May 24, 2007
Yesterday, I took my boys down to PAETEC Park to take in a Rhinos Women's practice. While I was there I noticed this forward that looked like USWNT defender Lori Chalupny's younger sister or cousin. She was all over the place and finished a couple of plays.
It was a scrimmage and I didn't know how the sides were split up, but she did leave an impression on me.
So when head coach Peter Amos asked, "So, what did you think?", my answer was "Who's Chalupny Jr.?"
It turns out the forward was Brittany Kinmond. The fact that a 15 year old stood out amongst players that include the captain of the Trinidad & Tobago Women's National Team had me shaking my head afterwards.
The real test will be what happens when the Rhinos start playing regular season games starting tomorrow night versus the Toronto Lady Lynx. But I'm hoping to at least get a glimpse of what she can do in a game. Although, I'm not really expecting it as most of the talk about Kinmond to this point has been about how she's more of a developmental player for the squad.
Bradley names 23 man Gold Cup roster
The biggest surprise to me has to be the inclusion of Columbus Crew right back Frankie Hejduk. With KC Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad out with a broken jaw, perhaps Hejduk is a "glue guy" type selection to the roster.
Also of note is the fact that US U-20 midfielder Michael Bradley was named to the roster. With the Gold Cup final coming a little less than a week before the US's first game at the U-20 World Cup, it appears the plan is to have Michael take part in both tournaments.
And this certainly looks to be close to the "A" roster for the current US squad as they've said all along that the Gold Cup is a higher priority than the Copa America.
The drama in NY continues
The Red Bulls had some people shaking their heads when they fired Giovanni Savarese as the club's director of youth development. That story has taken an even weirder turn as Big Apple Soccer.com is reporting that the Red Bulls have fired Armen Simoniants less than three weeks after hiring him to replace Savarese.
The Red Bulls won't comment on the story, but it appears that Simoniants may have been let go for "irregularities" on his resume.
And here I thought the Rhinos had some issues within their front office.
On a related topic, Adam Spangler at This is American Soccer.com has an article that gets the conversation going about what the Red Bulls should do to improve the marketing of the club and in turn boost the putrid attendance numbers they have had so far this season.
Maybe it's stubbornness on the part of teams, but since MLS has a single entity system, I wonder why they don't seem to share more information on what works and what doesn't marketing-wise.
I know each market has it's own unique pitfalls, but there have to be some solid commonalities from team to team and city to city, right?
At least throw some money at a guy that has a solid track record at building a fanbase like Peter Wilt, the ex-GM of the Chicago Fire.
21 Tickets to Canada
After reading this article and seeing US U-20s head coach Thomas Rongen's 16 man roster for some upcoming matches in Canada, it reinforces how lucky the fans that came out to the US-Argentina match at PAETEC Park really were.
Nine of the eleven players that got the "Pack your bags, boys" rating played in the match at PAETEC. Michael Bradley and LA Galaxy defender Quavas Kirk were the only two that weren't in town for the match versus Argentina.
Robbie Rogers was the only member of the group of four in the "Nearly a lock" category and Sal Zizzo was one fo the two in the "In a battle" slot that came to Rochester.
Still, 9 of the top 11 and 11 of the top 17 players in the current U-20 pool is pretty darn good, IMO.
To stay or not to stay?
MLSNet.com has an article about how Brazilian midfielder Paulo Nagamura wanted out of Toronto and the Toronto Globe & Mail has one talking about how shocked Alecko Eskandarian was by his trade out of town.
All of the issues that Toronto FC have had early on are very interesting to watch. The reasons that some players have wanted out have varied. And the atmosphere at matches would appear to be something that most guys would want to be a part of.
I guess you can never keep everyone happy all the time. I just find it interesting that Toronto has had so many players force their way out of town, yet I don't see that happening in places like Columbus, Kansas City, and a few other cities that, to me at least, would be more likely to cause people to want to run for the exits.
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.