"Philadelphia Union are deeply committed to our player development partnerships with Reading United A.C. and the Harrisburg City Islanders," said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. "These games give us an opportunity to get together in each respective market, bring some exciting soccer to town and see how the stars of the future match up against Major League Soccer professionals. We are honored to have such great partners."
This will be the second meeting between Reading and Philadelphia, as the Union earned a 2-0 victory over the United on June 23rd, 2010. An own goal by Reading's Eric Schoenle off a deflection in the 34th minute and a Nick Zimmerman strike in the 59th minute were the only tallies in a tightly contested match.
"Philadelphia Union have provided a clearly defined path for the progression of soccer players in our region," said Reading United President Art Auchenbach. "Starting with YSC youth training, USSF Academy teams for top level U14-U18 youth talent, the Reading United Super 20's and PDL squads, the professional level in Harrisburg (USL PRO), and finally to the MLS with Philadelphia, the Union have set the bar in the United States for a truly groundbreaking soccer hierarchy for our fans and players. These exhibition games will provide the fans, and our players, a small taste of what top level professional soccer is about!"
The Union has also benefitted, using the relationship to gather an inside scouting report on their 2011 MLS SuperDraft Third round draft choice, and Reading United alumni, forward Levi Houapeu. The guidance of United Head Coach Brendan Burke at the PDL level also impressed the Union, and the team named him the inaugural Head Coach of the Union Reserves team.
Tickets for the game will be available online at www.readingunitedac.com/store/tickets.html or gamedays at Don Thomas Stadium. Ticket costs are $10 each and are ALL general admission tickets. Fans can purchase a two game pack (tickets for both games) for $15.
(Copyright 2011 Philadelphia Union. Reprinted by permission)