Charlie Ledula wasted little time making his mark in his first season with the Long Island Rough Riders.
The midfielder scored twice as the Rough Riders rallied for a 6-3 a.e.t. comeback win against Kingston Stockade FC in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first round to begin the season on May 9.
“I had tremendous confidence and I was really excited for what was to come within the season,” Ledula said.
Ledula’s confidence grew with each passing match as the England native continued to find the back of the net. Ledula lead the Rough Riders, exclusive PDL affiliate of New York City FC, with 12 goals in all competitions, including 10 in the PDL.
For his play this season, Charlie Ledula has been named the 2018 Rough Riders PDL Player of the Year.
“He is one of the most most likable people I have come across in my years in soccer,” first-year head coach Stephen Roche said. “He works extremely hard, and over the next few months we will be working alongside him to help push him to the professional level where he belongs.”
Despite not scoring in the two matches following the Open Cup win, Ledula would score in every other game over the next seven contests as Long Island battled for the top spot in the PDL Mid-Atlantic Conference. The midfielder scored six goals in the final six matches as the Rough Riders finished the season 10-5-1 overall and 9-4-1 in the league, just shy of qualifying for the playoffs.
The modest Ledula credits his success to his coach and teammates.
“I found success by listening to my coach, working hard, having belief in myself and ability, and of course having the belief from my teammates,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”
The speedster was able to fly past defenders utilizing his 1-on-1 skills. Named to the 2018 PDL All-Eastern Conference first team, Ledula finished in the top-10 in the league in goals.
Ledula, whose passions outside of soccer include photography and videography, looks to build off his successful debut season with the Rough Riders moving forward in his playing career.
“I’m looking to play professional, God willing,” he said. “So for now I’ve got to train and prepare myself for what is to come. This season was a fun one, it’s just unfortunate the way it ended because I really felt we could have gone all the way. I met new people and now they’re my friends. It’s because of them I ran that extra mile and worked that extra hard.”
BY: Michael LoRé