BROOKLYN, NY – The club’s first team (1-1-2, 5 points) returns to Brooklyn to welcome the Long Island Rough Riders (2-1-0, 6 points) in a crucial contest from Poly Prep Country Day School, on Tuesday, May 28. The match is slated to kickoff for 8:30 p.m. The first team is coming off their first defeat of the 2019 season against the Reading United AC on Saturday by a score of three nil. The Rough Riders are looking to also get back on track following a pair of victories to open the season, they fell to the Ocean City Nor’easters by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday evening from Hofstra. The first team looks to return defender Kalley Muntaha, who missed the previous contest due to injury, while new keeper for the Rough Riders in St. John’s Red Storm alum Andrew Withers looks to grab his first win on the USL League Two level.
ALL TIME SERIES:
The club’s first team trails the series 3-1 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. Most recently, history has not been in the club’s favor as Long Island rejoined the same division as the first team, where the two New York based clubs face off against one another again. In 2018, 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.
SCOUTING THE ROUGH RIDERS:
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 3-1 loss against the Ocean City Nor’easters, following a pair of shutout victories over the Cedar Stars Rush and Lehigh Valley United respectively to open the USL League Two season. According to the USL League Two website, Alexander Dexter leads the way for the Rough Riders with a pair of goals.
LAST TIME OUT:
Debut’s for multiple first teamers included club veteran Adam Marcu, St. Francis Brooklyn’s Thriston Briscoe, and former 2000’s player Dylan Scanley. Returning from undisclosed injuries were Johan Mauritzson and Alexis Santa, while still missing defender Kalley Muntaha to a hamstring pull. Meanwhile, in West Lawn, a one-sided beginning for the defending then-PDL runners up from a season ago, had the opposition off and running on the scoreboard, as two shots and one save weren’t enough for the Gambian national goalkeeper in Jason Belfon, as he saw Alex McKinley’s one timer sail directly into the net. Following numerous possessions from each respective club, the first team gained a bit of momentum as an odd-man rush led to a cross from midfielder Alexis Santa to Thriston Briscoe, who just kicked the ball a couple of inches over the head of the opposing keeper, Waite. A few minutes later in the opposite direction, Reading’s Jeremy Rafanello sails one over the head of Belfon, as he launched one from just outside the box off the foot of defender John Sabal, Jr. Numerous chances on net for former NPSL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies star Karamba Janneh were gloved away by Waite. Fouls seemed to trouble the first team, as the second goal of the contest came off a free-kick from Reading’s Deniz Dogan, that was eventually tapped in with a header from Will Baynham. In the 34th minute of play, a steal by Briscoe at midfield caught Reading by surprise as the St. Francis Brooklyn product crossed the ball to Karamba Janneh on the odd-man rush, but was kicked inches to the right of the Reading keeper. A goal keeping change to begin the second half included the starter of the first three games in Bryant and Stratton’s Babucarr Ceesay, who surrendered one goal against the Ocean City Nor’easters a week ago. Subpar defensive play in front of the aforementioned Ceesay had him on his heels in the first 15 minutes of play that included two shots that fortunately sailed just high, ensured Ceesay of his one goal allowed streak to remain alive. The streak would come to an end just six minutes later (60’) as USL Top 100 “Players to Watch” secured the team’s third goal of the match to seal the first team’s fate at three nil. All seven substitutions were given playing time throughout the contest which included Johann Weatherly seeing time. 2000’s player Dylan Scanley made his debut in the 78’. Three-year veteran Robi Sillah also saw time as well for the first time since the Cedar Stars Rush contest. The first team suffered their first regulation loss of the 2019 season, but still remain in third place in the standings behind the Reading United AC, and the Long Island Rough Riders with five points.
The club’s first team returns to Pennsylvania for one final time during the 2019 season, as they visit the Lehigh Valley United on Saturday, June 1 for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. The contest is to take place from Cedar Crest College. The contest can be viewed at mycujoo.com/LehighValleyUnited.