Since their first round U.S. Open Cup victory away to Portland Phoenix, Brooklyn Italians managed to earn another three points in the league. Their win against New York Athletic Club moved the Italians to 12 points from four games in the National Premier Soccer League Northeast Atlantic Conference (but some might lead you to believe that the Italians somehow managed a 10-1-1 record out of four games; who knew that was possible). In their weekend action, the Rhinos drew Dayton Dutch Lions at home 1-1. A late header from Quavas Kirk salvaged a point from their match on Friday after giving up their first goal in league play this season.
After a flurry of chances for the Rhinos in the first few minutes of the game, the pace of the match slowed down. It appeared that Rochester was lured down to the Italians level of physical long ball play trying to find their target forward. There wasn’t much possession or creativity out of the midfield from other side for twenty minutes.
The Rhinos lined up in a 4-4-1-1 in front of Kristian Nicht. Jack Traynor and Troy Roberts (captain) partnered in the center of defense, Mike Zaher played left back and Quavas Kirk played on the right. In the midfield, Conor Chinn started wide left which pushed Danny Earls into the middle with Tyler Rosenlund. J.C. Banks played his normal right wing and Tam McManus once again excelled at his role playing behind a target forward, this time Andrew Hoxie.
Because of McManus’ position between the midfield and lone forward, Rochester’s wingers had the freedom to push forward. That meant that if Hoxie pulled over to one side of the field to combine with a wide player, McManus occupied the center of the box while the far side winger could make a run to far post or to the space at the near post that Hoxie and McManus opened up for him. This consistently happened allowing Conor Chinn several clear chances at goal throughout the game. Continue reading