Krystal Fully Funds 2022 USL Academy Program


UNIONDALE, N.Y. (April 7, 2022) – The Long Island Rough Riders soccer franchise has announced today that its pre-professional USL Academy team will be fully funded for the upcoming 2022 season courtesy of Krystal Fruits & Vegetables.

In 2004, owner Michael Longo launched Krystal with the goal of providing produce of the highest and freshest quality to customers. It has grown to become one of the largest produce purveyors servicing the finest food establishments including businesses, and homes in the New York Metropolitan area.

“The sponsorship from Krystal will have a direct impact on the franchise,” said Peter Zaratin, Rough Riders Chief Executive Officer. “Apart from eliminating the traditional pay-to-play fees it will further advance our club’s educational efforts correlating how eating healthy dramatically effects on-field performance.”

No stranger to the Long Island soccer landscape, Longo has transformed his on-field success as both a player and coach to building a successful business in the competitive produce industry.

“It’s great to give back and be able to contribute to the soccer community,” said Longo. “The Rough Riders franchise have influenced so many players and coaches, many who have gone on to pro careers.  I’m excited to contribute to the club’s next wave of top-level players.”

Facility use, player registration, uniforms, coaching, training equipment, are some of the direct Academy expenses that will be offset from Krystal’s sponsorship.

“Krystal’s financial subsidy is a game changer for the club,” said John Fitzgerald, Rough Riders Academy Head Coach. “Today’s pre-professional players need to be able to concentrate on their individual development without the fear of not being able to afford to play,” Fitzgerald added, “speaking on behalf of the players, and the club as a whole, we are very grateful and thankful for Michael’s financial contribution.”

About the Long Island Rough Riders

Since 1994 the Long Island Rough Riders have created history; winning championships and providing opportunities for both local and international players whose dream it is to make professional soccer their life. We’re proud to have been the foundation for players to kickstart their professional careers such as Chris Armas, now Assistant Coach at Manchester United, and Mauro Bravo, 2022 Orlando City SC signee.

About Krystal Fruits & Vegetables

Krystal Fruits & Vegetables, Inc. is a direct receiver from farms across the United States. Under the leadership of Longo, with 27 years of experience in the produce business, Krystal strives to be the company that their customer can depend on for high quality, fresh produce, competitive prices, and amazing customer service. With long time clients such as the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, the company has one goal in mind: “be the best we can be for our customer.”

About the USL Academy

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. Tryouts will be held on April 13th. Register here.



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Don’t miss out on exciting club news, ticket offers, program discounts and more!