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Miami FC Gives Rochester Rhinos the Blues

It may be a case of too little too late for a playoff spot, but Miami FC is showing some life and pride as the season draws to an end.  Playing at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester Friday night, the Blues defeated the Rochester Rhinos 2-1, recording their second win in a row and  disappointing the 6,794 Rochester fans in attendance.  The win caused the Blues to climb out of the NASL Conference cellar, as they passed Crystal Palace Baltimore and are tied with AC St. Louis with 26 points.  The loss was only the seventh in twenty-eight games for the Rhinos, who still remain in first place in the USL Conference over Austin before Saturday’s games.  It was also the final home game of the regular season for Coach Bob Lilley’s Rhinos.

A unusual script saw all the game’s scoring occur before a half hour had passed.  Forward Anthony Hamilton put the Rhinos on the board first when he headed home a pass from midfielder Tyler Rosenlund near the 10 minute mark.  It was Hamilton’s fifth goal of the season.  Miami FC replied quickly.  With the Blues needing to win out their remaining games to have even a chance of gaining the eighth playoff spot, Brazilian youngster Danilo Martins took an Abe Thompson header and hit a half-volley that knotted the contest in the 17th minute.  Thompson put the Blues up for good seven minutes later, when he alertly intercepted a backpass from Rochester’s Darren Spicer and beat Rhinos’ goalkeeper Scott Vallow one on one for a 2-1 lead.  The goal was Thompson’s sixth of the season, and second consecutive game-winner.

The ingredients in winning often includes a dose of good luck, and Miami FC were the recipients in the second half.  Rochester substitute Nano Short blasted a shot off at the Miami net that hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced down and appeared to hit the line, before bouncing away from goal.  The referee did not rule the shot a goal, and Miami FC had their victory, the third under coach Daryl Shore since he took over the coaching reins in midseason.  Miami FC outshot Rochester 11-6, although Vallow was only forced into two saves.  Miami FC goalkeeper Matt Glaeser, making his second start of 2010, only had to make one save.

Miami FC head home for a match with their division rivals, AC St. Louis on Wednesday night.  Both teams are tied at 26 points before Saturday action, and will need a win ot keep their faint playoff hopes alive.  Rochester will play in Miami next Saturday, September 25, looking ot avenge Friday’s loss before finishing their season in St. Louis on October 2. 

Notes:  The Rhinos handed out player awards at their final home game of 2010.  Aaron Pitchkolan was named the team’s MVP, while Isaac Kissi won the team’s Offensive Player of the Year and Frankie Sanfilippo and Troy Roberts shared the Defensive Player of the Year honors.  Defender Tyler Bellamy of St. Bonaventure University was named the team’s Rookie of the Year.  Former Miami FC attacker Paulo Araujo Jr scored his first goal for Real Salt Lake in their CONCACAF Champions League matchup with Toronto FC Wednesday night.  Paulo Jr is on loan to Real Salt Lake and was making his first appearance for the club after scoring eight times for Miami FC in 2010.  Goalkeeper Matt Glaeser has two wins in two starts for the Blues. 

Rochester Starting Lineup:  Vallow, Sanfilippo, Roberts, Pitchkolan, Greenfield, Bellamy, Rosenlund, Motagalvan, Spicer, Hoxie, Hamilton  Subs Used: Heins, Franks, Nunez, Kissi, Short

Miami FC Startiing Lineup:  Glaeser, Randolph, Lancaster, Hohlbein, Rodgrigues, Mayen, Celestino, Thompson, Martins, Shriver, Gomez  Subs Used:  Goldberg, Neto, Nunez, Veris


2 Responses

  1. Good back to back wins for Miami. Although certainly too little too late, but it’s nice finally to see some quality football from the boys this year. It shows a lot of character to come out and play hard even though the season is basically over and the playoffs out of reach.

    Keep it up Blues! Playoffs or not, let’s end the Miami FC era, and start the next Strikers era, on a positive note!

  2. I agree…I want this franchise to get some positive results to build for 2011. I have been puzzled why they haven’t done bettter this season with all the talent on hand, but at least some wins are coming Miami’s way.

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