Jamie Vardy’s Rochester New York FC have announced that they will be competing in the inaugural MLS Next Pro League in 2022, its inaugural season. The new league is an initiative by the MLS to help promote the arrival of new talent into the top flight.
Aside from Rochester NY FC, every team in the division has some affiliation to a bigger MLS franchise.
“This is when it starts to feel very real,” Vardy has told Sky Sports News.
“When we started out on this journey, I knew I was taking a big risk and it was going to be a massive challenge. Now that challenge is very clear.
“Rochester NY FC is based in New York State, and there are going to be some huge matches against teams in Toronto, New England, Philadelphia, Miami, Orlando… it’s a really exciting line-up.”
Since 2017, the club has been on a hiatus and has been in discussions with multiple US leagues for a return. The MLS Next Pro League is where we will get to see them field a team for the first time in many years.
Vardy acquired minority stakes in Rochester NY FC in June, and their plans to field a team have taken a huge step with this announcement. They are the only non-MLS club to win the US Open Cup, as the Rochester Rhinos. And now, with a new name and crest, they are going to take to the field once again in 2022.