Reading United: Match Reports

Reading United 1-1 Union

The Philadelphia Union traveled to Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium Tuesday night for a friendly against its PDL affiliate Reading United AC.  The temperature hovered around the high 80s throughout the night, but that did not stop a crowd of over 1,300 from cheering on Reading and the Union. Aside from the opportunity to see an MLS team compete against one of the nation’s best PDL teams in close proximity, the friendly also provided a chance for both teams to broaden their respective fan bases. Fans in attendance could attest that Union players and staff made themselves available throughout the night, whether it be signing autographs or walking freely among the crowd (Michael Farfan was sitting directly behind me in the stands).

Game Notes

For much of the first half, Reading was able to contain a Union attack that poured in the goals against Toronto. The Union had the better chances throughout the first half, but were unable to capitalize until Gabe Farfan’s header in the 45th minute. A quick counter saw Justin Mapp cross the ball to a wide-open Farfan, who calmly headed the ball over Reading keeper Brian Holt.

Both teams had chances blocked by the opposing team’s goalkeeper as Brian Holt and Zac MacMath produced solid performances on the night. Reading was able to equalize in stoppage time on a long-range effort by Chris Harmon that left Union keeper MacMath frozen as the ball struck the side-netting. Steve Neumann centered the ball to an onrushing Harmon, who without hesitation sent a one-time bending shot past a helpless MacMath. The matched ended shortly after with a final score of 1–1.

Union lineup

The Union started the game with virtually the same lineup that defeated Toronto 6–2 Saturday afternoon at BMO Field, setting a franchise record for goals scored in a game. The only change was in goal, where rookie first-round pick Zac MacMath took the place of Union captain Faryd Mondragon. The starters, save Kyle Nakazawa and MacMath, were relieved at the half for an entirely different lineup most likely due to the Saturday night’s game at Colorado. The second half lineup consisted of a mix of first-team, reserve, academy and Reading United players. Reading United regulars Matt Baker and David Rodriguez, who both featured for the Union reserves this past weekend, once again donned the Blue & Gold of the Union.

First half: MacMath, Williams, Valdes, Califf, Harvery, G. Farfan, Nakazawa, Carroll, Mapp, Mwanga, Le Toux

Second half: MacMath, Matt Baker (Reading), Gonzalez, David Rodriguez (Reading), Richter, Pfeffer, Torres, Jimmy McLaughlin (Academy), Nakazawa, Agorsor, McInerney

Reading United lineup

Reading United fielded much of their first-choice lineup to start the friendly. Halftime saw University of North Carolina newcomer Anton Sealey be replaced by Brian Forgue, with a multitude of substitutions following throughout the half.

Starters: Brian Holt, Anton Sealey, Ged Quinn, Shane Malcolm, Matt Hedges, Christian Barreiro, Stephen Okai, Brian Span, Will Bates, Brian Ownby, Hasani Sinclair

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