John Fitzgerald Re-Signs as USL Academy Head Coach

UNIONDALE N.Y. (April 5, 2022) – The Long Island Rough Riders are pleased to announce the re-signing of John Fitzgerald for his second consecutive year as Head Coach for the USL Academy team.

“We are excited to have John back for his second year leading this team,” said Assistant General Manager Tanner Sands. “John did an excellent job building the Academy program from the ground up last year and we are confident that under him, the program will continue to progress,”

Fitzgerald led the team in the USL Academy’s inaugural 2021 season as the Rough Riders made their debut in the Northeast division.

“As the inaugural season, the learning curve of the level of competition was big last year,” said Fitzgerald. “The league had some very good teams, which has given us better focus for this season.  Internally we had an excellent environment around the squad, and I’m looking to continue that this year.”

Fitzgerald has significant history with the Rough Riders franchise as he served as Head Coach of the Long Island Lady Rough Riders 1997 W-League National Championship team. He has further professional experience as Assistant Coach of the NY Cosmos B, where they won the NPSL National Championship in 2015.

“With his decades of high-level experience, mixed with his detailed and player centric approach, we have the utmost confidence that our academy will be successful under his tutelage,” said Sands.

Even more, Fitzgerald has collected 28 years of experience coaching at the collegiate level, including 8 years as Assistant Coach for the Farmingdale State Men’s soccer team and 20 years as Associate Head Coach for the Merchant Marine Academy Men’s soccer team.

On the youth side, his current roles include Boy’s Director of Long Island Soccer Club and Boy’s Director of the Eastern NY Olympic Developmental Program in addition to 30 years of youth experience.

Fitzgerald’s experience will be invaluable in coaching the USL Academy team this season.

“I’m looking forward to continuing the high-level competitive environment set by last years’ squad,” said Fitzgerald. “I expect that the opposition has improved along with the league’s growth and development, so matches will be exciting and fun.” 

The USL Academy League is a unique supplemental program that provides elite youth players from across Long Island an additional opportunity to compete at a high level. This structure of the USL Academy provides a progressive model to develop local players for high level development and direct opportunities with the franchise’s First Team playing in USL League 2.

The program welcomes Boys U15 (2007) – U19 (2003) for the summer season. The Rough Riders will hold tryouts on April 13th from 8:00pm – 9:30pm at Globall Sports Centers Nassau. You can register for tryouts here.

*pending league approval*


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