Jan. 31, 2006
HERE COMES THE FURY
Riley-coached L.I. Fury to debut this spring
Move over Long Island Lady Riders, there's a new women's soccer team in town.
Coached by part owner Paul Riley, the Long Island Fury will compete this summer in the Women's Premier Soccer League, which is ranked the second best women's league in the world by the Women's World Football Ranking Service.
The Lady Riders compete in the W-League under the United Soccer Leagues umbrella.
The team, which has Paul LeSueur as its general manager, is an extension of the hugely successful Albertson Fury, one of the premier club teams on the East Coast.
The semi-professional league has more than 35 teams nationwide with players such as U.S National Team stars Brandi Chastain, Shannon Boxx and Abby Wambach plying their trade in the league.
The Fury will compete in the East with seven other teams including: Adirondack Lynx, Bay State Select, Boston-North Aztecs, Massachusetts Stingers, New England Mutiny, New York AC and Rhode Island Rays.
The Fury opens its first season May 20 at the Northampton Laurels and will play its home games at the recently renovated North Hempstead Town Park, the former home of the Lady Riders.
"I am very proud of this moment," Riley said in a statement. "When the Fury program began eight years ago, I didn't think any of us believed it would result in a team representing Long Island in the second ranked women's league in the world. We are very excited and most of the squad assembled will hail from the New York area."
Riley, who is the Director of Coaching at Albertson, has coached at every level, including 10 years at C.W. Post and six with the Long Island Rough Riders, where he won a national championship in 2003.
He also played for the Riders, winning the 1994 national title.
LeSueur is no stranger to the Island or professional soccer. He played for the New York Cosmos, winning the 1972 North American Soccer League championship. He also won a Division II national championship with Springfield College.
LeSueur coached at Adelphi and C.W. Post and most recently served as Director of Community Relations of the New York Power of WUSA.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the game we are all so passionate about. It is an exciting time for the overall growth of the game here on Long Island, especially for women wishing to compete at the highest level," LeSueur said in a statement. "The main focus of head coach Paul Riley and myself will be to field a championship team and I am confident we can build that team with many of our 'home grown' club players."
Mary Schneck, a junior defender at Boston College who captained the six-time State Cup champs HBC Fury, will be the first captain of the Long Island Fury.
"Her pedigree as a player and her fantastic leadership qualities made it an easy choice," Riley said in a statement. "She was my captain on the original Fury team and she knows exactly what is expected of a Fury team and a Fury captain."
The home opener for the Long Island Fury is June 6 at 7:30 p.m. against New York AC.