Rhinos Stutter to a 1-1 Draw with Montreal’s u21

Georgios Kyriazis, 32 year old Greek central defender

The first half of the match against Montreal’s u21 side was largely uneventful.  However Greek veteran center back, Georgios (George) Kyriazis earned his second start of preseason.

Born in 1980 in Thessaloniki, Greece, Kyriazis started his career in 1996 with hometown club Iraklis.  His last season at Iraklis, 2003, included a loan to Italian club Catania, who were then in Serie B.  Kryiazis impressed in Italy and joined Arezzo the following season, helping them to win Serie C and gain promotion to Serie B in his first season.  In 2005 he switched to another Serie B side Triestina until joining Salernitana in 2008.  When the club was relegated for financial irregularities in 2010, Kryiazis returned to the club of his youth Iraklis Thessaloniki F.C.

Unfortunately for Kyriazis and fortunately for us, the club Iraklis F.C. fell apart in 2011.  After a string of legal friction with the sport governing bodies, first for forging official documents and secondly for appealing the initial demotion, the club found itself stripped of its professional status.  Instead of staying on with the newly formed club, created out of the ashes of Iraklis by a merger with a club in the third tier of Greek football, Kyriazis decided to trek across the Atlantic and test out the waters in North American soccer.

The report on the Rhinos’ site gives a great recap of the team’s only goal on the game.

         The build-up to the Rhinos goal started when Andrew Hoxie drifted out to the right flank in the 53rd minute.  With time and space out wide, Hoxie was able to get his head up and play a penetrating pass to central midfielder Tyler Rosenlund.  Rosenlund took a touch before playing left winger Danny Earls through on the left flank.  Earls hit a hard shot on frame that the U21s keeper was able to save, but he couldn’t hold onto it.  Front runner Graciano Brito was the first to the rebound and he finished into an empty net for his second goal of the preseason.

“I thought we had some moments in the first half,” Jesse Myers said.  “We went into halftime and talked about some things.  Then we came out and played fifteen good minutes to open the second half.  Overall I think we’ve improved game to game in the preseason, but the last thirty minutes of today’s match we just weren’t good enough.”

Kyriazis started the team’s first preseason match against Pittsburgh and played the whole match, played the second half against Binghamton University, played the last 30 minutes against Colgate, and played the second half against the University at Buffalo before starting today against Montreal.

Kyriazis would bring some height to the Rhinos defense, standing at either 6’2″ (according to his previous clubs) or 6’4″ (according to the Rhinos).  Troy Roberts is 5’10”, Mike Zaher is 5’10” and Jack Traynor is 5’9″, while Tyler Bellamy is 6’2″ and Quavas Kirk is 6’1″.  The Greek defender, who has played left back in his career, also provides experience at a high level to the squad that is quite young.  If communication does not prove to be a problem, Kyriazis could be a valuable acquisition for the 2012 USL-Pro season.

The last time the team’s report singled out a played on trial, Gustavo Zamudio, there was an acquisition announced in the near future.  Perhaps we should expect to see a press release soon to announce that the club has signed Kyriazis.

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