07/19/2012 2:39 PM
The Rochester Rhinos host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, July 21st at 7PM in Sahlen’s Stadium. Rochester is now in third place in the USL PRO table after taking one point from two matches in Wilmington and Orlando last weekend. Rochester is six points clear of fourth place Wilmington in the USL PRO table. The Rhinos have five matches left in the 2012 season, and all five will be played in Sahlen’s Stadium.
“The schedule has kept on us our toes and presented us with some different challenges up to this point.” Rhinos coach Jesse Myers said. “Now we’re back to the international standard of one match per week. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to qualify for the playoffs and to enter the tournament healthy. I think our schedule from here to the end gives us the best possible chance to accomplish both of those goals.”
Several Rhinos players have missed significant time due to injury over the past four to six weeks. Left back Michael Zaher has missed the past nine matches dating back to June 12th. Center back Georgios Kyriazis missed seven matches dating back to June 17th. Left back Jack Traynor has missed the past four matches. Winger JC Banks missed Saturday night’s defeat in Orlando due to personal reasons. All four have returned to training, but Rochester is not in a hurry to rush everyone back into the starting line-up.
“We’ve really come together as a team over the past four to six weeks and faced some serious injuries together.” Myers said. “As Georgie, Jack, and Zaher return to training we are going to look to work them back into the line-up, but their fitness is a big concern right now. We need them to be healthy and then focus on building up their minutes so that we can count on them being fully fit when the playoffs start. We don’t want to rush someone back into the lineup before they are fully ready to return.”
Pittsburgh enters Saturday night’s match in 10th place in the USL PRO table. They have five points from ten away matches this season. They are ninth in USL PRO in both goals scored (6) and goals conceded (15) away from home. The Riverhounds star player is center midfielder Matt Kassel. Kassel has four goals and one assist for nine points in his first USL PRO season. He grew up in the Red Bull youth academy and signed with the New York Red Bull first team in 2011. He spent three seasons at the University of Maryland before signing his first professional contract.
As the Rhinos focus on the Riverhounds there will be a lot of movement underneath Rochester in the USL PRO table. Fourth place Wilmington and eighth place Richmond are separated by three points. Only the top six teams make the USL PRO playoffs. Each of the five teams battling it out for the final three playoff spots have one to three matches in hand on the Rhinos, so the table could actually be much closer than it appears.
“Right now I think we’re still in a situation where we can focus on getting results and picking up points in our matches.” said Myers. “In our league matches in hand often come with multiple games in a weekend, or even back-to-back road matches in a weekend. It’s often difficult to pick up maximum points in that situation.”
Tickets are on sale for Saturday night’s match by calling 585-454-KICK, by visiting rhinossoccer.com, or by visiting any Ticket Master Retail location.