Jamie Vardy's Rochester New York FC - Rebranded Club to Join the Inaugural 2022 MLS Next Pro

Formerly Rochester Rhinos, the recently relaunched club will be the first independent pro football club to feature in the first season of MLS Next Pro in 2022.

Jamie Vardy's Rochester New York FC - Rebranded From Rochester Rhinos In 2021

Established in 1996 as Rochester Rhinos, the club are the only non-MLS team to have won the US Open Cup. They also won four national championship titles throughout their history.

Rochester Rhinos rebranded shortly after Vardy's purchase, becoming Rochester New York FC, opening a new chapter for the club.

However, in the past four years, Rochester haven't competed at a professional level at all.

Jamie Vardy came in June this year to finalise his purchase of a minority stake of the club to become co-owner, a process that took over two years.

Vardy's plan is to try to emulate the success he had with V9 Academy in England. The academy gives a second chance to non-League players who he feels have the potential to flourish in professional football.

Rochester New York FC Join The 2022 MLS Next Pro

The announcement of the new MLS Next Pro also comes with the news of Rochester New York FC joining as the only independent football club. Although more will follow for the 2023 season.

For the inaugural season of the MLS Next Pro, a total of 21 clubs will participate. At the end of the season, 8 teams will be eligible for play-offs to decide a cup winner.

All teams except Rochester are affiliated to another MLS club. The new MLS Next Pro will provide another stepping stone for players, coaches, referees and sports business professionals after MLS Next and before moving up to the MLS.

Jamie Vardy on Rochester New York FC participate in the 2022 MLS Next Pro: "This is when it starts to feel very real. 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."

Do you think Jamie Vardy's Rochester New York FC will succeed in the future? Let us know in the comment.