The Rochester Rhinos earned their first victory of the season over the Chicago Fire Reserves on Monday, April 21st at Toyota Park. Attacking midfielder Minh Vu and forward JC Banks scored a goal in each half to pace the visiting Rhinos. Rookie goalkeeper John McCarthy kept the clean sheet in his first appearance of the season.
In the 22nd minute the Rhinos opened the scoring through a goal from Vu. The build-up started on the right flank when Rochester right back Pat McMahon pressed Fire midfielder Oscar Gonzalez and poked the ball away to Rhinos captain Tyler Rosenlund. Rosenlund was able to pick up his head and find Vu making a clever outside-in run behind the Fire back four. Vu was in on goal and kept his composure to chip the ball over the head of onrushing Fire goalkeeper Alec Kahn.
The Rhinos doubled their advantage in the 81st minute. Kahn played a goal kick out to the feet of Fire center back Patrick Ianni at the top of the penalty area. Ianni's ensuing pass into midfield was intercepted by Rhinos defensive midfielder Lance Rozeboom. Rozeboom played a two-touch pass out to substitute Johnny Mendoza's feet on the left flank. Mendoza's service found the feet of JC Banks in the Fire box, and Banks was able to finish past a diving Kahn.
The Rochester Rhinos 21 year-old goalkeeper John McCarthy, the youngest goalkeeper to ever start for the club, earned the clean sheet behind an effective back four that was composed of left back Onua Thomas Obasi, center backs Kyle Hoffer and Tony Walls, and right back Patrick McMahon. McMahon and Walls were both making their first starts of the 2014 campaign after right back Babacar Diallo and center back Patrick Slogic both suffered injuries during training this week. McCarthy was making a scheduled start after New England Revs loanee Luis Soffner started the first two matches of the season in goal.
The Rochester Rhinos 19th home opener will be Sunday, April 27th 2014 at 4PM in Sahlen's Stadium against the Charleston Battery.