Rochester Rhinos do American soccer proud.(Sunday, September 19, 1999) -- SoccerTimes readers love those Rochester Raging Rhinos and the column Jerry Langdon wrote about them.
On behalf of the Rochester Raging Rhinos ownership group, thank you for Jerry Langdon’s kind words about our club and the city of Rochester. Your September 19 article was thrilling to read. We are proud to be "America's Champion" during the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament.
Steve Donner, C.E.O.
Soccer is excessively subjective at times. Many very good team players get overlooked because of inadequate objective records being kept showing their contributions. When a lot of these players end up on the same team, you get a team like the Rhinos. They were also allowed to be creative and somewhat unpredictable.
Maybe some coaches will look at this winning and crowd pleasing formula. Your stories are more interesting than most soccer coverage.
Aaron (fans from Maryland) [Vortex@qis.net]
Rhinos’ victory raises questions
Your article on the importance of this victory is right on the money. In many ways, the Rhinos win gives a legitimacy to the tournament it had been lacking since the MLS entered in 1996. Of course, it raises numerous questions about MLS and the U.S. Soccer Federation as well.
Is this a reason to institute a promotion/relegation system? Does Rochester deserve a shot at next year's CONCACAF Champions cup (or at least a playoff 'Super Cup' with the MLS champs to decide who goes)? Hopefully, U.S. Soccer will use this to its advantage, and attempt to eliminate the egg on its face after ESPN cuts twice to a meaningless baseball game.
M. Gregory [firstname.lastname@example.org]
MLS needs better USL relationship
There's all this talk about the MLS linking up more closely with the (U.S. Soccer) Federation, but one group with whom they need closer relations is the United Soccer Leagues. The system we have right now isn't fair and isn't presenting the best soccer to the public.
Why do the MetroStars belong in the MLS and the Rochester Raging Rhinos don't? The MetroStars haven't proven they can win consistently against MLS teams, and they have a synthetic turf field, at least for part of the year.
The Rhinos have won almost as many games this year against MLS teams as the MetroStars have and have almost equal attendance to many MLS teams.
Bring fairness to Pro Soccer in the U.S. Let's have promotion and relegation between the A-League and MLS. Success of a "minor league" team in the MLS, even if only for a year or two, will bring more fans to soccer than a weak team in a big market. Even the NFL moved teams out of LA.
Chan Verbeck [email@example.com]
MLS used reserves
I would like to point out that many of the MLS teams (especially in the early rounds) used many reserves. Being a Galaxy fan, I know that their near catastrophe against the Flash had to do with missing Cobi Jones and Robin Fraser to the national team, playing their second-string goalkeeper, and an early red card to Carlos Hermosillo. Even playing a man down they were able to score three consecutive goals. I would have loved to see them in the finals against the Rhinos, but alas, it was not to be.
Matt Needham [MDNeedham@aol.com]
Use relegation system
So good to hear about the Rhinos and their run to the top. I would like to see the MLS develop a relegation system like Euro leagues. Why task good teams with the $25 million entry fee? What about teams that pay the fee and bore us to death.
Another thing. Why the big push to force Rochester to build a new soccer only stadium before entry into the MLS? How many of the existing MLS teams have their own stadium? My guess is not many of them.
Rich L'Esperance [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Promote the Rhinos
I believe that the Rochester Rhinos are more deserving of a spot in MLS than their New York counterparts. Their fan base is great and surely is an excellent example for other teams fan clubs. I say relegation for the Metrostars, with their talent and coaching, they should be able to accomplish more than 12 points. That is pathetic.
Avid Andy [email@example.com]
Great article. Could not agree more with both the praise and questions about the MLS and USLS soccer programs raised by the Rhino's U.S. Open Cup victory.
J. Yomlin [JTomlin757@aol.com]