Just four points separate five teams in the USL League Two Mid Atlantic Division as teams are trying to catch up to unbeaten Reading United AC. The Long Island Rough Riders are one of those clubs looking up at the 2018 national runner-ups as the teams reach the midway point of the 2019 campaign.
Situated in third place, Long Island, the exclusive USL League Two affiliate of New York City FC, looks to earn points from a fourth consecutive match when the side hosts FA Euro New York on June 19.
Kickoff is 8 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium.
“It’s a huge game,” head coach Stephen Roche said. “It’s a local rivalry and we need to to keep some pressure on Reading. We know how important the game is and we will be ready come Wednesday.”
The Rough Riders (3-2-1; 11 points) come into the match following a scoreless draw against that same Reading side on June 9; Long Island is the first team to take a point from the division leaders this summer. The Rough Riders will have had 10 days in between games, a well-needed respite following a congested early start to the campaign.
“We gave the guys a lot of time off in between matches to recharge the batteries and spend some time with family before getting back to work this week,” Roche said.
For Long Island, a positive result against FA Euro New York (2-3-4; 10 points) holds even more significance with an impending four-game road trip looming. The Rough Riders visit Lehigh Valley United on June 22, Reading United AC on June 26, Evergreen FC on June 29 and New York Red Bulls Under-23 on July 2.
Long Island also plays six of its final seven games away from home so every point crucial as the Rough Riders try to fend off the rest of the division and close the gap on Reading.
FA Euro come into the match on the heels of a 4-3 win against Lehigh Valley United on June 15; it was the club’s first win since a season-opening defeat of Evergreen FC on May 11.
BY: Michael LoRé