The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive PDL affiliate of New York City FC, begin the second half of their 2018 campaign by hosting FA Euro New York on June 16.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.
Coming off a 1-1 draw against PDL Mid-Atlantic Division leaders Reading United AC on June 9, the Rough Riders are 6-2-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the league, good for 16 points and second place in the division.
“I think we are in good shape so far — unbeaten at home and fighting for the top spot in the division is a good place to be,” first-year head coach Stephen Roche said. “We need to really push on over the next few weeks, get everyone back healthy, and put ourselves in a position in the last few games where we are again challenging to win the league.”
The Rough Riders, who advanced to the 2017 PDL Eastern Conference Final, rallied for a hard-earned point against Reading United AC last weekend. Unbeaten Reading took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute on a goal by Felipe Hideki, and maintained that advantage at halftime.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men after Lamine Conte was shown a red card in the 83rd minute. Two minutes later, Reading was called for a foul in the penalty box and Long Island defender Jørgen Oland buried the ensuing PK to knot the score at 1-1; it was just the second goal allowed by Reading United all season.
“I think we showed great character Saturday night against a very good Reading side,” Roche said. “We certainly were not at our best, so we did well to hang in and stay in the game, and to grab a late equalizer was hugely important.”
FA Euro New York (1-6-0; 3 points) comes into the match off its first win of the season, a 2-0 road victory against Lehigh Valley United on June 9.
After a hectic portion of the schedule that involved four games in eight days, the Rough Riders have a week-long break in between matches this weekend and back-to-back road matches at Lehigh Valley United (June 23) and Reading United AC (June 24).
“It’s nice to have two weeks where we only play one game per week, so we will make full use of our time on the training ground,” Roche said. “We’ll iron out a few things before things get crazy again with the fixture list.”