By Michael Lewis
The Rochester Lancers are moving.
No, not out of Rochester, but to a new home.
The Lancers and Lady Lancers will play their respective 2018 soccer seasons at Capelli Sport Stadium, it was announced on the Kick This! radio show (Fox Sports 1280) Saturday morning.
The National Premier Soccer League and United Women’s Soccer teams have signed a lease with the owners of the Rochester Rhinos, David and Wendy Dworkin, to play their matches at the downtown venue.
Both Lancers squads made their outdoor debut last season and played their games at Charles A. Schiano Field at Aqunias Institute. However, Aquinas is upgrading its facilities this summer, putting in new artificial turf.
The Lancers teams plan to have 11 dates at the stadium.
“Soccer is going to stay in Rochester,” David Dworkin said on the radio show. “Soccer is an important part of Rochester. It’s going to be fantastic.”
The Rhinos are taking a year’s hiatus from playing in the United Soccer League as the team tries to secure more revenue and support looking toward 2019.
The city of Rochester wants to evict the team from the stadium because it is not hosting Rhinos games. The city wants the soccer team to vacate the facilities by Feb. 28. However, Capelli will be the home to four professional soccer games this year. Toronto FC will be the home team. The USL has said the Rhinos as in good standing with the league, David Dworkin said.
The Dworkins are fighting the eviction.
In 2017, the Lancers men’s team just missed out on reaching the NPSL regional playoffs as it took third place with a 6-4-2 record in the Midwest Conference East Division. The Lady Lancers finished at 0-9-1 in the UWS East Conference.
It was the first time since the 1980 North American Soccer League season that the Lancers participated in an outdoor league, or in this case, two outdoor leagues.
In other team developments, Kayla Klark Kent-Moreira was named director of soccer operations for the franchise. That includes indoor and outdoor soccer.
Kent-Moreira worked for the indoor Lancers for four seasons, Western New York Flash (National Women’s Soccer League) for two seasons and the 2017 Flash (UWS).
“Of course my No. 1 goal is to bring indoor soccer back,” Kent-Moreira said. “That is a love of mine. I’ll keep my focus on outdoor right now, but that is my goal.”
Doug Miller will return as Lancers men head coach.
Salvatore’s Pizza returns as the title sponsor of the Lancers and Lady Lancers.