ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A 1-0 victory against Lansdowne Bhoys Thursday marked the start of a new journey for Rochester’s re-branded soccer team RNY FC.
In its full-fledged return to the U.S. Open Cup, now as RNY FC and formerly as the Rochester Rhinos, the home team convincingly took down the reigning National Amateur Cup champions at MCC’s John DiMarco Field to advance into the third round.
Following an array of early chances in the opening minutes of the first half, it was 20-year-old Gibran Rayo to get things up and running for RNY FC with a bottom left corner strike on the last kick before halftime.
The score was produced by Pedro Dolabella after a round of surgical interplay between the Brazilian and Rayo. RNY FC play their first home game in the MLS NEXT Pro league later this month.
Lansdowne was lucky to not go down by two once the second half kicked off, as Rayo added to his team’s total of six shots on target — triple the amount managed by the opposition.
Another 30 minutes of dominant play quickly from the home team came to a close, and RNY FC walked away with a historic first cup win and mounting excitement from both players and fans.
The victory moves RNY FC into the third round of the cup. Drawing will take place Friday at 12 p.m. Fans can watch a live broadcast of the team’s fate on U.S. Open Cup’s social media channels.
The U.S. Open Cup is a knockout cup competition in men’s national soccer that was founded in 1914. RNY FC, formerly known as the Rochester Rhinos, won the tournament in 1998.
Team owners David and Wendy Dworkin, along with English Premier League star and co-owner Jamie Vardy, announced back in December that it would be joining the MLS NEXT Pro league this year, bringing the franchise back to action after a four-year hiatus.
The team announced the franchise rebrand to RNY FC in September.
Rochester NY FC co-owner 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 last year.
Vardy is teaming up with Love Productions USA on a new documentary series “Rhino Reboot,” according to Variety. The series will show Vardy’s attempt to “rebuild underdog soccer team,” the Rochester Rhinos.