The MetroStars will go into Tuesday's exhibition match against Pro Soccer League (PSL) team, the Long Island Rough Riders knowing that there are no league points, titles or trophies on the line. But that does not mean that the "Red and Black" will take their regional foes lightly when they roll into Mitchel Stadium in Uniondale, N.Y., knowing that bragging rights are on the line.
The MetroStars are coming off a huge 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday behind John Wolyniec's fourth goal and Amado Guevara's penalty strike during second half stoppage time. The win snapped a three-game losing streak as the MetroStars moved back to the top of the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of rivals D.C. United.
The "Red and Black" hope to continue their positive momentum when they face Long Island, who are also coming off a big 3-0 victory over the Jersey Falcons this past weekend in PSL play. With two goals by Long Island's leading scorer Derrick Etienne and superb play by goalkeeper Dan Sirota, the Rough Riders have now won four of their last five games against PSL opponents.
In addition, the "Red and Black" will see a couple of familiar faces on the other team, namely former MetroStars Giovanni Savarese and Jim Rooney, who now don Rough Rider kits. Savarese is the all-time MetroStars' leading scorer with 41 goals while Rooney tallied 21 points during his "Red and Black" career.
In the teams' last encounter, the MetroStars registered a 4-2 victory July 11, 2000 over their local rivals. Kickoff time is at 7:30 p.m. ET at Mitchel Stadium in Uniondale, N.Y.
The match is part of a partnership in a joint player development initiative between the two organizations. This agreement included for the Rough Riders to provide the MetroStars with up to three roster positions for MetroStars players. When the MLS schedule permits, the "Red and Black" will attempt to fill these roster spots for each Rough Riders game with developmental players who can gain important experience with the Rough Riders that they can use in their MLS careers. In addition, the deal also stipulates that the MetroStars and Rough Riders cross promote each team's games and events.