May 8, 2016
Flames lose at Rough Riders in PDL
LEVITTOWN, N.Y. - The Westchester Flames opened their Premier Development League PDL season with a 2-0 away loss to the Long Island Rough Riders Saturday.
The Flames started the game well by containing the Rough Riders when they attacked and creating several goal scoring opportunities.
As the first half was winding down, Tyler Botte capitalized on a defensive error to give the Rough Riders the 1-0 lead. The Flames looked to start the second half in a strong fashion, but were caught off guard and Junior Rosero took advantage to score, giving the Rough Riders a 2-0 lead in the 48th minute.
It was going to be difficult to come back against a strong Rough Riders defense, led by veterans Danny Kramer, Tom Wharf and Daniel Gwyther. When the Flames did attack, Rough Riders goalkeeper Richard Trench made the save. In the 80th minute, substitute Dennis Reyes created a great chance for the Flames, but Trench preserved the shutout for the Rough Riders.
"Overall, I thought we did well," Flames head coach and general manager Gus Skoufis said. "Definitely not the result that we were hoping for, but when you're using a lot of younger players against a veteran team, you're asking a lot of them. The guys responded well at times, but overall everyone needs to work hard and continue to improve. We have a lot of work to do, but we're looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead of us."
Associate head coach Matthew Uy added, "I thought the guys played well and deserved something from that game. We showed good character and fighting spirit and I'm proud of our guys. Back to the training ground this week and we'll prepare for a big game against FA Euro on Saturday."
Several players made their debut for the Flames, as the club looks to rebound from a difficult 2015 season. Matthew Uy and assistant coach Stephan Riguad also made their coaching debuts for the Flames.
For Uy, it was a return to the club that he played for in 2010. Center back Laquan "Marley" McClain returned to the Flames, having played for the club in 2013. Timothy O'Driscoll is a returning player from the 2015 season.
The starting lineup featured Dante Spinelli, who played in the PDL for AC Connecticut in 2015 and Jonathan Uy who played for the Brooklyn Italians in the National Premier Soccer League. Goalkeeper Danny Vitiello, defender Joshua Zapata, midfielders Samuel Carter, Brendan Reardon, Mosiah Whyte, and forwards Joseph Sanchez and Caelan Hueber also made their Flames and PDL debuts.