FC Cincinnati 2 make their first trip to upstate New York on Friday to take on Rochester New York FC at Monroe Community College with kickoff scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET. Rochester will look to keep pressure on Eastern Conference leaders, Columbus Crew 2, while FCC 2 are intent on taking three points leading into a three-game home stand.
FC Cincinnati 2 at Rochester New York FC
Date: July 22, 2022
Competition: MLS NEXT Pro Regular Season
Site: Monroe Community College
Kickoff: 6:05 p.m. ET
May 8, 2022 – FCC 2 (1:2) RNY FC
CIN – Flanagan (Daley) 87’
RNYFC – Dolabella (Popp) 42’, Vanacker (Batiz) 85’
June 11, 2022 – FCC 2 (1:0) RNY FC
CIN – Markanich (Martin) 90’
THE LAST MEETING
FCC 2 picked up their third win of the season against Rochester in June at NKU Soccer Stadium. A few individual performances highlighted the win including Beckham Sunderland’s seven saves and a skillful finish from Nicholas Markanich at the death. A beautifully played ball from Daniel Martin put Markanich through on goal and the crafty forward danced around a recovering defender to score the winning goal. RNY FC had plenty of chances to get on the scoresheet but were unable to find the back of the net.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
To say Rochester have been playing well would be an understatement. RNY FC have reeled off three straight wins and are unbeaten over their last five. That fine run of form has propelled RNY FC above the playoff line and into second place in the Eastern Conference, just six points off the top spot. Rochester have been solid at home this season playing to a 4-1-2 record at Monroe Community College. And while Rochester’s attack is starting to roll, their continued success has come in the defensive third where they have only allowed fifteen goals this season good for second best in all of MLS Next Pro.
WHO/WHAT TO WATCH
Kai Thomas - FCC 2 will need to be poised and organized against a surging Rochester side and Kai Thomas is set to lead the defensive efforts. Thomas has fourteen starts in fifteen total appearances this season and featured in each of the prior bouts against RNY FC. He leads the team in interceptions (23) and has the tackles to match. A solid showing from Thomas and the rest of the backline is necessary for FCC 2 to leave Rochester with three points.
ROCHESTER NY FC
Gibran Rayo - One of MLS Next Pro’s hottest goal scorers, Gibran Rayo enters Friday’s contest having scored five goals in his last three appearances, highlighted by a 60-minute hat trick against Philadelphia Union 2 earlier this month. Rayo has been a mainstay in the RNY FC starting lineup and should feature as one of the team’s primary attacking threats.
ITS NEVER TOO LATE - Watch this one to the very end. Late goals have been the story of this series with three of the four goals scored coming in the 85th minute or later. Not only do the goals come late but they are goals that matter. Rochester’s second goal in the first match prevented FCC 2 from taking a late point while Markanich’s moment of magic in the second meeting earned the home side all three points.
ALL RUNS COME TO AN END - FCC 2 ended a five-game unbeaten run from Rochester earlier this season and will have the chance to do so again Friday night. A stout defensive performance frustrated Rochester in mid-June and a repeat performance will be needed to break Rochester’s latest run of form.
A CHESS MATCH IN THE MAKING - “We match up really well against Rochester and against what they try to do. They try to play and build but we press very well. I think we are evenly matched in terms of what we are trying to do. They are a very well coached team in Rochester. It’s going to be a bit of a chess match. He [Bruno Baltazar] goes here, I’ll go there and, overall, we are really looking forward to it. We’ve played well against them and hope we can keep that trend going into the weekend.” - Head Coach Tyrone Marshall ahead of Friday’s game.
ABOUT FC CINCINNATI 2
FC Cincinnati 2 began play in MLS NEXT Pro in 2022. FCC 2 is designed to serve as the bridge between the FCC first team and the Academy and is a professional pathway for players to grow and develop at FC Cincinnati. The club plays its matches at NKU Soccer Stadium, Mercy Health Training Center, and TQL Stadium.
ABOUT MLS NEXT PRO
Launched in March 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the player pathway from MLS NEXT through to MLS first teams. With 21 Clubs competing during the inaugural season – 20 MLS-affiliated and one independent club, Rochester New York FC – MLS NEXT Pro will grow the game through innovation and diversity by bringing professional soccer to new markets, creating career opportunities for professionals on and off the field, and providing communities with a strong sense of pride. Eight additional MLS-affiliated clubs will join MLS NEXT Pro in 2023, with more independent clubs joining in the years ahead. For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit mlsnextpro.com