Ahead of the start of training camp on Monday, March 3, the Rochester Rhinos announced the acquisition of three new players. All three are young guys, well-scouted and full of promise for the upcoming USL-Pro season.
I wrote about new goalkeeper John McCarthy earlier this week after he revealed through social media that he had signed his first professional contract with the Rhinos. McCarthy, who played for Reading United alongside Revolution attacker Steve Neumann in 2013, appears to be the starting option for the 2014 season or at worst the deputy if the team acquires another 'keeper before its first match on April 5.
Minh Vu is a 23 year old Tucson, Arizona, native who played both as a midfielder and forward in college. Vu started his career at Pima Community College where he earned National Junior College Athletic Association first team honors in 2011 as the Region I Player of the Year. After that season, he transferred to Penn State where he was a clutch performer and was recognized as the MVP of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament. Vu led the team in game-winning goals during his two season at Penn State. Vu attended the USL-Pro Combine, along with McCarthy, where Rochester's coaching staff clearly took notice.
French forward Steve Pinau is about as exciting an import as any USL-Pro club lands each year. Pinau developed in the AS Monaco academy and made two appearances for the first team in Ligue Un before signing with Italian Serie A side Genoa on a four-year deal. While not making any league appearances in Italy, Pinau did feature prominently on loan for Aviron Bayonnais FC (better known in English as Bayonne) in the French third and fourth divisions. The 25 year old versatile forward has since been with Clermont Foot (Ligue 2), Vendeé Poiré-sur-Vie (Championnat National - French third division), and C.D. Fátima (Campeonato Nacional de Seniores - Portuguese third division) before coming to Rochester.
A promising young goalkeeper, an American collegiate stand-out, and a European lower league player are on the higher end of USL-Pro acquisitions. McCarthy can shine with the confidence of a veteran coach like Lilley while Vu and Pinau add significantly to the team's attacking prospects.
While Rochester now only has two defenders and one goalkeeper on the roster, the team's midfield and forward corps are much more filled out with five and four players respectively. A number of other players from tryouts and combines will participate in the team's first official training session on Monday. The Rhinos will still add around fourteen players to the twelve currently in the squad, including at least four loanees from the New England Revolution.
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