The 2016 USL Roster freeze will take place at 5 p.m. ET on September 6, 2016
- Any player on loan must play a minimum of five games during the regular season to be eligible to play in the playoffs. One of these games must occur prior to the roster freeze date.
The Rochester Rhinos have six games remaining in the regular season, including tonight’s contest in Cincinnati. If Rochester is going to receive reinforcements that are eligible for the playoffs, even if we assume these players are already in Ohio with the team, the opportunities are drying up.
Each of Jordan McCrary and Donnie Smith already has one appearance for the Rhinos from back in April. Naturally, these games were before the roster freeze date and either of those players would need to make just four more appearances for Rochester out of the remaining matches.
Michael Gamble would also have an inside track to completing 5 matches for the Rhinos if he hadn’t mysteriously been waived in June. The winger was likely on a rookie non-senior player minimum salary and hasn’t popped up on an NASL or USL team yet. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to what he's up to but he is unlikely to play for Rochester again.
McCrary, who suffered an ACL tear in college, underwent surgery on his hand this season and is currently on the sidelines with a pulled groin. Because McCrary was listed on Revolution injury report, there is virtually no chance he secretly traveled to the midwest with Rochester and will have five games from which to make four appearances before the end of the regular season.
Donnie Smith has been working through a few niggling injuries this season but is probably more than fit enough to join the Rhinos. Smith, who played as a winger during loan spells in previous seasons but is a full back on the Revs depth chart, would appear to be a natural fit for Rochester’s fairly common 5-3-2 formation. When Rochester lost Marcos Ugarte to a serious knee injury on July 10, Smith would have been a fantastic replacement for the former Providence College winger.
If the Revolution decides to send either Jordan McCrary or Donnie Smith to Rochester with hopes of participating in the USL Playoffs, time is running out. Any other players have even less room for procrastination with just five games remaining in the regular season after tonight’s match in Cincinnati.
Is this the last chance saloon for New England to show that it cares about taking advantage of its USL affiliation with the Rochester Rhinos?