Rochester New York FC announced today that MLS Next Pro will cease operations with immediate effect. The club, which was partly owned by his league striker Jamie Vardy, will debut in his new third division in 2022 and reach the playoffs as his fourth team in his Eastern Conference. bottom. Here’s what you should know:
- RNY FC was jointly owned by David Dworkin and Wendy Dworkin and Vardy of Leicester City. Dworkins previously owned and operated Rochester Raging Rhinos, the newest non-MLS club to win the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in 1999.
- Rochester’s home match was played at John L. DiMarco Field on the Monroe Community College campus.
- As a result of today’s announcement, the MLS Next Pro will have no competing independent clubs in 2023. All 27 teams are affiliated with his MLS organization, better bridging the gap between the academy and the first team.
MLS Next Pro Official Statement
Update on Rochester New York FC and MLS NEXT Pro: pic.twitter.com/uvlkS6W9n1
— MLS NEXT Pro (@MLSNEXTPRO) March 10, 2023
How we got here
When the MLS announced its decision to launch a second league to facilitate player development, it was clear that the doors would be open to independent members.Rochester used to be in the league’s sights of the MLS franchise But eventually MLS shifted its focus to larger markets. Rhinos is famous for being the latest lower division champion of the US Open Cup, with him winning five titles in three leagues between 1998 and his 2015. The club went on indefinite hiatus after attendance plummeted to a draw of 2,031 fans for the year following the 2017 USL season.
“One of the reasons for the hiatus was our dysfunctional relationship with the City of Rochester,” said Wendy Dworkin. athletic June 2021. The second reason is that I think I had to pause to get this right. ”
After many fans lost hope of the club returning to any league, Dworkins announced they had agreed to launch their first independent club at the MLS Next Pro. Vardy Bringing Star Appeal to the owning group. The club said it had great operational ambitions to “try to put things back together” with Birdie vying for the trophy with his RNY FC surrounded by a healthy fanbase.
The time has come to believe that it is impossible.@rnyfcofficial Taking the field for the first time today when they take on St. Louis City 2, I couldn’t be more excited. pic.twitter.com/dvto6dEqi5
— Jamie Vardy (@vardy7) March 25, 2022
“Do you think it’s possible to get 10,000 fans?” David Dworkin said athletic In 2021. “I think this will be a challenge, because a baseball team that’s been here for over 100 years has only a handful of games that draw 12-13,000 people. The question is, what is that sweet spot?” 7,500?8000?
“If the community understands what we’re trying to do, if we can do what we’re supposed to do, which is to provide a quality product…I think it’s absolutely possible. So now is the time.” , is an opportunity to really make a difference.”
In a 2021 interview, David cited the difficulty of working with the City of Rochester to help Rhinos find a permanent home before hibernation. The club appears ready to operate at a temporary venue, playing at John L. DiMarco Field for the 2022 season, which has a capacity of 1,500. However, a source with direct knowledge of the club’s decision, speaking anonymously given the sensitivity of the situation, said it struggled to find a permanent solution that could accommodate more fans, so the club’s operation from the beginning said it was difficult.
The club also faced difficulties throughout its lone season. Given the Rhinos’ long-standing affinity for the moniker, fans were slow to accept the rebranding. When bad weather nullified flight and backup bus plans before the first game, the team drove 800 miles to St. Louis and ultimately lost 2–0 after all their efforts. . Portuguese head coach Bruno Balthazar did not join the team until the second week of the season due to visa problems.
Still, the team’s personnel remained optimistic until last fall.
‘It’s been a great year’ sports director lee tucker said athletic in September. “People think it all looks so easy just by looking at the finished product on the pitch, but the amount of behind-the-scenes challenges we’ve endured this year has allowed us to make the playoffs. In terms of hard work and sweat, blood and tears, it’s very rewarding.”
The club is now just the third lower division team to be out of action for one season in the last six years, each in a different league.of The San Francisco Deltas ‘succeeded and succeeded’2017 proved to be the last year for the club and league to win the NASL title. Lansing Ignite FC was launched in
A source that knows the status of the team being questioned athletic In hindsight, would it have been wiser to give Rochester another year to prepare for greater operational stability? America’s soccer league continues to expand at all levels of the pyramid, but there is still no consensus on how long a team’s preparation time should be between the ink drying on a contract and a team’s first game.
It’s unclear if Dworkins and Vardy will revive their club in this league or another.the source told athletic The team has postponed the announcement of this decision for as long as possible while the ownership works with MLS to try to find a way forward.Rochester will have another professional team as NISA’s Flower City Union also debuts in 2022. There is a men’s club.
As for the MLS Next Pro, the league is expected to announce its 2023 schedule next week. No independent clubs will participate, but another nonmember Carolina Core FC, led by US legend Eddie Pope of High Point, North Carolina, will kick off in 2024. The MLS Next Pro will also: Cleveland will join the league 2025 adds major markets previously unsuccessfully pursued by both the NASL and USL. Sources say Core FC isn’t expected to be the only new team to kick off in 2024, indicating the league is in talks with several interested members for future expansion.
There remains an open question regarding the US Open Cup. RNY FC is Abducted by a Pittsburgh Riverhound For the second round of the tournament on April 5th. Already ironic given the Rhinos’ success in the Open Cup, the Riverhounds are coached by Bob He Lilly, who led the Rhinos in 2010–211 and his 2014–2017 season.