Rhinos goalkeeper Scott Vallow had his 12 week check up yesterday and received the all clear from his doctor with regards to his come back from surgery to repair his ruptured right distal biceps tendon.
Now Vallow's return to the lineup is up to Rhinos head coach Laurie Calloway, Rhinos trainer Dave DiPasquale, and Scott.
It will be interesting to see how long Vallow waits before jumping back in goal. Scott has to be tempted by each of the next two matches the Rhinos have on the schedule: at Montreal and home versus Carolina.
In other injury news, forward Matthew Delicate is one to two weeks away from having the wires removed from his jaw. It remains to be seen how much the weight loss due to not being able to ingest regular food will affect Matthew's ability to get match fit.
Also, defender Kenney Bertz is halfway to the six week mark following wrist surgery. It is expecting to take six weeks for the bone to fuse enough that the doctor can remove the pins that have been placed in the wrist. Once the pins are removed, it shouldn't take Bertz too long to get cleared for game action as he is starting to get back into some light training and should be able to keep his fitness level up and work on his touch on the ball since it is an upperbody injury.
Diallo and Holmes named to USL Teams of the Week
Rhinos forward Hamed Diallo was named to the USL 1st Division Team of the Week for Week 15 thanks to his two goal performance on Saturday night versus Minnesota. It was the second Team of the Week selection on the season for Diallo who was the Player of the Week in Week 12 due to his scoring both Rhinos goals in their 2-1 win over Carolina at PAETEC Park.
Newly acquired Rhinos forward Jamie Holmes was named to the USL 2nd Division Team of the Week thanks to his 3 goals and 2 assists in 3 games for the Wilmington Hammerheads in Week 15.
Adu to Benfica is finalized
There are some interesting news items coming out on the Adu to Benfica story and a lot is from a very interesting source.
Jason La Canfora is the Washington Post's Redskins beat writer. However, he struck up a friendship with Freddy during Adu's time with DC United. Jason even traveled to Rochester on vacation to take in the US-Argentina U-20 match at PAETEC Park featuring Adu.
Well, Jason breaks down some of the financial tidbits on the Adu to Benfica deal, such as Freddy waiving his 50% share of the $2 million transfer fee to make the deal happen.
This goes to show that this deal was about a lot more than money in short term. So, if anyone thinks that MLS could have kept Adu stateside by merely backing up a Brinks truck, this news runs contrary to those theories.
Personally, I'm just hoping that everything works out well for Adu. He never lived up to the hype in MLS and hopefully he'll be able to be just another good young player with Benfica and not the "Great American Soccer Hope" that he was in MLS.
In case you missed it
The LA Galaxy advanced to the SuperLiga semifinals with a wildly entertaining 6-5 win over FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park last evening.
Landon Donovan was again the catalyst for the Galaxy as he produced a goal and three assists. Donovan also caused some controversy as he did the old throat slash after scoring LA's fifth goal of the game. It will be interesting to see how hard MLS comes down on the LA captain for his display of emotion.
If you have the time, I highly suggest watching the highlights. And I'm mad that I didn't tape the game!
Also of note, Pachuca defeated Chivas 1-0 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Colorado to claim second place in Group A and also advance to the Semifinals. This means that both Chivas and Club America, the two marquee Mexican clubs in the competition, have failed to advance out of group play. Club America was the only one of the eight teams to be eliminated from contention before Round 3 of group play even began.
The downside to the Beckham buzz
Whether it's FC Dallas fans that are unhappy with the fact that Beckham didn't play last night, media members putting a negative spin on even the positives of Beckham's arrival, or media members wondering when exactly Beckham will play next, doesn't matter. What's funny to me is that the shine has come off the apple so quickly.
I know the media builds stars up so that they can tear them down. And given the enormous fanfare that the Beckham signing and arrival has created, that a backlash was almost inevitable.
However, I have a hard time with people cracking the guy when he's hurt. Perhaps it would be better for Beckham if he weren't suffering from an ankle sprain and instead had something like a broken foot that would make it impossible to play soccer.
But seriously, with a $1 million SuperLiga jackpot and eventually an MLS playoff spot on the line, so people really think that the Galaxy would allow Beckham to jake it in his first month as the highest paid soccer player in US history?
And do you think that a player that is as image conscious as Beckham would baby an injury knowing the target he has on his back?
I know it's hard, but people need to take a deep breath, sit back, and relax. I know it's easy for me to say because I didn't spend $200 to see LA-FC Dallas last night with the expectation that Beckham would be in the LA lineup. But, that's sports.
How many people bought Buffalo Sabres season tickets expecting Chris Drury to still be on the team in 2007-08?
News & Notes:
- Boca Juniors are looking into building a 20,000 seat replica of their home stadium in either Miami or NY to house an MLS team. They are hoping to increase the name recognition of their brand within the US using a similiar model to what Chivas has done with Chivas USA. Is it just me, or does a Rhinos-Boca Juniors relationship just seem to make too much sense for it to happen?
- The University of Delaware may be angling to become the home of a metro-Philly MLS team. Although, the old San Jose Earthquakes might suggest that teaming up with a university isn't the best way to go. Although, it's working well for the Houston Dynamo. Perhaps AEG learned their lesson.......
- Sinisa Ubiparipovic's loan from the NY Red Bulls to the Minnesota Thunder was just for Saturday's game versus the Rhinos. Didn't Bruce Arena do enough damage to the Rhinos in the 1996 US Open Cup final?
- While some as yet unnamed Carolina RailHawks players may not care enough, apparently their fans do. I wonder what the odds are that some former Rhinos are amongst the players that Scott Schweitzer might be running out of town?
- I'm stunned. A FIFA.com Q&A with Romario and not a single mention of his time with Miami FC.
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.