The Long Island Rough Riders may have seen their 2018 PDL season come to an end on July 13, but that doesn’t mean their work is done. The players had a chance to test their skills against parent club New York City FC in a scrimmage on July 19.
Even though NYCFC won 3-1, playing against professionals and one of the top teams in Major League Soccer is an invaluable experience for the Rough Riders players.
“It was a great experience to not only play against NYCFC, but I think we gave a great account of ourselves and really held our own,” Rough Riders head coach Stephen Roche said. “I was really proud of the way we played, especially in the second half. Although it was 1-1 at halftime, I felt we were nervous in the first half and never really expressed ourselves. In the second half we played a lot better and created more opportunities.”
The scrimmage is another example of the relationship between the MLS side and their PDL affiliate in facilitating the pathway for players to advance through the U.S. soccer system to reach the professional level.
Rough Riders midfielder Daniel Bedoya got a taste of that following his standout performance in the scrimmage. Bedoya, a native of Colombia, was invited to NYCFC training for two days following the exhibition.
“The Rough Riders are all about giving players opportunities, whether it’s a player like Danny who should be playing pro and is looking for their second opportunity, young college talent looking to be drafted, or an older players winding down their career,” Roche said. “We offer great opportunities here, and with NYCFC as a partner club, I think it’s a fantastic place to be.”
BY: Michael LoRé