The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive USL League Two affiliate of New York City FC, return from a four-game road trip for their final home game of the 2019 regular season against Evergreen FC on July 6.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.
Long Island comes into the match on an eight-game unbeaten streak and 5-1-5 (20 points) on the season following a 1-1 draw at New York Red Bulls Under-23 on July 2. Evergreen FC (0-8-4; 4 points) drew 2-2 with Ocean City Nor’easters on July 3.
“We are a difficult side to play against and to beat,” head coach Stephen Roche said. “However we know we needs wins and can’t afford any more draws.”
The Rough Riders sit in second place in the Mid Atlantic Division, trailing unbeaten Reading United AC (8-0-3; 27 points) by seven points with three matches remaining. Ocean City (5-3-4) is nipping at their heels in the standings at 19 points.
Long Island trailed Red Bulls U-23 in the second half on Tuesday before Sean Zawadzki scored off an assist from Matt Sloan to split the points at Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany, N.J.
“Disappointed with the result but it was a fair result,” Roche said. “They were the better side for 60 minutes. Although they scored a lucky goal, it was deserved. We dominated from then on and equalized but couldn’t get the winner.”
The Rough Riders and Evergreen FC met on June 29 with Long Island escaping Evergreen Sportsplex with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals by Manuel Ferriol and Sloan. Evergreen has alternated draws and losses in its past five games since June 15.
“After playing them last weekend our players were surprised they hadn’t won a game this season,” Roche said. “They’ve been unlucky and close in a lot of games. We are taking it one game at a time. We need to do our job and win all three remaining games and hope for some help in other divisions.”
BY: Michael LoRé