The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive PDL affiliate of New York City FC, continue their journey in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night against Louisville City FC (USL).
Kickoff for the second-round match is 7 p.m. from Lynn Stadium in Louisville. The winner plays the winner of Duluth FC (NPSL) and Saint Louis FC (USL) in the U.S. Open Cup third round on May 23.
“Louisville is a very talented team with an excellent coach (James O’Connor), but the pressure is all in them,” Rough Riders first-year coach Stephen Roche said. “We have nothing to lose and will go in and play with confidence. I’m excited for our guys to show what they can do against the best team in the USL.”
The Rough Riders (2-0-0) are coming off consecutive victories to start their 2018 campaign. Long Island defeated Kingston Stockade FC 6-3 in extra time in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup on May 8 to advance in the knockout tournament. The Rough Riders followed up that performance by defeating 2017 PDL regular-season champion New York Red Bulls Under-23 3-1 on the road in their PDL opener on May 12.
Louisville City FC (5-2-1), the reigning USL champion, is coming off consecutive defeats — 1-0 at Indy Eleven on May 5 and 2-0 at Nashville SC on May 13.
Roche said the Rough Riders will focus on trying to get off to a quality start against Louisville City FC just as the club did against the Red Bulls to not only lessen LouCity’s home-field advantage, but also increase the pressure on the USL side.
“Winning away at the Red Bulls is always a great result, and to start the season that way we couldn’t ask for much more,” Roche said. “The lads were excellent. It’s a great win, but we will keep our heads down and keep working hard with a very difficult stretch with three games in six days.”
BY: Michael LoRé