The greatest manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, used to have a saying about this time of the season.
“It's squeaky bum time.”
RNY FC is now surely into “squeaky bum time” after its midweek meltdown in Florida against Orlando City B. Rochester is still holding on to the fourth and final playoff spot in the MLS NEXT Pro table, but unless the team can win this weekend, that may not be the case for much longer.
The team just behind them in the table, Inter Miami CF II, will play host to Rochester Sunday for the second game of the week in the Sunshine State. The outlook around RNY FC is far from sunny right now, with the team in the midst of a four-game winless run that has seen Rochester pick up just one point from 12.
The same cannot be said for Inter Miami, which comes in unbeaten since June 10. The team is also very good at DRV PNK Stadium: Inter is 6-2-1 at home, which is the second best record in the Eastern Conference only behind runaway leaders Columbus Crew 2.
It is a huge match for the playoff race, as Inter Miami can move ahead of RNY FC with a victory, or pull even with a draw and win in penalties.
One team is on a huge roll heading into the home stretch, while the other is trying to hold on to a place in the top four.
That surely sounds like “squeaky bum time” to me.
MLS NEXT Pro Match Week 19
Inter Miami CF II v RNY FC, Sunday, August 21, 7 p.m. EDT (12 a.m. UK time), DRV PNK Stadium
Use this link to the MLS NEXT Pro site to watch the contest.
Record and place in table
Inter Miami CF II: 8-7-4, 29 points, -7 GD, fifth MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference, second Centra; Division
RNY FC: 7-7-5, 30 points, +4 GD, fourth MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference, third Northeast Division.
Result in the league last match
Inter Miami CF II: drew 2-2 with Philadelphia Union 2, lost 5-4 in penalties
RNY FC: lost 5-2 to Orlando City B
Result last time teams played
RNY FC won 4-1 on May 14
Next match for both teams
Inter Miami CF II: bye next week, then v Toronto FC II Saturday, September 3, 7 p.m. EDT, DRV PNK Stadium.
RNY FC: v New England Revolution II Saturday, August 27, 7 pm. EDT (12 a.m. UK time), John L. DiMarco Field at Monroe CC.
Player to watch for Inter Miami CF II
Romeo Beckham, MF: the prodigy leads MLS NEXT Pro with nine assists, and along with Shanyder Borgelin (11 goals) has led the playoff charge for his father’s club.
Player to watch for RNY FC
Lamar Batista, CB: Rochester has been leaking goals for a while now, and have not been able to find the net at the same pace as earlier in the season. They NEED to keep a clean sheet in this game to get some momentum going back in the right direction.
I have been very positive with my predictions this season, but I am going to take another route today. RNY FC has just one point in the last month of games, and has a brutal schedule down the stretch. The team did not show up on Wednesday night in the 5-2 loss until it was too late, and you would hope the final 15 minutes gave them SOME kind of boost going into Sunday. There is a very real chance RNY FC could be in sixth place after this game, and based on results, that looks the most likely outcome. Inter Miami CF 2-1.