The return of the Rochester Rhinos in the wake of Leicester City standout Jamie Vardy of becoming a part owner has meant that the Rochester soccer scene has gone from famine to feast within a relatively short period of time.

It’s been some rollercoaster ride for Rochester pro soccer in the past five years.

The Western New York Flash, which trained in Buffalo, but played in Rochester, moved south to become the North Carolina Courage. The Courage has been a perennial National Women’s Soccer League power over the years.

The Rhinos went dormant after the 2017 USL Championship season. Team owners David and Wendy Dworkin indicated that the team would play in USL League One and in a new stadium when it returned, although Vardy entering the picture might change those plans.

The Rochester Lancers and Lady Lancers have competed in the National Premier Soccer League and United Women’s Soccer since 2017, respectively. The Lancers have had an indoor team since 2011 (Major Indoor Soccer League) taking a break in 2015, before returning in 2018 (M2 and Major Arena Soccer League).

Flower City Union has joined the National Independent Soccer Association and will begin playing at the downtown soccer stadium in 2022. The NISA is a third division professional league.

Rochester’s pro soccer history dates back to 1967, when the original Lancers made their debut in the American Soccer League. The team jumped leagues to save the North American Soccer League in 1970 before closing up shop in 1980.

The Rochester Flash came into being the next year, competing in the ASL from 1981-82 before taking a year off. The club returned to perform in the United Soccer League (no relation to today’s USL) for one season, in 1984.

The Rhinos came onto the scene in 1996, playing 11 seasons at Frontier Field before getting a downtown stadium built. That venue opened in 2006.