ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — RNY FC ended a dry run of form with a narrow victory over Orlando City B Friday to get back to winning ways, and most importantly, hold on to its playoff spot.
Rochester came into the match after nearly one month’s worth of ties and point salvage jobs.
The hosts, playing under the lights of MCC’s John DiMarco Field, got things started with a 19th-minute goal courtesy of center-back Lamar Bastista. Orlando City struggled to contain Rochester, conceding a total of 17 shots (8 on-target), during the opening 45 minutes of the contest.
Things got worse for the visitors just before the half-time whistle. Rochester was handed a gift in the dying minute of stoppage time after an Orlando defender misjudged a looping ball, and allowed Ian Garrett to play a beautifully-weighted ball across the six that found Rayo, who turned it into 2-0.
RNY FC looked to have it packed up during the second half, making the score 3-0 thanks to a second Rayo goal in the 62nd minute.
Orlando’s top scorer Jack Lynn had a different idea, however, and struck back immediately after Rayo’s goal. That lifeline quickly looked like the start of a comeback after the visitors cut their deficit down to one with a second goal to make it 3-2.
Time was called and Rochester survived. The team picked up all three points for the first time since May 29 to move within two points behind NYCFC II in fourth place on the table.
RNY FC faces Philadelphia Union 2 on Thursday, July 7 at 7 p.m. on home soil. Philadelphia has one less win to its name compared to Rochester but lacks in games played.
The top four in each conference make the playoffs. RNY FC is 4th, Philadelphia is in 7th.
MLS NEXT Pro is described as a “new professional league for the next generation of soccer stars in North America” and launched earlier this year.
The new league works in tandem with the already established MLS league, the most significant professional soccer league in the U.S. The new league features secondary teams already affiliated with MLS franchises, but Rochester was the first of the independent clubs to join the league.
In addition to RNY FC, the following MLS clubs compete in MLS NEXT Pro’s 2022 season:
- Kansas City
- New England
- Salt Lake
- San Jose
- St. Louis
RNY FC, formerly known as the Rochester Rhinos, announced a rebrand in September as the franchise seeks a return to play after a four-year hiatus.
Vardy, a Premier League Champion, FA Cup winner, and Golden Boot holder currently playing for Leicester City FC, bought a minority stake in RNY FC in 2021.