With one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win under its belt, the Long Island Rough Riders will try for greater glory against a more difficult opponent in the second round Wednesday night.
The Premier Development League side will take on host Louisville City FC (United Soccer) at Lynn Stadium in Louisville, Ken. at 7 p.m.
“Louisville is a very talented team with an excellent coach [James O’Connor], but the pressure is all in them,” Rough Riders head coach Stephen Roche said. “We have nothing to lose and will go in and play with confidence. I’m excited for our guys to show what they can do against the best team in the USL.”
The Rough Riders (1-0-0) are coming off consecutive victories. They defeated Kingston Stockade FC in a wild 6-3 encounter in extratime in the first round May 8. Long Island followed that up by upending 2017 PDL regular-season champion Red Bulls Under-23 on the road, 3-1, in its league opener May 12.
Louisville City FC (5-2-1), the reigning USL champion, is coming off consecutive defeats — 1-0 at Indy Eleven May 5 and 2-0 at Nashville SC Sunday.
Roche said the Rough Riders will focus on trying to get off to a solid start against Louisville City FC just as they did against the Red Bulls to not only lessen Louisville home-field advantage, but also increase the pressure on their foes.
“Winning away at the Red Bulls is always a great result, and to start the season that way we couldn’t ask for much more,” he said. “The lads were excellent. It’s a great win, but we will keep our heads down and keep working hard with a very difficult stretch with three games in six days.”
The winner will meet the victor of Duluth FC (National Premier Soccer League) and Saint Louis FC (USL) in the third round May 23.