06/21/2012 1:44 PM
The Rochester Rhinos are visiting the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, June 23rd in City Stadium at 7PM. The Rhinos enter the match in third place in the table while the Kickers are in the sixth and final playoff spot in the USL PRO table. While Rochester is five points ahead of Richmond in the table, the Rhinos have only taken three points (0-2-3 record) from their last five matches. This year’s team is the third in club history to experience a winless streak of six or more matches, but both of the previous Rhinos teams recovered to make the playoffs.
“There’s nothing more to be said about our form this week then we’ve had to say over the past couple of weeks.” Myers said. “We’re creating more chances than we did at the beginning of the season. We’ve only conceded eight goals in our last six matches, so we’re not getting blown out of any games. Defensively we seemed to get every break during the first six or seven games, but those things tend to even out over the season and we’re experiencing that now. We’ve struggled to score goals for two months now and need to find some guys willing to step up and put the ball into the back of the net.”
The Rhinos received a boost to their strike force last weekend when star striker Isaac Kissi returned from a knee injury to make his 2012 debut. He played 20 minutes in his first appearance of the season in Rochester’s 2:1 loss in Harrisburg on Friday night. Then he played 24 minutes in the Rhinos 1:1 draw with Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. Kissi did not score a goal, but his form with the Rhinos over the past two seasons seems to indicate that one will be coming shortly. He scored eight goals in 1,203 minutes in 2010 to lead the team in scoring. Last season he scored five goals in 713 minutes. His strike rate as a Rhino has been 0.583 goals per game – above the world standard of a goal every other match for a striker.
“Isaac can add a missing dimension to our attack in the second half of the season.” Myers said. “Clearly there’s some fitness concerns with Kissi because he’s missed half the season. We just need to be careful to work him back into the line-up gradually and return him to match fitness.”
The Rochester Rhinos have further boosted their attacking options by agreeing to terms with Kendell McFayden. The deal is still pending USL and USSF approval. McFayden made his professional debut with the Austin Aztecs in the USSF Division Two in 2010. He made nine appearances for the club and scored one goal. Last season McFayden played for the USL PDL Champion Kitsap Pumas where he scored eight goals in sixteen matches. The Williamsville, New York native and Medaille College alum has been training with the Rhinos and getting matches with FC Buffalo (NPSL) this season.
The Richmond Kickers enter their match against the Rhinos on Saturday night after losing a pair of matches last weekend. The Kickers lost to Wilmington 2:1 in Legion Stadium on Friday night before their 4:1 loss to eighth place Charlotte on Saturday night. The two losses dropped Richmond from fourth to sixth in the table. A continuing bright spot for the Kickers has been the play of front runner Christopher Agorsor. He scored two goals in two matches last weekend, and he has two goals and one assist in Richmond’s last three matches. Agorsor has five goals and two assists in ten matches this season. He is second in the league in goals and tied for third in the league in points.
Rochester is currently seven points behind Orlando City for first place, and they must regain the form that they started the campaign with if they want to win their third consecutive regular season title. Otherwise, the Rhinos could fall from the title race into the playoff race where four teams are competing for the final three spots.
“I’ve been in this league for over 15 years now, and I always feel the same way about it every year.” Myers said. “There’re a lot of good teams who go up and down all season. Look at Harrisburg last year when they made the final with the fifth or sixth best record in the league. Our goal to start the season was qualify for the playoffs and then be healthy and playing well when they start. There’s still plenty of time left to achieve all of those goals – there’s no reason we can’t.”