From Bermuda to Long Island 

Written by Michael Lewis

UNIONDALE, New York – Two youth soccer teams will venture to Long Island the first week of April to play their Long Island Rough Riders counterparts in friendlies while learning about American soccer culture and creating a bond between the two clubs.  

Players from FC Bascome Bermuda, a leading soccer club from that island, will get the opportunity of a lifetime on Tuesday, April 2.  

FC Bascome’s Under-9 and U-11 squads will take on their USL counterparts in the Long Island Rough Riders at Mitchel Athletic Complex on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.  

“Soccer has a way of transcending politics, geography, and languages,” Rough Riders General Manager Tanner Sands said. “It’s a way to connect people in a very open and diverse world. We’re just happy to provide an experience where youth players from two very different places can connect through soccer. We’re excited to host this group and have them with us for a week, both from a sporting background but also to display what our community and our culture are about and what we have to offer here on Long Island, New York, and in the greater metro area.”  

Bermuda is situated off the east coast of the United States, some 750 miles from the mainland. The British Overseas Territory has a population of 60,000 residents.  

FC Bascome chairman Henrik Schroder estimated there are approximately 2,000 players on the island who participate in about 20 soccer clubs. FC Bascome has around 400 players and needs more competition, Schroder said.  

“The organizations aren’t really capable of developing the players properly in today’s world,” he said. “We’ve focused a lot on building out. We do have a significant chunk of the available group, which is a curse and a blessing because you still need competition with other clubs to perform with us. We’re very cognizant of that.”  

Schroder added that his teams have a great opportunity to learn about another soccer culture on the trip.  

“We expect a lot of fun,” he said. “These are nine-year-old players and 11-year-olds. We’re not emphasizing winning. We’re emphasizing technical development, understanding the game, and enjoying themselves.”  

“For our players, it’s going to be this experience to see what a football club looks like in America. We’re going to get to see the inside of the club. We’re going to visit their facilities. We’re going to meet their coaches; we’re going to meet parents and players. So, I think it’s really an experience for all of us that we will learn and appreciate what goes on in an organization in a big city like New York or Long Island.”  

Coached by former Bermudan international Andrew Bascome, FC Bascome was set to join USL League Two for the 2020 season, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to cancel its season. Due to travel restrictions, the team could not travel for the 2021 campaign. Still, FC Bascome has tried to cement its ties with U.S. soccer by having teams in the USL Academy.  

FC Bascome has become the first Bermuda club to participate in the United Soccer League at the Academy level since the Bermuda Hogges competed in the league in 2012.  

In fact, FC Bascome’s visit will rekindle a relationship between Bermuda soccer and the Rough Riders.  

In December 2010, the Rough Riders visited the island, playing the Bermuda Under-20 national team twice and facing the defending Bermuda Premier Division champions, the Dandy Town Hornets. The Riders won all three matches.  

The Rough Riders also played the Hogges during the 2011 Premier Development League season (now USL League Two).  

The Rough Riders hope to return the favor with a visit to Bermuda in 2025.  

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Adam Allaway, Rough Riders Technical Director, said. “Although we’re playing in a team sport environment, the way in which soccer is taught and the way in which soccer is played are completely different,” Allaway said. “We have high ambitions for all of our players to potentially one day either play with our organization, play professionally, or play all over the world. So, you have to be accustomed to new places and new environments. That experience would be a life-changing one for anyone involved.  

The game on Tuesday night at Mitchel Athletic Complex is open to the public. FC Bascome will play the Rough Riders’ affiliate club, Long Island SC, on Monday, April 1 as well.  

For more information about the Rough Riders teams, youth and adult, visit


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