TAMPA, Fla. & GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – The United Soccer League (USL) today announced the Long Island Rough Riders as the newest club to join the USL W League. The Rough Riders are the fourth club to join the W League out of New York and will compete in the league’s inaugural season in 2022.
“The opportunity to return to a program like the W League that is committed to progressing the women's game is invaluable,” said Peter Zaratin, Long Island Rough Riders President. “The Rough Riders are proud to play our role in empowering women through sport and providing a platform for players on Long Island to embark on the pre-professional pathway. We look forward to this new chapter for our women’s team and how it will build upon a successful history of developing tomorrow’s top soccer players.”
Founded in 1994, the Rough Riders have been part of the Long Island soccer landscape since the club’s inception. Since joining the USL, the Rough Riders senior men’s team and senior women’s team have both collected two title-winning seasons and continue to produce both current professionals and former national team members.
“The Long Island Rough Riders couldn’t be more excited to be one of the inaugural teams in the USL W League,” said Tanner Sands, Long Island Rough Riders Assistant GM. “We fully believe in the potential and sustainability of what the USL is bringing to women’s pre-professional soccer. We are humbled and grateful to have the opportunity to be an instrument for women across Long Island to live out their playing dreams.”
In joining the W League, the Long Island Rough Riders will continue to provide women athletes a fully formed pathway from youth play to pre-professional play. As members of USL League Two, USL Academy, Super Y League and now the USL W League, the Rough Riders are a model club when it comes to offering its players, coaches and staff more opportunities to play, coach and work in the sport of soccer at all levels.
“We are excited to welcome Long Island to the W League as we round out our expansion efforts in the Northeast prior to the start of the 2022 season,” said Betsy Haugh, USL Director of Women’s Soccer Operations. “We look forward to seeing what the Rough Riders will accomplish in the league in 2022 and beyond as they continue to advance the women’s game in their community.”