BREAKING DOWN THE HOUNDS
WEEK 2 OPPONENT PREVIEW:
USL 2015 Record – 0-0-1
Most Recent – Played to scoreless draw vs NY Red Bull 2 in last week’s opener
Head Coach – Bob Lilley (USL Hall of Fame)
MLS Affiliate – New England Revolution
2014 vs Riverhounds – The Riverhounds went 2-1-0 in three eventful matches vs the Rhinos last year. After a 1-0 defeat at home on May 17, bringing their record to 0-4-3, Head Coach Justin Evans was sacked. The Hounds finally got their first USL win of 2014, and their first win ever after 19 tries at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester before 5,801 in the rematch on June 11, as Danny Earls had two assists against his former club.
They capped off the three-game series in 2014 with their regional rivals with a dominating 2-0 win at Highmark Stadium in front of a sell-out crowd on July 4.
WHAT TO EXPECT
If you have ever followed USL– and before that A-League Pro Soccer — two things that are synonymous with the Rochester Rhinos are that they are always a tough side to score goals on and they hold the distinction of being the only non-MLS team since the start of the MLS era in American soccer in 1996 to win the United States Open Cup in 1999.
This is the second go-around for Lilley with Rochester, as he accumulated a 28-16-10 record with the club. Lilley brings eight returnees from a club that went 10-10-8 and exited in the first round of the USL playoffs in 2014.
The team started seven of their eight returning players in a hard-earned week one draw at Red Bull Arena.
At forward, Colin Rolfe (2 goals in 2014) was at the top of their attack, along with Christian Volesky, a rookie taken 32nd overall in the MLS SuperDraft by Portland. At Midfield they still feature a few dangerous players in Jonny Mendoza and speedy Alex Dixon.
In what looks like a move to bolster their attack, as part of their affiliation with MLS New England Revolution, this week the Rhinos received midfielder Tyler Rudy and forward Timi Mulgrew on loan
Again, it looks like their defense is their strength with right side back Pat McMahon back, and Sean Totsch got the start last week along with Vassilios Apostolopoulous and second-year pro Grant Van de Casteele.
In week one, Rhinos goalkeeper Brandon Miller came up with a big save on a penalty kick to deny NY Red Bull II’s Leo Stolz in the first half.
The two teams will play three times this year, with return matches at Rochester on June 27 and in final home game of the year for the Riverhounds, on September 16.
HOUNDS INJURY/ROSTER UPDATE
Matt Dallman still remains a few weeks away from returning to action after tearing his hip ligament earlier this year. Drew Russell is set to resume training in the next couple of weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee.
Canadian left-back Tyler Pasher remains unavailable for selection while awaiting international transfer clearance from his former club in Finland.