeated Minnesota 2-1 on Saturday evening to open up the 2009 USL 1st Division season.
Carolina's Mark Schulte scored the first goal of the season in the 22nd minute, Minnesota's Melvin Tarley was the first player booked in the 19th minute, and his teammate Brian Kallman was the first player ejected when he earned a straight red card in the 22nd minute.
Former Rhino Luke Kreamalmayer went the full 90 for the RailHawks while Hamed Diallo was a second half sub and played the final 21 minutes for Carolina.
I'm sure Darren Tilley will has already spent hours pouring over the first live action of the Martin Rennie era in Carolina as he preps the Rhinos for their season opener next Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
Charleston gets a road point in Vancouver
Six former Rhinos started and went the full 90 in the scoreless draw between the Charleston Battery and the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday evening.
Over 5000 fans came out to see the Whitecaps open up the 2009 campaign in defense of their 2008 USL 1st Division title.
As the season goes along, it will be interesting to see if the Whitecaps can generate more offense as that is certainly the biggest question mark for the club given the players that they lost this off season.
News & Notes
- Scott Palguta made his MLS debut when he replaced an injured Ty Harden in the 18th minute.
- Clint Dempsey scored twice as Fulham defeated Manchester City over the weekend.
- I wonder how worried the MLS brass is given the early attendance numbers this season? There are a lot of teams with sizable negative percentages when comparing their average attendance to 2008. Although, it would be a fairer stat to track average attendance to the same point last season..... [Update: TJ from MLS Daily emailed me to say that the stats are comparing this year's attendance to the same home dates last year. That is good to know and scarier........]
- Apparently there is no political road block for the retractable roof upgrade for BC Place.
- Miami FC has signed two of the Cuban refugees that defected last year in Pedro Faife and Reinier Alcantara. I wonder if Boom Boom is headed to Miami as well?
- A blogger has Part 1 up about the rumors that the Columbus Crew could be headed to Vegas, Baby. VEGAS!!!!!!!
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.