Rob Clark's latest blog post breaks down the 2009 Rhinos schedule.
Here are my takes:
- We were due the two trips to Rochester by Montreal and Carolina and it's nice that they'll only need to travel to Austin once.
- Two road trips to Vancouver and Portland could be rough and having to play twice in Puerto Rico may not be great, either.
- It will be interesting to see if there are a lot of Rhinos fans making the two trips to Cleveland in 2009.
- It will be interesting to see how well the 4 Wednesday night games go. I do like the thought of leaving Montreal with more well rested opponents for Sunday matches!
News & Notes:
- Former Richmond Kicker Clyde Simms has re-signed with DC United.
- Joe Cannon is cautiously optimistic about re-signing with San Jose. I hope that they get a deal done as I think it onlyhelps MLS if Joe Cannon is in the league.
- Greg Lalas' newest column at SI.com talks about how the global economic crisis is helping MLS as it will make it harder for players like Kenny Cooper to find teams to pay them more than MLS can.
- Ben Knight kicks off his new Toronto soccer blog with a post about how Toronto FC is looking to get mroe butts in seats at already sold out BMO Field. Imagine how crazy they'll get if their team starts winning!
- Andrea Canales' lastest at Goal.com talks about the great stadium divide in MLS and uses Real Salt Lake's brand spanking new Rio Tinto Stadium and Seattle using Qwest Field as examples of the opposite ends of the spectrum. I wonder what she thinks of San Jose's plan for a stadium with far less than 20,000 permanent seats and no suites?
- Richard Snowden at Soccer365.com attacks the MLS salary cap. Personally, I don't know if a "soft cap" would be good for the league long term.
- Speaking of salary caps, it doesn't appear that the EPL will be getting one anytime soon.
- Out of contract Columbus Crew defender Chad Marshall is on trial with FSV Mainz 05 in Germany.
- It looks like Fat Ronaldo will be making his come back from knee surgery with Corinthians in Brazil.
- The new marquee name linked with the Barca-Miami MLS team is El Tri captain Rafael Marquez instead of Thierry Henry. Henry would make that team sooooooo much easier to root for.
- Vancouver is letting Jeff Clarke, Steve Kindel, and Alfredo Valente go. The Whitecaps are looking to go with younger, and likely cheaper, options in 2009. With the loss of leading scorer Edy Sebrango, it will be very interesting to see how the Whitecaps remake their roster this off season.
- The Austin Aztex first two signees are from the PDL ranks.
- Timber Jim received a 2008 Best Mascot award. If it were a lifetime achievement award, it would have made more sense as Jim retired at the beginning of the 2008 Timbers campaign.
- Can someone please hire Ruud Gullit so that I don't have to see stuff like this any more?
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.