The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive PDL affiliate of New York City FC, will begin their 2018 season on the road against New York Red Bulls Under-23 at 7 p.m. May 12 at Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany, N.J.
After two years in the PDL Northeast Division, Long Island returns to the Mid-Atlantic Division, joining Evergreen FC, FA Euro, Lehigh Valley United, New York Red Bulls U-23, Ocean City Nor’easters, and Reading United FC this season.
“It is one of the best divisions in the PDL and we are looking forward to the challenge,” men’s head coach Flavio Ferri said. “I don’t view it as good or bad. Our approach is to focus on improving every time we step on the field. We can’t control our opposition so we try to keep the focus internal.”
The Rough Riders went 10-2-5 last season, finishing runner-up in the Northeast Division. Long Island defeated Mid-Atlantic winners Red Bulls U-23 in an Eastern Conference play-in game. The Rough Riders beat the Myrtle Beach Mutiny, winners of the South Division, in the conference semifinals, before losing to eventual PDL champion Charlotte on penalty kicks in the Eastern Conference Final.
Long Island’s first home game of the new campaign is against Ocean City at 7 p.m. May 19. The Rough Riders then hit the road for three consecutive away matches before returning to Long Island for a three-game homestand. Long Island hosts Red Bulls U-23 in two of the final four games of the season — June 30 and in the season finale July 13.
“The Red Bull U-23s are an extension of the Red Bulls’ academy program,” Ferri said. “They have a defined system of play and all their players are technically refined. They are a quality opponent and we hope to be up to the challenge when we meet up with them.”
BY: Michael LoRé
2018 Regular Season
May 12: at Red Bulls Under-23, 7 p.m.
May 19: vs. Ocean City Nor’easters, 7 p.m.
May 23: at FA Euro, 7:30 p.m.
June 2: at Evergreen FC, 7 p.m.
June 3: at Ocean City Nor’easters, 7 p.m.
June 6: vs. Lehigh Valley United, 7 p.m.
June 9: vs. Reading United FC, 7 p.m.
June 16: vs. FA Euro, 7 p.m.
June 23: at Lehigh Valley United, 7 p.m.
June 24: at Reading United FC, 7 p.m.
June 30: vs. Red Bulls U-23, 7 p.m.
July 7: vs. Evergreen FC, 7 p.m.
July 11: at FA Euro, 7:30 p.m.
July 13: vs. Red Bulls U-23, 7 p.m.