RNY FC Chicago Fire II

It has been an interesting couple weeks to be a RNY FC fan.

The last few games, in the MLS NEXT Pro League and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, have gone down to the wire. The last two, in particular, have seen Rochester end the contest from the spot, with happy endings to both of the matches.

But it has not been easy: RNY FC has taken the gritty and strong personality of its fans to heart.

If you have not read the recap of the game from Wednesday night, and you were not in attendance, make sure you take a look at the story and go watch the replay on ESPN+. RNY FC played from the 52nd minute against FC Motown a man down, and then for the final five minutes plus stoppage time (and another 30-plus minutes of added extra time) down two players, and still found a way to advance to the fourth round of the Open Cup in penalties (2-2, 4-3 in penalties).

Talk about gritty: nearly everyone watching on television thought this team was out of the cup down to nine men for that long. But once again, Believe Impossible is not just a mantra or slogan for this club: it is a way of life, and the team has bought into Bruno Baltazar’s coaching and taken it to heart.

Now, though, just 72 hours after that epic contest and expenditure of energy to move on with a dream tie on May 10 or 11 in the fourth round against defending MLS champions New York City FC, Rochester has to get up for its home opener in the league against…

New York City FC II.

The Empire State Derby.

What better way to start your first league foray than to do so by building a new in-state rivalry?

NYCFC II has been scoring for fun in the league, and has some momentum from last weekend. But of course, the visitors will have to deal with a noisy crowd that has waited for a home league match for a long time.

You can purchase single game tickets for this contest, for as little as $12, using this link. Fans can also get in on the season ticket package as well, with five of the next seven league matches at home. Head over to the site now to lock in for what should be a fun summer of action following RNY FC.

MLS NEXT Pro League Match Week 5

RNY FC vs. NYC FC, 7 p.m. EDT (12 a.m. U.K. time), Monroe Community College

Streaming

Use this link to the MLS NEXT Pro site

Record and place in table

RNY FC: (0-2-1, two points, 9th in Eastern Conference, 5th in Northeast Division)

NYC FC II: (1-1-2, five points, 5th in Eastern Conference, 3rd in Northeast Division)

Result in the league last match

RNY FC: drew 0-0 at Chicago Fire II, won the penalty shootout 6-5 to pick up an extra point.

NYC FC II: won 7-0 over Inter Miami II

Player to watch for NYC FC II

This team has been a fun watch if you are a neutral, with two 2-2 draws to start the season and the 7-0 drubbing of Miami to pick up its first win of the new MLS NEXT Pro campaign. But the visitors have also allowed seven goals, which could make for an interesting contest.

Their front three players have been fantastic, and 18-year-old striker Massimo Murania Yankowitz scored twice last weekend to lead the line. Midfielder Jack Beer has been in the goals often as well.

Player to watch for RNY FC

Can it be anyone by Caique after Wednesday?

The big Brazilian keeper came into the U.S. Open Cup contest in the 120th minute, and then proceeded to ruin the night for the amateur side with two saves (plus another that was made to be retaken), and Caique also has to get some credit for the last Motown miss as well–clearly, the player was trying to blast the ball past Caique, only to see it scream well over the bar.

And of course, RNY FC also went to penalties against Chicago Fire II, and won that thanks to a save by the keeper. Caique is probably going to be busy, as NYC FC II plays an attacking 4-3-3 lineup. Can he post another clean sheet in the league?

Prediction:

Tough call here, but with the home opener, and the potential openness of the contest, there should be goals. RNY FC 2-2 NYC FC II, RNY FC wins in penalties.