It has been two weeks since RNY FC has last been in action in the MLS NEXT Pro League, and much of that time has been spent on the training pitch.
The break might have been fortuitous for Rochester, because Sunday starts a tough week for the squad. RNY FC will be in Ohio to face FC Cincinnati 2 at 5 pm. EDT for the first of three games in seven days, which continues Wednesday night in the Big Apple to face defending MLS champion NYCFC in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and ends next Saturday evening back at Monroe Community College as RNY FC hosts David Beckham's (and Romeo Beckham's) Inter Miami II team in league action.
While the Open Cup contest is going to be a monumental challenge (but that is why we Believe Impossible, right?), the two league games give Rochester a big opportunity to pick up its first league win and get the ball rolling on the the campaign.
FC Cincinnati 2 is just one point ahead of RNY FC in the Eastern Conference table, and has allowed 11 goals so far in five league matches (2.2 per contest): Cincinnati comes in off a 4-2 loss to a Toronto FC 2 side it beat back in April, and has allowed two or more goals three times.
That defensive record could prove to be something RNY FC can exploit, especially after two weeks of training for this congested patch. Remember, Rochester got a brace from Will Inalien last time out and looked to be headed for penalties, before NYCFC scored in the third minute of stoppage time to take snatch a 3-2 victory.
Which RNY FC players might be able to find some pockets of space and carve out a few chances, and maybe a goal or two, Sunday night? The three points are there for the taking for both sides; who is going to step up and grab them, and get their season going?
Here is everything you need to know about the contest.
MLS NEXT Pro League Match Week 7
FC Cincinnati 2 v. RNY FC, 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 8 (10 p.m. U.K. time) at NKU Stadium
Use this link to the MLS NEXT Pro site
Record and place in table
FC Cincinnati 2: 1-4-0, 3 points, -5 GD, 8th in Eastern Conference, 4th in Central Division
RNY FC: 0-3-1, 2 points, -5 GD, 10th in Eastern Conference, 5th in Northeast Division
Result in the league last match
FC Cincinnati 2: lost 4-2 to Toronto FC 2
RNY FC: lost 3-2 to NYCFC 2
Next match for both teams
FC Cincinnati 2: at Chicago Fire II, Sunday, May 15, 6 p.m EDT
RNY FC: at NYCFC in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Wednesday, May 11, 7 p.m. EDT
Player to watch for FC Cincinnati 2
Arquimides Ordonez, F: the big striker (6-2) leads Cincinnati with two goals, one of which helped his side pick up its lone win over Toronto (2-1) back on April 17. Ordonez also picked up an assist last weekend against Toronto in a 4-2 loss, and will be looking to add to his attacking numbers in front of the home crowd Sunday.
Player to watch for RNY FC
Gibran Rayo, F: where are the goals going to come from in what looks to be a game that should have some offense? Pedro Dolabella is going to run the midfield, and it could be Rayo that is the main beneficiary of the passes against this Cincinnati 2 team that has conceded a lot of goals. Rayo had the game-winner in the U.S. Open Cup second round victory, so might we see more of the same Sunday?
Both of these teams will think they have a shot to pick up all three points this weekend, and really get their seasons started. This is the first of three trips to Ohio for RNY FC in a month, and also the first of three matches in seven days in two competitions. A victory for Rochester could really prove to be the spark that lit the touchpaper on this 2022 campaign: RNY FC 3, FC Cincinnati 2