The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive PDL affiliate of New York City FC, have qualified to participate in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, U.S. Soccer announced today.
The Rough Riders are one of 20 Premier League Development clubs to qualify for the most prestigious cup competition in the United States, which began in 1914.
Long Island 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.
“Qualifying for the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a direct result of our 2017 campaign, so it’s rewarding to see our success continue to pay dividends,” Rough Riders general manager Pedro Suarez said. “It’s our goal to continue to thrive on and off the field and make participation in the U.S. Open Cup an annual occurrence.”
The qualified PDL teams enter the U.S. Open Cup in the first round, slated to begin May 9. United Soccer League (USL) clubs enter competition in the second round, while Major League Soccer (MLS) organizations enter in the fourth round.
Long Island last qualified for the U.S. Open Cup in 2016, losing 2-1 to Lansdowne Bhoys FC in the first round.
The 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 26. Sporting Kansas City defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-1 to hoist the 2017 trophy.