There is no such thing as an easy win in the U.S. Open Cup, and Thursday was no different for Rochester New York FC as they secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Lansdowne Yonkers FC, winners of the 2021 National Amateur Cup. RNY FC is coming off back-to-back defeats to start its inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season but took advantage of the opportunity of a fresh start in the oldest soccer tournament in the United States, the U.S. Open Cup.
The team from Upstate New York appeared in control most of the match, but early in the game, the scrappy Lansdowne Yonkers FC denied several opportunities for the home team to get ahead on the scoreboard.
The lone goal came at a very unfortunate time for the visitors. With only seconds to go before the whistle blew to finalize the first half, RNY FC capitalized on a dangerous opportunity that saw the ball make its way into the goal. Gibran Rayo's give-and-go goal with Pedro Dolabella gave Bruno Baltazar's men the lead, and that is all they would need to seal the victory.
With St Louis CITY2 and Rochester New York FC's victories, MLS NEXT Pro will have its two teams eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup represent the league in the third round. The draw will be this Friday, and in the upcoming round, there will be new entrants, which will include clubs from Major League Soccer. This means we could see the first-ever MLS vs. MLS NEXT Pro matchup. Exciting times are ahead, indeed.