Yesterday, the Rhinos announced that team captain and 2006 team MVP goalkeeper Scott Vallow has agreed to a two year contract extension that will keep him in Rochester through the end of the 2009 USL 1st Division season. 2007 will mark Vallow's seventh season in Rochester and he is coming off a stellar 2006 season where he led the USL 1st Division in wins, shutouts, and saves and was a 2nd Team All-League selection.
Thankfully, neither Scott nor the team has to worry about what might happen should the season end and Vallow become a free agent. It will be interesting to see if the Rhinos now try and extend the contracts of other free agents-to-be starting with defender Kenney Bertz.
Rhinos announce four other signings
The Rhinos also announced the signing of four other players yesterday.
Defender Chris Aloisi, midfielder Stephen Shirley-Black, and the Rhinos two 2007 draftees Ryan Wileman and PJ Scheufele were on hand as the club announced that they had also agreed to terms with the club.
Aloisi joins the Rhinos after stints with the LA Galaxy, SJ Earthquakes, and 2006 MLS Cup Champs Houston Dynamo. The Syracuse University product is expected to battle for the starting job at right back that has opened up with Frankie SanFilippo's move to the Carolina RailHawks.
Shirley-Black is a left footed midfielder that Rhinos head coach Laurie Calloway mentioned will be in the mix to replace Greg Howes at the defensive midfield spot. Shirley-Black played college soccer at VCU with Rhinos forward Matthew Delicate, was recruited to play for the Des Moines Menace of the PDL while Laurie Calloway was there, although he didn't play for the Menace until Calloway's first season in Syracuse, and he spent last season with the KC Wizards reserve team.
Rhinos combine participants
The Rhinos released a list of 50 players that will be headed to Florida to take part in the 2007 Rhinos combine starting on Saturday.
Chase Harrison - Was a developmental player for Real Salt Lake in 2006 and was with Virginia Beach on loan for part of the season.
Nikolai Myhre - 20 yo who's last club is in Norway's 3rd division.
Daniel Riverso - 22 yo that played at Rider University
Wayne Robbins - 22 yo from the UK who holds a green card has played with Cobham Sports FC of the Dorset Premier League
Adam Arteaga - Has played for the Fresno Fuego of the PDL and played his college soccer at Fresno Pacific University
Ejillibe Kingsley Dayton - 28 yo from Niger who holds a green card and previously played for Heartland FC in Nigeria
George Dublin - 30 yo native of Antigua has played for Joe Public FC and Hoppers FC
Lewis Gilbert - 22 yo from Great Britian
Mohamed Jama - 22 yo from Great Britian
Andrew Julius - 22 yo from Great Britian who holds a green card and came up through the Crystal Palace youth system
Hassen Maamar - 23 yo from Tunisia who holds a green card and has played in the 1st and 2nd division in his home country with Jendouba Sport 1922.
James McIntyre - 20 yo from Wolcott, NY who's played for the Penfield Rangers and North Rose Jets of the RDSL
Reynaldo Stoddart - 27 yo from Jamaica who holds a green card and played for Jamaica's U-17 and U-20 national teams
Lateef Turral - 22 yo played his college soccer at Saint Joseph's University
Abas Aydarus - 22 yo Swiss native has played for FC Serriere and FC Colombier
Mekedehoun Este Bill - 21 yo from Togo has played for Modele and AC Merlan in Togo
Mark Briggs - 25 yo from Great Britian came up in the West Brom youth system
Daniel Bustos - 25 yo played his college soccer at Western Illinois University and has spent time in the PDL with West Michigan and Wichita
Joaquim Dino DeAbreu - 29 yo from Portugal and has a green card and has played professionally in Venezuela
Justin Dell - 24 yo St John Fisher grad that took part in the 2006 Rhinos combine
Jani Galik - 22 yo Czech native who grew up in Florida and has a green card. Galik spent last season as a developmental player for the New England Revolution
Daine Merrin - 21 yo played his college soccer at Roberts Wesleyan and played for the Reading Rage of the PDL
Brian Morris - 24 yo played his college soccer at VCU and spent last season with the Richmond Kickers
Chris Ndukuba - 24 yo from Great Britian has a 60-day green card and has spent time with Bradford Park Avenue in England
Uwa Silas Ogbono - 28 yo from Nigeria holds a green card and has played with Besingstoke FC in the UK
Trent Pagnozzi - 17 yo Aussie has most recently spent time with APIA Leichardt in Sydney, Australia
Stanley Osademe-Patrick - 26 yo from Nigeria
Ryan Reece - 21 yo from Canada played for the Ottawa Fury of the PDL in 2006
Roderick Rodney - 23 yo from Guyana
Joshua Smith - 22 yo from Great Britian has played for the Crystal Palace and Southhampton reserves
Tamorley Thomas - 23 yo from Antigua has played for Hoppers FC and the Antigua & Barbuda National Team
Dwayne Barnett - 25 yo from Ogdensburg, NY
Dayen Dar Nell Berkleef - 22 yo from Holland has come through the Sparta Rotterdam system
Marco Celio - 30 yo Italian has played for Padova and Cittadella in Italy
Ikechukwu Dickson - 21 yo from Nigeria has played for First Bank FC
Khaled Almazeedi - 21 yo from Kuwait has played for Kuwait's U-20 National Team
Derrick Appiah - 22 yo from Ghana played on various youth national teams along with the Cowlane Babies and Liverty Professionals in Ghana
Simeon Bedzigui - 26 yo from Switzerland has played in Switzerland and Germany, most recently with FC Baden in the Swiss 2nd Division
Eli Kodzo Dotto - 23 yo from Togo played college soccer at Utah Valley State
Wyn Fremlin - British native has played for Amble FC, Blyth Spartans FC, and Bedlington Terriers FC
David Jasper Iacono - 17 yo from Great Britian has played for Cheadle United
Dave Leung - 25 yo from Jamaica played his college soccer at Oral Roberts and spent time with Chicago Fire Premier of the PDL
Albert Naugle - 22 yo played his college soccer at Fresno State before playing for Olivenza CP in the Spanish 3rd Division
Alex M Quainoo - 21 yo from Ghana
Haim Sabah - 22 yo from Israel has a green card pending and has played for Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tirat E Carmel
Fabunmi Ishola Temitope - 24 yo from Nigeria has played for Injecfor FC of Abuja
Francis Woukop Yomi - 31 yo from Cameroon holds a green card and has played professionally in Cameroon and in England
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 email@example.com. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.