With the 2009-10 Major Indoor Soccer League in offseason mode, some of the Baltimore Blast players have taken to the outdoor soccer fields and are playing in the USSF D-2 Pro League. Check back throughout the summer as we track the progress of Baltimore's own Crystal Palace which features Pat Healey and Adrian Bumbut as well as Scott Buete and the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies and Jonathan Greenfield and Max Ferdinand of the Rochester Rhinos. Defender Ryan Pierce also played this summer, for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL Pro Second Division.
In the 2010 season, Crystal Palace, Rochester and Tampa Bay competed against each other in the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) 2nd Division. The USSF 2nd Division featured two conferences (NASL and USL) of six teams. The clubs also competed in the U.S. Open cup, a 100-year old, single-elimination competition open to professional and amateur teams, which began in mid June. Every year, the later rounds of the U.S. Open Cup feature USL teams playing against Major League Soccer teams.
The Rochester Rhinos advanced to the postseason but were eliminted by the Puerto Rico Islanders in the first round.
At the completion of the regular season:
Healey, Bumbut and their Crystal Palace Baltimore teammates went 7-17-6 and ranked sixth in the NASL conference. Healey played in 26 games had two assists on the season. Bumbut made his Crystal Palace debut on August 29 in Portland and played in five games. Lucio Gonzaga, who started the season with Crystal Palace but is no longer on the team, scored a goal Crystal Palace's 3-3 tie with Miami on June 9.
The first-place Rochester Rhinos went 16-8-6 in the USL Conference. This was Greenfield's and Ferdinand's first season on the team. After recovering from surgery at the end of the Blast season, Greenfield played his first game with the Rhinos on April 17 when Rochester lost, 1-0, to Portland. Greenfield played in 28 games and recorded one goal and one assist (he scored in the Rhinos' 3-0 victory over the Rowdies on September 11). Ferdinand, the 2010 MISL Rookie of the Year, saw action in 10 games and had one goal and one assist. The Rhinos have never missed the playoffs and have advanced to the championship game six times (1996, 1998–2001 and 2006) and won three league championships (1998, 2000, 2001). They also won the 1999 U.S. Open Cup, becoming the only non-Major League Soccer team to win the cup since the MLS began play in 1996.
The FC Tampa Bay Rowdies finished 6-13-11, sixth in the USL conference. Buete played in six games.
Greenfield and Ferdinand were in Baltimore with the Rhinos to play Crystal Palace on July 14 (0-0 tie) and again on Wednesday, August 18 (L, 2-0).
Pierce played in 11 games for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds who finished in third place and with a 7-5-8 regular season record. The Riverhounds advanced to the USL-2 Semifinals but lost, 2-0, to the Richmond Kickers. The Charleston Battery won the Championship with a 2-1 victory over the Kickers.
For more information:
Crystal Palace Baltimore
FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
2010 U.S. Lamar Hunt Open Cup:
First Round, June 15:
Richmond Kickers 1 - Crystal Palace Baltimore 0
Rochester Rhinos 2 - Dayton Dutch Lions 0
Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 - Legends FC 0
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2 - Detroit United SC 0
Second Round, June 22:
Rochester Rhinos 3 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds 0
Miami FC 2 - Tampa Bay Rowdies 1
Third Round, June 29:
Columbus Crew 2 - Rochester Rhinos 1