April 24, 2021
In 1999 the Rochester Rhinos won the US Open Cup.
A soccer competition open to every organized team in the country, The Rhinos that year beat four MLS teams on the way to the championship. An extraordinary feat performed in front of a handful of fans in Columbus Ohio and registered barely a blip on the national scene. But it was a big deal here. One of the biggest.
That team was part of the second golden age of soccer in Rochester… the first being the Lancers, the North American Soccer League and a place called Holleder Stadium. Those Rhinos had Schweitzer and Allnut. Andracki and Miller. They were fun. Something soccer often isn’t.
We bring this up now because Europe just rejected a Super Soccer League proposal… splitting off twelve elite teams. Perhaps not surprisingly it was a handful of Americans who inspired the idea. It was intriguing. But it was decidedly un-soccer. Where they delight in Leicester City winning the Premier League. Where the relegation system gives every little club a theoretical chance to find a path to a national championship. Where the Rhinos can win the US Open Cup.
Greed is good here, perhaps. Maybe not so much over there.