Empire United Soccer Academy

Empire United to Re-Brand to RNYFC Youth Beginning in 2022-2023 Season

Empire United to Re-Brand to RNYFC Youth Beginning in 2022-2023 Season

Empire United Takes Next Step in Strategic Alliance as Rochester New York FC (RNYFC) Youth

Empire United Soccer Academy will continue its historic relationship with professional team Rochester New York FC by rebranding as RNYFC Youth beginning in the 2022-2023 season.  The alliance will create the only Youth-to-Professional club in Western New York.

Rochester, New York (June 22, 2022) – Empire United Soccer Academy will continue its historic partnership with Rochester New York Football Club (RNYFC) by re-branding their Rochester based teams and programming beginning in the summer of 2022.  The move will result in the youth club wearing the RNYFC professional team colors and crest while taking on the name RNYFC Youth.

With programming from 5 to 19 years of age, RNYFC Youth will continue to provide opportunities for boys and girls at the Academy, Premier, and Travel levels, and will continue as the only club in Western New York featuring Academy teams in MLS Next and the Girls Academy League. 

“We are excited as a club to transition Empire United into the RNYFC family as RNYFC Youth,” said Dr. Lee Tucker, Sporting Director for RNYFC.  “As a club we want to help develop local talent and create opportunities for a wide range of young boys and girls. Soccer is a game that develops many attributes and as a club our hope is to have a positive influence on our community. Coming together with our colleagues at Empire United is a great first step in enabling us to achieve this.”

Dating back to 1966 as the Rochester Mavericks, RNYFC Youth will build upon its strong foundation and proven history of player development, college placement, and professional and Youth National Team opportunities.

“We are thrilled to further strengthen our relationship with RNYFC and provide our players and families with all the opportunities the affiliation brings,” said RNYFC Youth Director of Coaching Jeff Oliver.  “In addition to wearing the crest and supporting our local professional club, our transition to RNYFC Youth will help inspire and develop the next generation of soccer talent in the greater Rochester and Upstate New York areas.”

As part of the strategic alliance announced in August 2020, RNYFC (Rochester Rhinos at the time) and Empire United agreed on the vision to unite Rochester soccer and provide opportunities to players at all levels.  Through this alliance, Empire United players have already been given the opportunity to train with the professional team.  On May 29th, during a 4-0 win at Columbus Crew 2, Ryan Firestone became the first Academy player to appear for the RNYFC First Team.


RNYFC is Upstate New York’s leading professional soccer team.  The professional team competes in MLS Next Pro, the second division of Major League Soccer (MLS).  Founded in 1996 as the Rochester Raging Rhinos, RNYFC’s ownership includes David and Wendy Dworkin or Rochester, NY, and Jamie Vardy, current player for Leicester City Football Club in the English Premier League.  With a decorated history including five professional championships, they remain the only non-Major League Soccer club to win the US Open Cup after capturing the 1999 title.  For more information about RNYFC, please visit www.rnyfc.com or www.MLSNextPro.com.


Empire United is a non-profit youth sports organization located in Rochester, New York.  Founded in 1966 as the Rochester Mavericks, Empire United provides positive and meaningful soccer and field hockey opportunities for more than 1,000 players and families throughout the greater Rochester region.  For more information about Empire United Soccer Academy, please visit their current website at www.empireunited.soccer.  As part of the re-brand, additional information on RNYFC Youth will be found at www.rnyfc-youth.com in the coming weeks.