Rough Riders Announce 2024 USL League 2 Head Coach

Written by Michael Lewis, Front Row Soccer

Chris Megaloudis is coming home.

He played with the Long Island Rough Riders and now he will coach the USL League Two team in 2024.

Megaloudis succeeds Tom Bowen, who left the team to pursue other coaching challenges.

“He’s had a great playing career that started with us,” Rough Riders General Manager Tanner Sands said. “For his career to come full circle and for him to be our head coach, we are excited to say the least. Beyond his playing career, he’s also had a successful jump into the coaching ranks – both on the youth and collegiate levels here on Long Island. We have the utmost confidence that he is going to continue pushing us forward both with on-field success and through the off-field culture he will create. We’re thrilled to have him on board.”

The 39-year-old Megaloudis has been assistant men’s soccer coach at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y. since 2022.

Megaloudis knows that Rough Riders’ expectations are sky high. The team reached the League Two final in 2022, losing to the Ventura Fusion, and captured the 2023 Metropolitan Division crown with a 12-1-1 regular season record.

“When I first got news of me potentially being a candidate, I was so excited because the Rough Riders have been a huge part in the growth in soccer on Long Island and in New York,” he said. “You have so many historic moments and players that have played with the club. When they told me that I was going to be the coach, I was just ecstatic.”

Megaloudis realized that he had some big shoes to fill.

“The last couple of coaches established a really good culture of players from this area and players from around the country that want to come here and play,” he said. “The reputation is that it’s a place where you’re going to get better over the summer. It’s a place where you’re going to have fun. It’s a place where you’re going to compete to win.

“Credit to those coaches, Stephen Roche and Tom Bowen, who did a great job the past few years. All that I’ve heard about over the summer were so many good things. I got to go to a few games and saw right away the level of players and the quality. What they did [in 2022] was amazing, going all the way to the final. And then even this past year they had a really good showing as well.”

So, no one needs to remind Megaloudis what his charge will be at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale next summer.

“The goals are to continue this success and the path forward from what those guys have done,” he said. “My goal is to compete, win games and go as far as you possibly can. That’s always how I felt as a player, and that’s how I feel as a coach. I’m very excited for that challenge.”

During his five-year tenure as the women’s head coach at Nassau Community College (2017-21), Megaloudis produced a 42-20-6 record (.662) and directed the Lions to three NJCAA Region XV Championships, two NJCAA District titles and two trips to the NJCAA Division III National Championship. The 2018 squad reached the national semifinals.

He was named the NJCAA Region XV Coach of the Year following his debut campaign in 2017.

Megaloudis has a long and varied playing resume. While starring at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in Queens, N.Y., Megaloudis set scoring standards, winning team MVP honors in his freshman, junior and senior seasons. During his tenure, the Crusaders won the Brooklyn-Queens championship four times, losing only one game.

In the collegiate ranks, he was a standout for St. Peter’s College and then Stony Brook University.

After college Megaloudis played with the Rough Riders in 2006, scoring twice in 12 appearances.

He also has competed for the Brooklyn Knights, Westchester Flames, New York Red Bulls, FK Radnicki Obrenovac (Serbia), River Plate Puerto Rico, F.C. New York and Greek American Atlas.

Megaloudis performed for the Puerto Rico National Team from 2008-12, scoring six goals in 20 matches.

The Rough Riders will return to action in League Two in May. Players looking to join the team can register for tryouts on January 4th.



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