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With first MLS NEXT Pro win secured, RNY FC now looks to climb table


RNY FC midfield star Pedro Dolabella perfectly summed up what most people were thinking about Rochester’s inaugural win of the MLS NEXT Pro season last weekend:

“The first one is always the hardest.”

Rochester picked up that first victory in the league after a couple of near misses, and now will head back home to the turf at Monroe Community College with some momentum, and some very valuable points in the bag.

RNY FC has picked up five points in its last three league contests, and after a valiant attempt to knock off the reigning MLS champions in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the focus shifts back towards climbing up the Eastern Conference table and towards the playoff spots.

Standing in Rochester’s way this weekend will be Inter Miami CF II, which started its MLS NEXT Pro campaign unbeaten in its first three matches, but has fallen on tougher times as of late: Miami has lost three of its last four games, and has been outscored 10-2 in that time (although seven of those goals came in one loss to NYCFC II).

RNY FC will get some reinforcements back in the fold after Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to NYCFC, as MF Pedro Dolabella, CB Lamar Batista, and GK Caique are all eligible to return after missing the cup game through suspension.

The key to this game could prove to be the same as it was last Sunday in the 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati 2 for Rochester. RNY FC has just five league goals, but Inter Miami CF II has been leaky at the back, allowing 13 goals in its seven matches. Once again, that number is a little misleading, because of the 7-0 loss to NYCFC II. But RNY FC should feel confident, knowing it has scored two goals in each of the last two league matches, and also had a goal and plenty of chances in the cup loss.

The chances are going to be there for the hosts: will they take them, and pick up another three points to continue their climb up the table?

Here is all you need to know.

MLS NEXT Pro League Match Week 8

RNY FC vs. Inter Miami CF II, 6 p.m EDT (11 p.m. U.K.), Monroe CC 


Use this link to the MLS NEXT Pro site to watch the contest.

Record and place in table

RNY FC: 1-3-1, 5 points, -4 GD, 8th in Eastern Conference, 5th in Northeast Division, 1-2-1 at home.

Inter Miami CF II: 3-3-1, 10 points, -4 GD, 5th in Eastern Conference, 2nd in Central Division, 1-2 on the road.

Result in the league last match

RNY FC: defeated FC Cincinnati 2 2-1

Inter Miami CF II: lost 2-1 to Philadelphia Union II

Next match for both teams

RNY FC: vs. Philadelphia Union 2, Saturday, May 21, 6 p.m. EDT

Inter Miami CF II: at Orlando City B, Saturday, May 21, 6 p.m. EDT 

Player to watch for Inter Miami CF II

Romeo Beckham, F: can it be anyone other than the forward with the last name everyone knows? Beckham is forging his own path in the contest, and will want to get on the scoresheet for Miami. Shaynder Borgelin and Emerson Rodríguez lead the team with three goals apiece.

Player to watch for RNY FC

Jesus Batiz, F: the Man of the Match from Wednesday night’s tough loss in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round, Batiz was also on the scoresheet against NYCFC. Rochester has struggled at times to score in the league (five total goals in five matches), but scored twice last weekend and there is a chance for more goals Saturday. Could it be Batiz that is the beneficiary?

Prediction: Rochester comes into the match with some confidence after a victory over FC Cincinnati 2 and a competitive showing against the MLS champions. Inter Miami CF II gives up nearly two goals a match, and with Dolabella back running the midfield, there are going to be chances to score. Look for RNY FC to continue moving up the table: RNY FC 2-1.