ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester New York FC (RNY FC) is set to play its first MLS NEXT Pro home game Saturday against New York City FC II (NYCFC II) at Monroe Community College.

The game will be played Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at Monroe Community College John DiMarco Field. Tickets for the event are available on the teams website and range from $12 to $22.

Also provided are special sections for RNY FC supporter groups of 15 people or more.

Formerly the Rochester Rhinos, RNY FC are ready to play their first league home game since 2017. The club has played two home game in US Open play which has served as an appetizer of what’s to come for their official home opener.

“Rochester is definitely one of the most soccer cities in the county and we want to bring that spirit back,” said said RNY FC manager Bruno Baltazar. “The Rochester Rhino spirit is still in town. We want to rebirth that feeling. After the last game and two games ago it was a rollercoaster of emotions. It was the chance to see our fans so happy in the end and how they celebrated with the players.”

Baltazar, a first year manager for RNY FC, acknowledged this history of professional soccer in Rochester spoke very highly of its history.

“It’s an amazing history,” said Baltazar. “It’s a fairytale history. The Rhinos and what the Rhinos have done in the past. That 99 season winning the Open Cup it’s an amazing goal in this club’s history. Obviously we have this responsibility to carry this glorious history on our shoulders. But it’s a positive and energetic pressure that we have on our shoulders.”

MLS NEXT Pro is all new for 2022 and 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 the league thus far, RNY FC have lost two games and won one after claiming victory against Chicaco Fire II on April 10 via a 6-5 penalty shootout. NYCFC II on the other side of the pitch has played four games so far, currently breaking even with a 2-2 record in MLS NEXT PRO.

Between tomorrow’s league home opener and June 3, the team will play five times at in Rochester.

In addition to Rochester NY FC, the following MLS clubs will compete in MLS NEXT Pro for 2022: 

  • 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.

The John Demarco Field is located on 1000 East Henrietta Road in Brighton.