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Rough Riders chosen for three-match Bermuda tour

US amateur football team Long Island Rough Riders will provide the opposition for Bermuda's Under-20 national team over the festive period, The Royal Gazette can reveal.The Premier Development League (PDL) side will play two games against the Under-20s and also take on the defending Premier Division champions Dandy Town.It is understood the Bermuda Football Association (BFA) had reached a verbal agreement for the Under-20s to play against the United States and Canada's Under-20 national teams in Florida later this month, but those plans fell through.While they might not represent such an exciting proposal for Gary Darrell's side as the US or Canada, it is hoped the Rough Riders will still offer a stern test for the Under-20s ahead of next month's Concacaf Championship qualifiers against Guyana, St. Vincent and Netherlands Anthilles.The BFA's player development committee chairman, Mark Wade, told a press conference this week: “We have a team selected and have confirmed that they are interested.“Right now we are just working through the logistics of travel and accommodations.”Last season saw the Rough Riders finish fourth in the Northeast Division of the PDL, the same league in which the Bermuda Hogges played in last summer.Notable former Rough Riders players include ex-Liverpool defender Gary Ablett and US international striker John Wolyniec.Next month Bermuda's Under-20s will look to secure the Caribbean's fifth and final entry in the 12-team Championships, which will be held next April in Guatemala.They finished second in their first round group in October, failing to grasp the sole automatic qualifying spot despite going unbeaten throughout the round robin tournament.That privilege went instead to hosts Guadeloupe who pipped Bermuda on goal difference.The next round of qualifiers will run from January 17-28 at a venue yet to be determined.