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Reading To Host MLS Partner Union

06/01/2015, 2:30pm EDT
By USL PDL

Sixth edition of annual exhibition set for June 9th

Reading United AC News Release - www.readingunitedac.com

Monday, June 1, 2015

READING, Pa. - A summer tradition continues on Tuesday, June 9th when Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union make the short trip from Chester, Pa. to face their player development affiliate, Reading United A.C. at Exeter High School’s Don Thomas Stadium. Since 2010, the clubs have played a friendly match in Reading to the delight of local soccer fans.

[Photo courtesy Dave Musante/Penn Images] The partner clubs will meet on the soccer pitch for the sixth time since forming a player development partnership in December 2009. Last year, Reading alums Pedro Ribeiro, Leo Fernandes, Aaron Wheeler and Brian Holt suited up for the Philadelphia Union against their old club. Wheeler, Reading’s single season goal scoring record holder, opened the scoring for Philadelphia in the sixth minute. United fought back and took a 2-1 second half lead before the Union scored two goals a minute apart to secure a 3-2 victory.

Each club has greatly benefited from the affiliation. Nine Reading United alumni have been signed by the Philadelphia Union since 2010. Former Reading United Head Coach Brendan Burke served as an assistant coach with the Union from 2011 through 2013. Current Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin has ties to Reading United as he served as the club’s Super 20 Men’s coach in 2012.

Reading has thrived as one of the top clubs in the Premier Development League, fielding a talented array Philadelphia Union Academy members in each of the past two seasons.  Last season, Union Academy product Darius Madison was Reading’s leading goal scorer. Along with Madison, United’s 2015 squad features former Union Academy graduates Shane Campbell, Brett Campbell, Quincy Thomas and Colton Storm.

The Philadelphia Union will head to Reading with plenty of familiar faces on their roster. Three players that made up the core of United’s run to the 2010 PDL National Semifinals, Ray Gaddis, C.J. Sapong and Andrew Wenger, will return to play on the Don Thomas Stadium pitch they once dominated. John McCarthy, one of the heroes of Reading United’s magical 2013 U.S. Open Cup campaign, will be back in Reading for the first time since signing with the Union.

“We have established a number of important young player development partners throughout the region such as Reading United over our short existence as a Club and we continue to be deeply committed to Reading United,” Philadelphia Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz said. “This game will showcase some of the best young talent in our system and the strength of that partnership. We look forward to bringing some exciting soccer to the great soccer fans in Reading and give some future professional players a chance to play against the top level. It’s truly a great opportunity for both clubs.”

“Reading United is pleased that we will once again host the Philadelphia Union  for our annual friendly in Reading.  This event highlights the strong relationship we have held with the Philadelphia Union organization since 2010.  Our 6th annual friendly will be a great opportunity for our players, fans, and partners to be a part of our robust partnership,” stated Reading United A.C. President Art Auchenbach.

Reading United’s next home match is scheduled for Saturday, June 6th against D.C. United U23, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET. All United home matches will be played at Exeter Township Senior High School. Tickets for the match are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Contact our ticket sales team at sales@readingunitedac.com for all your group needs.

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