Rochester Rhinos News Release -- www.rhinossoccer.com
Thursday, June 7, 2012
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos have slipped into third place in the USL PRO table, but have a chance to regain their form against Wilmington on Friday night at 7:35 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium. Rochester opened the 2012 USL PRO season with a run of six victories in six matches, but they have only taken two points from their last four matches in league play.
“We had a rough start to the season in terms of the schedule, and then things got rougher when Open Cup play started.” Rhinos coach Jesse Myers said. “Seven of our first 10 league matches were away from Rochester, but we managed to put together a 5-1-1 record in those games. Now nine out of our last 14 are at home, and we have to focus on getting some results in this part of the schedule.”
The Rhinos' attack has been shut down in two of their last three USL PRO matches, but there is still plenty of talent on the roster that can produce goals for the Rhinos this season. Winger JC Banks is the team’s leading scorer with three goals and four assists in all competitions. He is tied for fourth in the league in points with eight (two goals, four assists), and he is second in the league in assists. Forward Tam McManus scored two goals in three matches with the game winning goal against the Brooklyn Italians in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup on May 22nd and the game-tying goal against the Dutch Lions in Dayton on May 26th. Winger Danny Earls was named to the USL PRO Team of the Week last week after having four shots on goal in a 1-0 loss to Richmond.
“We definitely have players on this roster who have the pedigree to score goals in this league.” Myers said. “Tam scored goals in the SPL and MLS, Graciano Brito scored goals in this league last year, Andrew Hoxie led the Rhinos in scoring last year, and JC started the season on a tear. We added two new forwards, a new winger, and have Rosey [Tyler Rosenlund] and Drew [Cost] playing a little bit deeper than they were last year. It takes time to develop a new attacking group."
Defensively the Rhinos are tied with Charleston for the best record in USL PRO with five goals conceded in 10 matches. Rhinos goalkeeper Krisitian Nicht started off the season with six clean sheets in the club's six victories. He has a 6-2-1 record with three goals against, a 0.33 goals against average, and six shutouts. While goalkeepers statistically get the credit for the club’s defensive performance, the Rhinos have had center back Georgios Kyriazis, left back Jack Traynor, right back Quavas Kirk, and captain Troy Roberts all named to the USL PRO Team of the Week in recognition of their contributions to the Rhinos overall defensive effort.
The Wilmington Hammerheads just climbed back into the playoff picture with a 3-1 victory against league-leader Orlando City at Legion Stadium last Saturday night. New addition Corey Hertzog, who is on loan from Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, scored two goals and added an assist in his home debut against City. Striker Andriy Bundyy has four goals so far this season while midfielder Bryce Taylor’s performances (three goals, one assist) have drawn him praise from around the league. While the Hammerheads are in sixth in the table, their big result against Orlando City gives them momentum heading into Friday night’s match in Rochester.
“I think we’re learning something as a team that I learned a long time ago in this league.” said Myers, an assistant coach for 15 years with the Richmond Kickers before joining the Rhinos as their manager last October. “Whenever you play a game in this league, regardless of record or form going into it, it’s going to be a tough one. I would expect Wilmington to come in here with a lot of confidence. We showed some growth in our performance against Richmond, but didn’t get the result. We need to find a way to get that first goal to go in the net, and then see what follows from there.”
Tickets are still available for Friday night’s match against Wilmington. They can be ordered in advance by calling (585) 454-KICK, by visiting rhinossoccer.com, or by visiting any Ticketmaster retail location.