Rhinos Squeak by Dayton to Finish Their Road Trip A Perfect 3-0

The Rhinos took advantage of a defensive blunder by the Dayton Dutch Lions to steal three points in a drab and dreary USL-Pro match on Saturday night.  Neither team really deserved to win this match, but J.C. Banks was on hand to capitalize on a truly dreadful back pass debacle.

The Rhinos started Kristian Nicht in goal; Quavas Kirk, George Kyriazis, Troy Roberts, and Jack Traynor in the back; Danny Earls on the right, J.C. Banks out left, Drew Cost and Tyler Rosenlund in the middle; with Tam McManus playing behind Graciano Brito.

The Dayton Dutch Lions ran out the same lineup they used in their previous two league matches. Matthew Williams; Gregory Preciado, Nixon Dias, Mettin Copier, and Shane Smith; Joel DeLass, Mikael McNamara, and Kyle Knotek; Gibson Bardsley, Gerrit-Jan Bartels, and Akeem Priestley.

In the first half, the Rhinos seemed to struggle with the advanced wing-play from Dayton’s wide forwards Gibson Bardsley and Akeem Priestley.  Rochester seemed content to sit back, soak up pressure and exploit counter attacks.  However, no counter attacks were forthcoming and the Dutch Lions could not put together a final ball.  In fact, both teams were spraying sloppy passes and slicing shots well wide of the goal in the first 45 minutes.  The referee’s whistle came as a relief for the spectators much more so than for the players of either side. Continue reading

Rhinos Find a Way Past the L.A. Blues Again

The Rhinos went into Titan Stadium at Cal State Fullerton hoping to take a point away from the L.A. Blues.  Instead of settling for a draw, the team exploded out of the half time break and notched two quick goals in the first 11 minutes of the second half.  Despite defending heavily, Rochester remained dangerous on counter attacks and continued to press for a third goal when they had possession.  This victory moves the team to 2-0 on the early season, which Jeff DiVeronica revealed on Twitter is the first time the Rhinos have accomplished this feat since 2006.  Not only that, but the Rhinos picked up 6 points on the road from one of the pre-season favorites in USL-Pro.

The Los Angeles play-by-play analyst Marc Serber (@SoccerSerber) was fantastic throughout the match.  But onto the actual game..

The Rhinos lined up in the same 4-5-1/4-4-1-1 with Tam McManus playing in the hole.  Kristian Nicht started behind a back line of Jack Traynor, Troy Roberts, George Kyriazis, and Quavas Kirk.  J.C. Banks and Danny Earls again started on the wings, while Tyler Rosenlund and Drew Cost combined in the center of midfield.  Graciano Brito was the lone man up top.

Kirk was determined to be fit after coming off with a knock late in the first match, but the 32 old year Greek central defender replaced the injured Tyler Bellamy for his first league start as a Rhino.

Los Angeles started in the same formation they played last week, a 4-5-1 that transitions to a 4-3-3.  Starting from the goalkeeper, the Blues’ starters were: Jose Miranda; Sunyhung Cho, Carlos Borja, Ebrima Jatta, Bryan Burke; Erlys Garcia, Irving Garcia, Ricky Waddell; George Davis IV, Brian Farber, and Matt Fondy. Continue reading

Rhinos Top Binghamton University 4-0 in Preseason as More Trialists Feature

Tam McManus, seen here celebrating a goal for Dunfermline Athletic, got on the score sheet for Rochester in the 6th minute

Rochester Rhinos head coach Jesse Myers started a full strength side against the Binghamton University Bearcats on Saturday morning at Sahlen’s Stadium.  Kristian Nicht started between the pipes and did well to maintain his concentration during the shut-out.  The back four looked like the starting contingent going forward.  Jack Traynor started on the left while Quavas Kirk played on the right.  Troy Roberts partnered Tyler Bellamy in the center of defense as he did much of last season.  The midfield showed some very promising attacking potential for 2012.  J.C. Banks started on the left wing, trialist Danny Earls played on the right flank, while Drew Cost and Tyler Rosenlund played centrally.  Having two highly capable wingers proved a plus for Rochester as they were able to attack from either side.  Tam McManus played as a withdrawn forward with Graciano Brito as the point man of the attack.

The formation could have been a traditional 4-4-2, or a 4-2-3-1 with advanced wingers, but the team most likely operated as a 4-4-1-1.  Scottish forward Tam McManus is the self-proclaimed “number 10″ for the Rhinos and likes to pop into spaces and exchange quick passes.The first half was largely the Danny Earls show and I fully expect his effort to be rewarded with a contract.  The Irish trialist had two assists to set up Tam McManus and J.C. Banks in the opening quarter of an hour. Continue reading

Rochester Rhinos: Preseason Preview

One week from today, on March 18, the Rochester (formerly Raging) Rhinos officially kick off their preseason when they take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Peters Township High School in Pittsburgh.  The Rhinos then host five games at Sahlen’s Stadium against 4 colleges and the Montreal Impact u21 side.  The team looks solid in 10 positions on the field to me, and the team is only one of two signings away from the most attractive team to play in Rochester in ten or so years.

The goalkeeping situation got a whole lot more convincing with the addition of Kristian Nicht.  Nicht, 29, will likely be the starter for the Rhinos while 22 year old rookie Brandon Miller will deputize and look to excel in the newly formatted U.S. Open Cup.  Only the Los Angeles Blues boast a goalkeeper with close to the same pedigree and international club experience as Nicht, in Mexican veteran Oscar Duatt.

Below is a rundown of the rest of the roster and my confidence in each position. Continue reading

Rhinos Postseason Update: February 11

The Rhinos have lost two and gained two since my last update.  Club management has clearly set about to address the biggest problem area in the squad from 2011, but have they also opened up new wounds?

First thing is first: Neal Kitson is gone.  Rhinos management has tried to play down the importance of his departure, but Kitson will be missed in 2012.  Head coach Jesse Myers said, “Losing Neal is definitely a bump in the road this off-season.  At the same time, it’s been my experience that quality goalkeeping is usually available due to the nature of the position.” Continue reading