When you speak to members of the Long Island Rough Riders franchise, there’s one thing that seems to be consistent amongst all of them: they are all proud to be “from” Long Island. The mixture of the players from the British Isles to Latin American influences have all promised that the mixture of soccer cultures will bring a balanced style of play to the field for the loyal fans. They call it “Long Island soccer”, and recent signings Thomas Wharf and Junior Rosero have echoed the message of all the players: we play attack-oriented, attractive soccer.
“We have a good mix of players with different backgrounds and styles of play”, said Wharf, an English center-back originally from the “blue” side of Liverpool (Everton FC supporter). “We have a few from the British Isles who know how to get stuck in but can play as well. We have some young players from around here and South American countries so we look to work hard and stay organized, but always with style. Flavio Ferri, the Brazilian (coach), is always looking to play with flare but we are not afraid to mix it up as well.”
Having coached with the organization for five years, one of the players Wharf will continue to mentor is Colombian-American local starlet, Junior Rosero. The young forward from West Islip, NY played in 20 games for Siena College of the MAAC conference this past year, netting six goals and four assists in the process. Even at the tender age of 20, he has an appreciation for how the Long Island region is consistently developing top soccer players.
“I know some of the younger guys and it’s always good to see new talent. We had a great group last year and it’s always good to see that there’s always new talent on Long Island”, said Rosero during the open tryouts on March 26th. He is also very conscious of how the Rough Riders roster, with players as old as 31, offers an incredible learning environment for beautiful soccer. “We love to play: our number one objective is to keep the ball. We like to possess the ball and throw numbers up, attacking with pace. Even the English guys do a great job keeping the ball! It provides an unbelievable amount of learning and as a player, you always want to grow”.
Rough Riders of all ages can catch the team in action starting May 7th at home against the Westchester Flames. Tickets are available online now at: http://184.108.40.206/~liroughriders/tickets/