By Michael Lewis and Andrew Battisti

It might be 2020 and a new decade, but we’ll have a final look back at the past 10 years in Rochester, N.Y.

It was a rocky decade with some highs and some lows.

Here are the top 11 stories of the past 10 years:

Almost perfect

The Rhinos won 2015 USL double, losing once in 34 regular-season games and then capturing the USL playoffs. It was the best finish in a U.S. Soccer club men’s season.

Meet the new bosses

Rochester natives David and Wendy Dworkin bought the Rhinos from Rob Clark in early 2016 to keep the franchise going, at least for two more seasons.

On hiatus

The Rhinos went dormant at the end of the 2017 season, citing large financial losses and issues with the City of Rochester related to the stadium lease.

Unique hat-trick

The Western New York Flash pulled off a unique treble, winning titles in three leagues – Women’s Professional Soccer in 2011, the Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2012 and National Women’s Soccer League in 2016.

Going south

The Flash left Rochester for North Carolina in early 2017 and continued its NWSL dominance, capturing back-to-back crowns as the North Carolina Courage in 2018 and 2019.

Awesome Abby

Rochester’s Abby Wambach helped USWNT dominate women’s soccer before she retired in 2015 as the all-time leading scorer in international soccer history. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2019. She became the second Rochesterian in the Hall after former referee Reinhold Spath.

Look who’s back

The Rochester Lancers brand returned to active status with the Major Indoor Soccer League in 2011, thanks to Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo. The Lancers were one of the first North American Soccer League indoor teams in 1971.

Life begins after 40

At the age of 43, Doug Miller came out of retirement and won the MISL MVP honors in 2012-13. He wound up scoring a goal playing for the outdoor Lancers in the National Premier Soccer League in 2017.

A timeout

The Lancers, who played at the Community War Memorial, were forced to cease operations in 2015 due to increased costs.

Lancers revival

The Lancers returned in to MASL2 and finished third in the league in the 2018-19 season They took another giant step, returning to the Major Arena Soccer League for the 2019-20 season, playing its games at the Dome Arena. The Lancers kicked off outdoor soccer in 2017, performing in the NPSL and added a women’s team in United Women’s Soccer that same year.

A perfect season

McQuaid High School won the New York Class AA title in 2017 with a perfect 22-0-0 record, allowing no goals in the post-season and finishing third in the nation.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at