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First Team Begins Road-Trip on Long Island

Updated: Jun 21, 2019

BROOKLYN, NY – The club’s first team (2-3-4, 10 points) kick-off a three-game road trip in Uniondale, as they visit the Long Island Rough Riders (3-1-2, 11 points) on Wednesday evening at Hofstra University’s soccer stadium within the campus. The match is slated to kick-off for 8:00 p.m. The first team is coming off a 4-3 come-from-behind emotional victory on Saturday evening, over the Lehigh Valley United, to secure their second win of their 2019 USL League Two campaign. The Rough Riders, currently sitting third place in the Mid-Atlantic Division standings, have three games in hand on the first team. Their most recent outing featured a 0-0 draw against the Reading United AC just 10 days ago. Long Island comes into tonight’s contest sitting with a 1-0-2 record in the month of June, with one draw coming against the first team back at Poly Prep on Sunday, June 2.


The club’s first team trails the series 3-1-1 dating back to 2016. The lone victory came against the Rough Riders at the club’s previous home at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University on May 27, 2016 in a one nil win. History has not been kind to the club while facing the Rough Riders, as Long Island joined the Mid-Atlantic Division in 2018, following years in the Northeast Division. The first team was moved to the former division following the 2016 season to even the clubs out. In their first meetings in over two years, Long Island handed the first team a pair of shutout losses. In the home meeting in Brooklyn, former first teamer, Charlie Ledula and Sebastian Gordillo scored the pair of goals during the July meeting. During the first meeting at Hofstra, MLS superdraftee Dylan Castanhera secured a shutout, while Matthew Sloan scored the lone goal in the first meeting. Most recently, the first team recorded a 2-2 draw in a lightning-shortened match at Poly Prep, following 74’ minutes of play. Forwards DeAndre Gordon and Sory Konate were the two goal scorers for the home team.


The Long Island based team has lost three quality players that includes MLS draft pick Dylan Castanhera (FC Dallas), Charlie Ledula (N.Y. Cosmos), Daniel Bedoya (NYCFC), but have gained another core group that includes Georgetown University defender Dylan Nealis, who is listed on the USL Top 50 prospects, and the USL League Two “Top 100 Players to Watch” list. Dylan is also the brother of Sean, who was drafted to the N.Y. Red Bulls in 2018. Former St. John’s Red Storm goalkeeper Andrew Withers joins the fold on the Island. Finally, former LIU Post midfielder Lukas Ostermann joins Long Island as well. The Rough Riders are coming off a 0-0 draw against the first-place Reading United AC, following a 2-1 come-from-behind victory in the 87’ minute on June 1 against the Red Bulls, and a draw against FA Euro the following day in Brooklyn. According to the USL League Two website, Alexander Dexter leads the way for the Rough Riders with three goals on six shots attempted through six games.


Defender Kalley Muntaha returns to the pitch this evening following a one-month absence with a lower right-knee injury. Midfielder Thriston Briscoe is still out with an ankle injury that was suffered on May 25 at the aforementioned Reading United AC. Forward DeAndre Gordon remains day-to-day with a lower-body injury, suffered against the Red Bull on Saturday. Goalkeeper Andrew Pereira suffered a right-leg injury in the contest vs. the Red Bulls. The NYIT product was slated to start the contest vs. Reading a week ago but pulled himself out due to the aforementioned injury. Pereira will be rejoining the 18-man roster against the Long Island Rough Riders in his homecoming.


Returning from injury included Bryant and Stratton goalkeeper Babacarr Ceesay, who last played at Lehigh Valley on June 1. Coming into the contest in search of their first victory since the opening contest in Leesburg against the Evergreen Hammers, the first team got things started rather quickly against the United of Lehigh Valley. Newly signed forward Valentyn Kharko made an impact early within the first 10’ minutes of the match, as he sent a pass across to midfielder Conor McGlynn for a shot that went past the diving Joseph Valeriano for the 1-0 icebreaker. Following the icebreaker from the first team, Lehigh Valley’s Jason Rocha knotted the contest at one a piece with a goal roofed over the head of Ceesay. The second half of the contest featured three goals from the first team that earned them their 10th point of the 2019 campaign. On a pass from Alexis Santa to Kyle Parish, Lehigh Valley defender AJ Bishop took down the LIU Post product to land a penalty kick for the first team. Midfielder Conor McGlynn took the kick and came away successful for his second goal of the contest, in as many shots, to even the score at two in the 50’ minute of play. Eight minutes following the penalty kick, Lehigh Valley responded with a 58’ minute one timer from Collin Muller to put the opposition ahead by one. The first team, during the 2019 USL League Two campaign have been known to rise following a fall. The club’s first team did exactly that in come-from-behind fashion last night, as a corner from Alexis Santa lands on the head of Mikail Radchenko and crosses it to Kyle Parish for the Australian’s first goal of his USL League Two career off a header to knot the contest a three in the 65’ minute of play. Just two minutes following the Parish header over Valeriano, veteran Robi Sillah finds a wide -open Alexis Santa on the left wing and sends one past the diving keeper in Joseph Valeriano for the go-ahead and game-winning goal at the 67’ minute mark. The victory over the Lehigh Valley United on Saturday evening improved the head-to-head record to 5-0-1. The first team improved their record to 2-3-4 with 10 points on the season, for the first time since the 2015 season. They also secured double-digit points before the turn on the calendar to July, for the first time since 2015 as well. Numerous yellow-card cautions were issued during the contest as Sory Konate, Mikail Radchenko, and Conor McGlynn were all assessed one. The first team trailed in shots 14-12 throughout the contest, but led the second 45’ minutes by a total of 7-6 over their opponent. Fouls galore occurred and were called on point by center official Brian DiPaolo throughout, as each received 15 including the cautions. Goalkeeper Babacarr Ceesay worked four saves into his stat-line, while allowing three goals on seven shots faced.


The club’s first team continues their three-game road trip on Sunday, June 23, as they travel to Ocean City, NJ to face the Nor’easters for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff from Carey Stadium.

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