Jamie Vardy follows in the footsteps of David Beckham as the American team he co-owns – Rochester New York FC – prepare to play first competitive game
- Rochester New York FC will play their first match under Jamie Vardy’s guidance
- The Leicester forward took a minority stake in the MLS Next Pro side last year
- Rochester will take on St Louis in the new feeder league for Major League Soccer
Jamie Vardy will be watching nervously in front of his television on Friday night as the club he co-owns play their first competitive match under his guidance.
Following David Beckham into club ownership in the US, the Leicester forward bought a minority stake last year in US club Rochester New York FC, who begin life MLS Next Pro – a new feeder league for Major League Soccer – with an away game against St Louis.
The match represents a tough test for Rochester, against one of the strongest teams in the competition.
Jamie Vardy’s Rochester New York FC will play their first competitive game under his guidance
The Leicester forward took a minority stake in Rochester New York FC last year
Of the 21 teams in the league, 20 will have direct links to MLS club, with Vardy’s Rochester the only independent one.
Former Doncaster midfielder Ed Williams is part of a squad with a strong international flavour coached by Bruno Baltazar, who worked with Sabri Lamouchi during the Frenchman’s spell at Nottingham Forest from 2019-20.
Vardy plans to link up with the team in person during the off-season in England, as he focuses on trying to regain fitness for Leicester’s end to the season.
Vardy has followed David Beckham (right), who is owner at Inter Miami, into football ownership
Vardy (pictured, left) plans to link up with the team in person during the off-season
When the move was announced last June, Vardy said: ‘I can’t thank Leicester enough for allowing me to do this.
‘They know, and I know, that it will not in any way distract me from my priority, which is helping Leicester to be successful, and scoring goals in the Premier League for many more years to come.’
Current owner David and Wendy Dworkin are also part-owners of NBA franchise Sacramento Kings.
Though the exact sum invested by Vardy is unclear, it is described as a ‘meaningful share’.
The new club is a rebranded version of Rochester Rhinos, who had not competed since 2017 due to lack of funding.