There have been two off-season departures from the Rochester Rhinos that worried me. First was the free transfer of goalkeeper Neal Kitson to Northampton Town Football Club and the other was the loss of linking central midfielder Alfonso Motagalvan to the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. Today the club seemed to solve the goalkeeping issue by signing the German shot-stopper Kristian Nicht.
Nicht has extensive experience with Alemannia Aachen which includes that club’s promotion to the Bundesliga. After one season in Germany’s top league, Nicht moved to Norway for a year before returning to his home country. Rhinos head coach Jesse Myers has high hopes for the 29 year old ‘keeper who checks in a 6’5″. “With Kristian’s experience and size I expect him to be a presence in goal,” Myers said. “With the number of games Kristian has played in the Bundesliga he will have instant credibility with his teammates.”
Nicht joins a defensive unit which sees Troy Roberts and Tyler Bellamy return to central defense, Quavas Kirk re-sign as the right back, and both Mike Zaher and Jack Traynor join the team as attack-minded left backs. Nicht himself seems excited about the upcoming USL-Pro season. “I am very happy to become a Rhino,” Nicht said. “I am looking forward to bringing my experience to the team while learning from the team at the same time. I am willing to help out the team in any way that I can.”
With five forwards, two goalkeepers, and five defenders, the Rhinos are only a quality defender and a couple midfielders away from a championship quality side. If the club can find someone to fill Motagalvan’s shoes, as they have with Kitson’s, and sign a player who drops deep to collect the ball from the defense and plays smart diagonal passes into the runs of forwards and wingers, this season’s squad could be one to remember.