Rhinos no more: Rochester New York FC announces ‘new era’ of local professional soccer

Rochester New York FC

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Rhinos announced a rebrand Wednesday and will be now known as Rochester New York FC.

The rebrand comes with guidance from the team’s new co-owner, professional European soccer star Jamie Vardy, as the franchise ushers in a new era for local soccer fans.

Vardy, a Premier League Champion, FA Cup winner, and Golden Boot holder currently playing for the Leicester City FC, bought a minority stake in RNY FC earlier this year with plans to soon bring the club out of a four-year hiatus from play.

“I’ve been written off so many times in my career, nearly as many times as the Rochester Rhinos!” Vardy said in a press release. “The rebrand and slogan ‘Believe Impossible’ is what we are all about. We believe we can win trophies again and prove people wrong. This is what inspires me on and off the pitch. When we get knockbacks, we come back stronger.  We will never forget the legacy of the Rhinos and the great things the team did, but now it’s time to build on that and look forward as Rochester New York FC.”

“We needed to evolve and become a modern-day football club with global appeal. With Jamie coming on board as a co-owner, now is the best time to do that,” said co-owner David Dworkin. “The Rhinos will always be part of our DNA and we will always celebrate the club’s successes. This is a new beginning and a journey that we are excited to embark upon.”

Team officials say the RNY FC rebrand and slogan “Believe Impossible” recognizes the legacy and spirit of the Rochester Rhinos, including the club’s improbable 1999 U.S. Open Cup championship, while looking forward to an exciting new era of professional soccer in Rochester. Franchise officials said in a press release Tuesday:

“The visual identity of RNY FC is centered around a new club crest, taking inspiration from the High Falls waterfall in the heart of Rochester. The High Falls area was the site of Rochester’s early industrial development, where industry was powered by the flowing water of the Genesee River. The new crest pays homage to the power that continues to flow through the city. Green is the primary brand color as it has been a constant throughout the club’s history. It is now updated with an energetic, modern hue complemented by grey, applied in a way unique in the soccer world.”

RNY FC officials said they expect to make a league commitment announcement in the coming weeks.

RNY FC won’t be the only professional local soccer team that recently announced new branding either.

Back in April, a new Rochester-based soccer team, Flower City Union, announced its new logo. The Union plans to start playing next spring at Marina Auto Stadium downtown.


Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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