Match preview: Lehigh Valley United at Rough Riders
Jun 2018

The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive PDL affiliate of New York City FC, begin a three-game homestand on Wednesday against Lehigh Valley United. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.

Long Island registered one victory and one defeat this past weekend playing consecutive PDL road matches. The Rough Riders defeated Evergreen FC 5-1 on Saturday, but dropped a 2-0 decision to Ocean City Nor’easters on Sunday.

“It was a difficult weekend playing two games in 24 hours, but we knew that going in,” first-year head coach Stephen Roche said. “We were excellent on Saturday and never showed up on Sunday. That being said, we had enough chances to win the game Sunday, especially in the first half. So even playing as poor as we did we could have won the game. We will take positives from that.”

Playing in the pouring rain, the Rough Riders jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Evergreen FC after 30 minutes thanks to goals by Charlie Ledula and Dexter Alexander. The visitors made it 3-0 after Arthur Bosua scored just before halftime. Long Island continued the pressure in the second half, amassing a five-goal advantage following tallies by Sebastian Gordillo (two assists) in the 47th minute and Harrison Weilbacher in the 68th.

Unfortunately, the Rough Riders (5-2-0 overall, 4-1-0 PDL) couldn’t replicate their goal-scoring prowess the following day against the Nor’easters, suffering their first league defeat of the season.

“The quick turn around doesn’t give us time to feel sorry for ourselves,” Roche said. “We have a very difficult week ahead starting with a well-organized Lehigh Valley team on Wednesday night. They are very defensively solid and have some good attacking threats as well. It will be a very tough challenge and we look forward to it.”

Lehigh Valley United (1-2-0) is coming off its first win of the season after defeating Evergreen FC 1-0 on May 26.

Following Wednesday’s match, the Rough Riders host Mid-Atlantic Division leaders Reading United AC on June 9, and entertain FA Euro New York on June 16 to close out the homestand.

“It’s very important to have a great home record,” Roche said. “Hopefully this place becomes a fortress for us and we get good support over the next few weeks from the great soccer supporters of Long Island. I think we play a great brand of attacking soccer and if they want to come and enjoy a game, they should get themselves down to the stadium when they can.”

BY: Michael LoRé
Staff Writer