Jeff DiVeronica • Democrat and Chronicle • September 21, 2009

The Rhinos will start the postseason the way last year’s USL First Division playoffs ended, facing the Puerto Rico Islanders.


The Islanders, who ousted Rochester in last year’s semifinals, won 3-1 at Miami on Saturday night to clinch the No. 3 seed. Rochester (11-10-9) is the No. 6 seed. Game 1 of their two-game, aggregate-goal series is Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Marina Auto Stadium. Game 2 is Sunday in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

A time for Game 2 hasn’t been announced.

Tickets for Thursday’s match are on sale at the stadium box office or through Ticketmaster and

Puerto Rico (15-7-8) has a busy week ahead because it plays Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa in Bayamon on Tuesday night in a CONCACAF Champions League match, then heads to Rochester.

The Rhinos went 0-1-2 this season against Puerto Rico, tying 0-0 on the road on April 24 and again 0-0 on July 10 in Rochester. The Rhinos also lost 2-0 at Puerto Rico two weeks ago in a match when they failed to convert a first-half penalty kick that would have given them the lead. Last year, Rochester gained a two-goal lead after the first game at home, then couldn’t protect it in Puerto Rico and lost, 3-2, on aggregate.

The Rhinos, who are 3-2-5 in the last 10 matches, ended the regular season with a pair of scoreless ties at home.

Top-seeded Portland (16-4-10) receives a playoff bye to the semifinals.

Other quarterfinal USL matchups:

  • No. 2 Carolina (16-6-7) vs. No. 7 Vancouver (11-10-9); Carolina won the season series, 1-0-2.
  • No. 4 Charleston (13-5-11) vs. No. 5 Montreal (12-11-7): They played two scoreless draws and the Battery won, 1-0, in the other meeting.
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