The Long Island Rough Riders begin their 2019 United Women’s Soccer campaign against the Connecticut Fusion on Saturday, May 11. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium.
Long Island, which is coming off a 5-3-2 season where the Rough Riders finished tied for third in the UWS Eastern Conference, then hosts New Jersey Copa FC at 5:30 p.m. on May 15 before hitting the road for a three-game road trip at New England Mutiny (May 18), NJ Copa FC (May 22) and Rochester Lancers (June 2).
“Those first few games are very important,” head coach Karim Diallo said. “It’s very important to come out of the gate strong and win those first two home games before our road trip.”
The Rough Riders then alternate home and away matches for the season’s final five matches with home/away doubleheaders against Lancaster Inferno (June 15 and 19) and UWS and Eastern Conference newcomers Syracuse DA (June 29 and July 6) to close out the regular season.
Long Island won its final three games of 2018 to close in on a playoff spot at 17 points but just missed qualifying behind Inferno Rush (19 points), who advanced all the way to the UWS National Championship game. It was the second consecutive season a team from the Eastern Conference advanced to the UWS National Championship Semifinals or better; the Rough Riders accomplished that feat in 2017.
“The conference is very strong and very competitive,” Diallo said. “The top four teams were separated by four points last season, and there are a lot of good players and good teams again this year.”
2019 Regular Season
May 11: vs. Connecticut Fusion, 5:30 p.m.
May 15: vs. New Jersey Copa FC, 5:30 p.m.
May 18: at New England Mutiny, 7 p.m.
May 22: at New Jersey Copa FC, 7:30 p.m.
June 2: at Rochester Lancers, 2 p.m.
June 5: vs. Worcester Smiles, 5:30 p.m.
June 15: at Lancaster Inferno, 5 p.m.
June 19: vs. Lancaster Inferno, 5:30 p.m.
June 29: at Syracuse DA, 6:30 p.m.
July 6: vs. Syracuse DA, 4:30 p.m.
BY: Michael LoRé