Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rochester Rhinos

The Rhinos are with the Kickers in being an old team that is still playing. They didn’t really have the market to jump to the MLS, however. The rival Kickers made the jump to NASL over the Rhinos, which angered the team. Still playing in the USL, the Rhinos spent a little more money than in the past in 2019 to send a message to the NASL. They signed a former MLS midfielder, a Nigerian striker, and Canadian Keeper trying to break into the National team Roster. In addition to 3 youth players being brought up, the team was by far the strongest USL side that year. In the middle of the season, the Rhinos went 13 games without a loss. They steam rolled over competition, including the upstart Buffalo Athletic. They went on to win the cup in 2019. The NASL issued a statement that they were looking at Rochester as a candidate down the line, once the league was settled after the expansion. Two more seasons, and Rochester made the playoffs each time. A rich business man would come in and buy the team, and jumped to the NASL with the same guys in charge of the soccer side of the team. They rebranded for the move, and were ready to play in a bigger league. To celebrate, the team went out and bought an English defender to help at the back. But the team had trouble their first season in the NASL. Much better clubs would push around the Rhinos. They got a Columbus and Orlando midfielder on loan, just to grow both the players and team. They never earned a trophy in their NASL days. The biggest moment in team history was a stunning run to the Elite 8 of the US Open. The Rhinos might not make the Championship for a few years, but it’s possible if they continue to settle down and work from the ground up. With a history older than most Championship sides, it champs will be something the former US Open Champs have only dreamt about. The logo is new; I used an old Rhino logo as the base, and worked around it. I cleaned it up a lot, and put a soccer ball on its horn like the current logo. I wanted to keep the stripes, because that’s such a classy look.

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