Match preview: Evergreen FC at Rough Riders
Jul 2018

The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive PDL affiliate of New York City FC, look to snap their two-match losing streak when they host Evergreen FC on July 7.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.

The Rough Riders are coming off consecutive defeats for the first time all season, losing 1-0 to Reading United AC on June 24 and 4-3 to New York Red Bulls Under-23 on June 30.

“As always we wont feel sorry for ourselves,” first-year head coach Stephen Roche said. “We know the playoffs are still in our own hands, so we are looking forward to Saturday and playing in front of our home supporters.”

Long Island (8-4-1 overall, 7-3-1 PDL) is currently third in the PDL Mid-Atlantic Division with 22 points. Unbeaten Reading United (10-0-2) leads the division at 32 points, while Red Bulls U-23 (8-2-1) are second with 25 points.

The Rough Riders fell behind 1-0 to New York in the 38th minute after a goal by Omir Fernandez. The second half was a back-and-forth scoring fest with six combined goals. Long Island equalized shortly after halftime on a goal by Charlie Ledula, but Red Bulls U-23 scored twice for a 3-1 advantage after the 55th minute. The Rough Riders got within 3-2 on a goal by Matt Vasquenza in the 68th, but the visitors regained their two-goal advantage less than a minute later. Ledula’s second goal of the match rounded out the scoring in the 82nd minute, but wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.

“Obviously it was a disappointing result and we had some defensive mistakes,” Roche said. “Overall it was actually a very good performance, but you can’t defend like that against a top-class team and expect to win a game.”

Evergreen FC (0-9-2) earned its second point of the season following a 1-1 draw at Lehigh Valley United on June 30. The result snapped a nine-match losing streak. Regardless, Roche said his players aren’t overlooking their opponent.

“We never take any game for granted especially coming off two losses in a row,” he said. “Our players are fired up for this one.”

BY: Michael LoRĂ©
Staff Writer