Rochester NY FC brings new soccer opportunities to local players and fans


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester New York FC will begin playing in the new MLS Next Pro professional league in 2022.

Co-Owners David and Wendy Dworkin discussed the excitement surrounding this new chapter for soccer in Rochester’s storied history Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“First and foremost for Rochester, it means that we’re on a map,” said David Dworkin. “We’re on a map locally, across the country, and — hopefully — across the world. For youth soccer players in Rochester, it means something very different. When those young players used to play and excel, often they would have to go off elsewhere to continue playing soccer. Now there is a direct pathway from the youth up to the pros where these players can now stay in Rochester, play in Rochester, and hopefully play for our first team which is a big deal.”

When Rochester NY FC was first introduced in early December it was welcome news for local soccer lovers. “For the fans, it means they’re going to see the soccer games in a more intimate setting, a more fast style of play which hopefully will result in more shots on goal which means a more exciting game,” Wendy Dworkin said. “We’re adding over 1,000 seats for fans and other amenities in the future.”

RNY FC will play their home games at Monroe Community College in Brighton. “We’ll start off on the road, due to the weather, in March but hopefully by April, we’ll be playing here in Rochester,” said Wendy. “Merchandise such as scarfs, hats, beanies, and hoodies are currently available on our website – Tickets and additional merchandise should be available in mid to late January so keep checking out our website and our social handles @RNYFofficial for more information and updates.”

The Dworkin’s are part-owners of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, which originated as the Rochester Royals. They also owned the Rochester Rhinos. They are sharing ownership of this new venture with famed English Premier League striker Jamie Vardy of Leicester City.

“Rochester holds a very unique place in soccer history,” Wendy noted. “The Rhinos are held in such high esteem, not just locally and here in America, but internationally the history of the Rhinos is quite well known. We’ve had a lot of success on the field. We have a history of innovation. MLS Next Pro’s goal is to be a leader in the innovation of the sport of soccer. They needed a community that had a history of innovation which Rochester does. We’ve constantly evolved as the world has changed and they needed a community that was willing to think outside the box in terms of sports and I think Rochester will be willing to do that.”

David said there is something else local fans should appreciate.

“We are the only independent team in MLS’ entire system. So think about any professional league and they just brought in a team that was independent,” David said. “It’s a very big deal for Rochester to be chosen. When you think about the other — sort of the top 50 MLS cities that will be coming to Rochester, that we’ll be competing against — you’re looking at Miami, Chicago, L.A., and Seattle. These are major cities that we’re part of now and, candidly, Rochester is going to be in the discussions and the conversations with soccer across the United States and that’s a big deal for our community.”

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