In 1999, the Rochester Raging Rhinos enjoyed a fairytale season in their fourth year of existence, as the A-League team beat four MLS clubs en route to winning the U.S. Open Cup at the final held in Crew Stadium, Columbus.
This video shows the local news report from Rochester on the feat, including a forlorn plea from a member of the Rhinos’ supporter group The Stampede to bring MLS to Rochester (“if you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em!”, he roars).
The idea of bringing MLS to Rochester was all the rage (pardon the pun) a decade ago (the near 14,000 capacity Sahlen’s Stadium built specifically for soccer was opened in 2006, and average attendances regularly exceeded 10,000). But for now, 1999 remains the pinnacle of the Rhinos’ history as they continue play at the USL-Pro level. They remain the only non-MLS team to win the Open Cup since the league’s inception in 1996.