USL Academy Adds Another Level of Development for Rough Riders
Oct 2020

Long Island, NY – The Long Island Rough Riders are excited to announce its inclusion as one of the Founding Members of the United Soccer League (USL) Academy.

Rough Riders will be kicking off the inaugural 2021 USL Academy season along with 12 other teams in the Northeast Division.

Serving as an established pathway to the pro ranks, the USL Academy will act as the bridge between youth and professional-level play. Under this new structure, USL teams will operate developmental programs to create a network of local players as well as a clearly defined pathway to the next level.

“It’s an exciting time for youth development in American soccer as more USL clubs look to build pathways for local young players who aspire to be professionals,” said USL Sr. Director of Youth Development Liam O’Connell. “We’re thrilled to help our clubs toward that vision, and confirming the regional alignments for our founding member clubs is a key step as we move toward the launch of the league next year.”

Clubs participating in the USL Academy League will field one elite youth team, made up of the top U15-U19 prospects in their organization. With a set of league-mandated standards in place, the league will ensure players’ exposure to a high level of competition and development result from direct ties to the organization’s USL Senior Team.

Peter Zaratin, President of Long Island Rough Riders, said “We are incredibly excited and proud to be a part of the new USL Academy. We look forward to working with the USL and all Academy clubs to provide a fantastic platform and pathway for the top players on Long Island.”

Additional information regarding the Long Island Rough Riders and the USL Academy, including tryout dates will be announced soon on

For more information on the USL Academy League, visit