The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive USL League Two affiliate of New York City FC, look to extend their unbeaten streak to six games when they visit undefeated Reading United AC on June 26.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. from Wilson High School in West Lawn, Pa.
The Rough Riders are 4-1-3 (15 points) this season and currently sit in second place in the Mid Atlantic Division standings, trailing Reading United AC (8-0-1; 25 points).
“At this stage of the season every point is crucial so a result Wednesday would be very big for us,” head coach Stephen Roche said.
Long Island, which hasn’t lost since May 22, comes into the game on a five-match unbeaten stretch. The Rough Riders have the second-best defense in the division, allowing eight goals through eight matches with three shutouts. Reading, the 2018 national runners up, boast the division’s top defense with four goals allowed; the club has recorded seven consecutive shutouts.
Reading United’s only non-win this season has been a 0-0 draw against the Rough Riders on June 9.
“We are defending very well and in most games have the ball for a lot of the game,” Roche said. “So we are difficult to beat. Reading is a different story. We know they will have a lot of the ball. We defended superbly well against them at home last meeting.
“More of the same and a bit more clinical in front of goal and we have a great chance.”
Long Island comes into the match following a 1-1 draw at Lehigh Valley United on June 22, the first of four consecutive road games. Anthony Alfonso found the back of the net for the visitors as each team was reduced to 10 men due to red cards.
Reading United AC defeated Evergreen FC 2-0 on June 19.
A win not only gives the Rough Riders more breathing room from Lehigh Valley United (14 points), Ocean City Nor’easters (12 points), Cedar Stars Rush (12 points) and New York Red Bulls Under-23 (11 points), it also closes the 10-point buffer Reading United AC have atop the table.
“They are very good on both sides of the ball,” Roche said. “We believe we are also very good. We have a lot of talented players and some will be getting an opportunity down there, so it should be an exciting game.”
BY: Michael LoRé