Philadelphia Union partner Reading United AC got their USL Premier Development League season started with a bang on Sunday with a 5-0 victory at home over Hampton Roads Piranhas.
Billy Schuler (UNC) scored the team’s first goal of the season in the 19th minute. Only the athletic play of Piranha’s keeper Ryan Zmuda kept the visitors in the match as Reading unleashed a barrage of shots for the rest of the half.
In the 42nd minute United midfielder Luke Mulholland (Wingate University) made it 2-0 with a wonder strike. Reading United G.M. Art Auchenbach said of the goal, “Wow! Luke’s goal was a thing of beauty and brawn. A 30 yarder that will be a PDL weekend highlight reel goal, if not season highlight goal. Simply awesome.”
It was a windy day. But even with the wind at their backs in the second half, the Piranhas were clearly outmatched as local product Corey Hertzog (Antietam H.S., Penn State) made it 3-0 in the 46th minute and Matt Hedges (Butler University) added a fourth in the 52nd minute. CJ Sapong (James Madison University) added the fifth goal of the day to his two assists in the 61st minute.
Technical Director Troy Snyder (who filled in as head coach for Brendan Burke who was serving a carryover suspension from 2009 playoffs) said after the match, “It was a great effort by all the guys. Considering we only had two practices and half the guys didn’t show up until today, we have to be pleased. We’ll work on some things at practice this week and it will be exciting to see how well we do once everyone’s firing on all cylinders.”
Burke, who watched the match from the press box, said, “The pace out of the back allowed us to create a lot of opportunities moving forward. This team has a lot of promise.”
Reading next face the Northern Virginia Royals on Friday, May 14 at 7:30pm. The match will be played during Exeter’s “MayDays” town carnival at Don Thomas Stadium. Ticket information is available at the club’s website.