To say the Rochester Rhinos squad is currently devastated might be an understatement. Rochester has 23 players on its roster. However the following players are on either long-term injury or left the last match this past weekend with an injury: Bilal Duckett, Lucas Fernandez, Matt Horth, George Kyriazis, Matt Luzunaris, Tam McManus, Troy Roberts, and Michael Tanke. In addition, Gabe Latigue and Tyler Polak have been recalled by New England Revolution, which leaves the Rhinos with just 13 players available for tonight's match.
Here is the team's regular starting line-up:
Kristian Nicht; Danny Earls, Roberts, Kyriazis, Duckett; J.C. Banks, Lance Rozeboom, Tyler Rosenlund, Mike Reidy; McManus, Blake Brettschneider
Due to injuries and call-ups, this is what Rhinos fans might see Tuesday night:
Nicht; Earls, Rozeboom, Tyler Bellamy, Ross LaBauex; Banks, Rosenlund, Josh Faga, Reidy; Kendell McFayden, Brettschneider
Chris Estridge and local product Josh Faga haven't feautured all season but may see important minutes against the Revs. Three recent signings from local NPSL club FC Buffalo will at the least be on the bench for this match if the transfer gets approved by USSF and USL-Pro in time.
We will probably see forward Andy Tiedt come off the bench. He is a player I know pretty well, having played against him in high school several seasons in a row. He has impressed at Binghamton University, the University at Buffalo, and FC Buffalo playing as a large target forward with surprising foot skills. Joining Tiedt are midfielders Brian Knapp and Peter Marlette. Knapp has quickly acclimated to NPSL play notching 2 assists in just 3 games and Marlette grabbed a goal against FC Sparta Michigan.
For a team that has a rich history of claiming MLS scalps in this competition, Tuesday will feature a patchwork squad. Even if the Rhinos can send out a strong starting lineup, the bench definitely does not have the depth that the Revs enjoy. This could set up an even first half but see the MLS side pull away in the second half, much like in 2011 when the Rhinos hosted the Chicago Fire. Last week's match against GPS Portland Phoenix was drenched by rain and delayed by lightning, similar to the Rhinos' 2012 Third Round match-up at the Philadelphia Union. While today feels like it'll rain, Rochester's forecast only calls for a breezy, humid, and cloudy mid-60's night.
No matter how the match between affiliated clubs plays out, it should be entertaining. Fringe players from both teams will be looking to impress their respective coaching staffs. Expect everyone to leave it all on the field.