Preston Popp_NYCFCII

Have you ever heard the term bogey team?

It might not necessarily be the best team in any league, but it is just one that gives another all kinds of problems whenever they play. It might be over the course of one season, or it could be over multiple campaigns.

Crystal Palace v. Liverpool comes to mind, especially with Crystanbul (if you have not watched that game as a soccer fan, I highly recommend it–catch it here). It happens in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, across the board.

For RNY FC, that team is DEFINITELY FC Cincinnati 2.

For the second time in three months, Cincinnati stopped a five-game Rochester unbeaten run with a shutout victory. Friday night, the visitors came to John L. DiMarco Field and beat RNY FC 2-0. Isaac Atanga got a 44th minute goal just before the break to turn the tide, then Nicque Daley iced the contest with an 84th minute goal.

It was just one of those games for Rochester, which outshot the visitors 18-4, and peppered the FC Cincinnati 2 net with eight shots on target. The loss opens the door for NYCFC II and New England Revolution 2 to move back ahead of RNY FC Sunday if both teams can get a result, although the Revs are taking on high-powered Columbus Crew 2, which leads the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference.

There were plenty of chances, so do we just chalk it off to a bad day at the office, or just to the “bogey team” hypothesis? The amazing thing is, FC Cincinnati 2 is now 4-12 in dead last in the Eastern Conference, with just 12 points all season, and two of those victories (six points) have come against RNY FC. Even the win for Rochester over Cincinnati back on May 8, which began the first winning-streak, was a hard-fought 2-1 result.

There is some good news from the game, though: RNY FC will not see FC Cincinnati 2 again in 2022. 

So, now what? For the second time in three months, a long unbeaten run was snapped via a shutout loss. There is no time to fret about the loss: RNY FC plays again at home Saturday against Chicago Fire II (another team struggling down the table), then has a near two-week break before starting a run of games that takes Rochester on the road for four of the next six.

It is going to be a make-or-break run for Rochester, as the team tries to close out a playoff berth in the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro campaign. For now, it is time to wipe the memory of that loss, get back to work on the training ground, and pick up three points next Saturday.

Then, the real work begins, as we head into August.

NEXT GAMES

RNY FC: vs. Chicago Fire 2, Saturday, July 30, 7 p.m. EDT (12 a.m. UK time), John L. DiMarco Field at Monroe Community College (stream link here)

FC Cincinnati 2: vs. Inter Miami CF II, Sunday, July 31, 6 p.m. EDT, NKU Stadium (stream link here)