ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester New York Football Club (RNY FC) picked up three points on the road Sunday by knocking off FC Cincinnati 2-1, marking the first victory for the newly-rebranded soccer team in the MLS NEXT Pro league.

Pedro Dolabella and Milan Vanacker each notched goals to help secure the victory. FC Cincinnati’s Avionne Flanagan made it interested with a goal in the 87th minute, but RNY FC was able to hold off the hosts for the win.

The victory moved RNY FC into either place in the Eastern Conference table.

The big win comes just a few days before RNY FC heads to New York City to face the defending MLS Champion NYC FC in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup. After that, RNY FC will face Inter Miami II at MCC as the team seeks its first home win in the MLS NEXT Pro league.

Rochester’s other professional soccer team, Flower City Union, fell short in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday with a 3-0 loss to D.C. United of the MLS.

The U.S. Open Cup is separate from the team’s league play. RNY FC owners David and Wendy Dworkin, and English Premier League star Jamie Vardy, announced in December that the team was joining the new MLS NEXT Pro league, marking the franchise’s return to play after a four-year hiatus.

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 work 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 Rochester NY FC, the following MLS clubs will compete in MLS NEXT Pro’s 2022 season: 

  • Chicago
  • Colorado
  • Columbus
  • Cincinnati
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Kansas City
  • Miami
  • Minnesota
  • New England
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Portland
  • Salt Lake
  • San Jose
  • Seattle
  • St. Louis
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver

According to MLS, eight additional MLS-affiliated teams will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2023, including: Atlanta United, Austin FC, Charlotte FC, D.C. United, LA Galaxy, LAFC, Nashville SC, and New York Red Bulls. In addition to Rochester NY FC, MLS NEXT Pro will introduce additional independent clubs to the league in 2023 and beyond.

RNYFC, formerly known as the Rochester Rhinos, announced the rebrand in September.