For the last month, each RNY FC contest has become more important, in an attempt to arrest the slide down the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference table.
As loss after loss has piled up, it has piled on the pressure for the next game, and the same thing is very true again Saturday night.
There are just four games left in the regular season, and what looked like a promising season that was certainly headed for a playoff berth (with a top four finish) has now come down to the next 90 minutes on the John L. DiMarco turf for Rochester.
RNY FC has not won a game in over six weeks, and has picked up one point from 15 over its last five games. But maybe more damaging has been the play of all the other teams around Rochester: Philadelphia Union 2 (RNY FC’s next opponent) and Inter Miami CF II have been on fire, as has Toronto FC II, and all three teams have blown past RNY FC.
Now, Rochester has a New England Revolution II team in town Saturday early evening which has a chance to also jump over RNY FC with either a win or a draw plus a penalty win. Those outcomes would see Rochester in seventh place by the end of the weekend, with three games left (two on the road) all against teams either in, or battling for, the top four.
Oh, I am the bearer of bad news of late, you say?
Not so fast, my friend (I had to get that in here somewhere with the other football–NCAA College Football–kicking off today.)
With all the doom and gloom, if RNY FC can SOMEHOW manage to turn it around Saturday, and win a couple more down the stretch, the club will most likely be IN the playoffs come late September.
The first 20 games are done and dusted: it comes down to 90 minutes tonight to get the momentum back in the right direction.
You started the season Believing Impossible, so why change now?
MLS NEXT Pro Match Week 21
RNY FC v New England Revolution II, Saturday, August 27, 5:30 p.m EDT (10:30 p.m. UK time)
Use this link to the MLS NEXT Pro site to watch the contest.
Record and place in table
RNY FC: 7-8-5, 30 points, +3 GD, sixth MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference, fourth Northeast Division, 4-3-3 home record.
New England Revolution II: 8-8-4, 29 points, -13 GD, seventh MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference, fifth Northeast Division, 2-5-3 away record.
Result in the league last match
RNY FC: lost 2-1 to Inter Miami CF II
New England Revolution II: lost 5-1 to Philadelphia Union II
Result last time teams played
1-1 draw, RNY FC won 5-4 on penalties
Next match for both teams
RNY FC: at Philadelphia Union II, Sunday, Sept. 4, 3:30 p.m. EDT (8:30 p.m. UK time), Subaru Park
Revs II: vs. Orlando City B, Friday, Sept. 2, 5:30 p.m. EDT, Gillette Stadium
Player to watch for RNY FC
Jesus Batiz, F: yes, Gibran Rayo has 11 goals. But no, Rayo can’t be the lone threat for this team. Batiz has come up with some huge goals all season, and Saturday would be a great time to get another.
Player to watch for NE Revs II
Marcos Domingos Diaz, F: the forward leads the team with six goals, and has scored in every other game in the last seven. Diaz did not score last game, so he might be due for one.
I just do not know where to go with this game. Both times the teams played, it was a very even match with dozens of chances for both teams to score. RNY FC has not been scoring much of late, but the Revs II give up loads of goals. There are going to be chances: which team takes them? I think it comes down to a draw, 1-1.