Weekend preview: Rough Riders vs. Red Bulls U-23 & FA Euro
May 2019

The Long Island Rough Riders were admittedly disappointed their match against FA Euro New York on May 28 was postponed due to inclement weather. Luckily, the team doesn’t have to wait long to play again with not one, but two matches on the docket this weekend.

The Rough Riders, exclusive USL League Two affiliate of New York City FC, play local rivals New York Red Bulls Under-23 on June 1 then return to FA Euro the following day for their makeup game.

Kickoff against the Red Bulls U-23 is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Hofstra University Soccer Stadium. Kickoff against FA Euro is 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Poly Prep in Brooklyn.

“Both us and FA Euro play Saturday so neither team gains an advantage Sunday,” Long Island head coach Stephen Roche said. “Our guys remain positive ahead of a great weekend.”

Long Island comes into the busy weekend at 2-1-0 after suffering its first loss of the season, a 3-1 defeat to Ocean City Nor’easters on May 22. The Red Bulls (1-0-2) have lost consecutive games by one goal – 3-2 to Reading United AC on May 22 and 2-1 at Cedar Stars Rush on May 25.

The teams met three times in 2018 with the playoff-bound Red Bulls winning two of those matches.

“I’m sure they will come out flying against us like they always do,” Roche said. “They have been very unlucky in their games so I’m sure their confidence won’t be affected. We will need to be at our best to beat them and I’m fully confident we will be.”

With such a pivotal early-season game against the Red Bulls U-23 looming, Roche said his players won’t focus on FA Euro (1-1-2), who play at Lehigh Valley United on June 1, until after the final whistle on Saturday. The second-year head coach will have his hands full managing the roster with consecutive matches this weekend, but views the task as a positive.

“It’s a chance for some guys to get on the field and show us what they can do,” he said. “It’s obviously a challenge to play two games in two days, but one we are going to relish.”

BY: Michael LoRĂ©
Staff Writer