The PSP welcomes its new Reading United beat reporter Andrew Desiderio. Andrew gives a quick rundown on why Philadelphia Union fans should pay attention to its PDL affiliate, who have started of the 2011 season with two emphatic victories.
The partnership between the Philadelphia Union and Reading United AC, the PDL affiliate of the Union, is one that Union fans would do well to keep an eye on, as several of the players from last year’s roster are currently plying their trade in the MLS. Included in that list is current Union rookie Levi Houapeu. Reading United’s head coach, Brendan Burke, also serves as the Union Reserve Team coach and can frequently be spotted during pre-game warm-ups as well as on the bench at PPL Park.
For the past several seasons, Reading United AC has been one of the most successful PDL teams in the nation. Recognition must be given to the outstanding job the coaching staff, management and the front office have done in recruiting some of the nation’s finest young talent. Reading has been able to attract collegiate players from most of the elite conferences throughout the country. Both domestic and international players have come to Reading bringing collegiate and youth national team experience. Last year, several Reading players were drafted in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft with various others occupying roster positions within the USL divisions.
The 2011 Reading United roster does not disappoint as it looks set to keep Reading near the top of the PDL standings. With the return of several key players, in addition to an abundance of new talent, it is safe to assume that United will have several players whose names will be called in this year’s MLS SuperDraft.
Despite having a limited squad, United opened the season with a 3-1 win over the Brooklyn Knights. Princeton sophomore Matt Sanner earned a hat trick and was named to the PDL Team of the Week for his performance.
Reading continued its winning ways Sunday night, defeating the New Jersey Rangers 4-0 in the home opener at Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium. Four different players contributed goals for Reading, with Penn State’s Hasani Sinclair recording three assists.
If these opening games are any indication of how Reading United’s season will unfold, there is plenty for Philly Union fans to be excited about.