Rhinos No More: Rochester Pro Soccer Team Rebrands

Professional soccer is returning to Rochester, New York, but it will be under a different name.

From 1996 to 2007, the city’s entry in the United Soccer League (USL) was known as the Rochester Raging Rhinos; from 2008 to 2017, it was simply the Rochester Rhinos. But now, after a hiatus of nearly four years and a new co-owner in Premier League Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy, the club has a new crest and a new name: Rochester New York FC, or RNY FC for short.

Along with the rebrand comes a new slogan for the club: “Believe Impossible.” According to the club’s new website, the slogan “recognizes the legacy and spirit of the Rochester Rhinos, including the club’s improbable 1999 U.S. Open Cup championship, while looking forward to an exciting new era of professional soccer in Rochester.”

“I’ve been written off so many times in my career, nearly as many times as the Rochester Rhinos! The rebrand and slogan ‘Believe Impossible’ is what we are all about,” Vardy added. “We believe we can win trophies again and prove people wrong. This is what inspires me on and off the pitch. When we get knockbacks, we come back stronger. We will never forget the legacy of the Rhinos and the great things the team did, but now it’s time to build on that and look forward as Rochester New York FC.”

The new visual identity keeps green as a central color, though the new shade is lighter and brighter than previous versions. It is paired with black and grey. The crest depicts High Falls, a waterfall in central Rochester. “The High Falls area was the site of Rochester’s early industrial development, where industry was powered by the flowing water of the Genesee River,” the club states on its website. “The new crest pays homage to the power that continues to flow through the city.”

RNY FC will play its home games at Empire United Soccer Complex in Henrietta, N.Y., beginning in 2022. It is unclear what league it will play in, however; the club’s rebranding statement says it “plans to share a league announcement with its supporters in the coming weeks.”

Feature photo courtesy RNYFC.com