The Long Island Rough Riders, exclusive USL League Two affiliate of New York City FC, are pleased to announce veterans Tom Wharf, Shaun Foster, Dan Gwyther and Tyler Botte have all re-signed with the club for the upcoming 2019 season.
Wharf, a stalwart on the club for many years, returns as captain. The defender logged nearly 1,000 minutes in 11 matches in 2018 as the Rough Riders went 10-5-1 overall and 9-4-1 in the PDL. A 2018 club Player of the Year nominee, Wharf anchored the back line that that allowed 16 goals, which was second-best in the Mid-Atlantic Division.
“Tom is a leader on and off the field who hates to lose,” Rough Riders head coach Stephen Roche said. “He is a superb defender, is good on the ball and is my voice on the field.”
Joining Wharf again on the back line is Gwyther. Head men’s soccer coach at SUNY Maritime College, Gwyther had nine appearances for Long Island in 2018.
“Dan is an excellent defender who reads the game very well,” Roche said. “He has a genuine love for the game, so he keeps himself in great condition so he can continue to play the sport he loves at a high level.”
Foster will be anchoring the midfield again this summer. A 2018 club Player of the Year nominee, he logged a team-high 1,226 minutes despite battling a back injury much of the season.
“Fozzy is a favorite among his teammates and a joy to work with,” Roche said. “He makes every player around him better with his ability and knowledge of the game. The younger players will learn a lot from him and the rest of our older players.”
Botte, an old-school center forward, returns to Long Island after recording three goals and one assist in nine games in 2018. He had a goal and assist on five shots in 50 minutes of action in the 3-2 win against Evergreen FC on July 7.
“Tyler puts his head in where it hurts and knows how to score goals,” Roche said. ” He’s a very valuable player for us and is another player who the younger guys can learn from.”
The Rough Riders begin their 2019 USL League Two campaign against league newcomers Cedar Stars Rush on Saturday, May 11. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. from Hofstra University Soccer Stadium.
BY: Michael LoRé