Reading United AC

Reading announce return of veteran core

Photo: Paul Rudderow

The news keeps coming in for the Reading United faithful.

A week after adding three Union academy alums to their 2014 PDL roster, Reading announced the addition of five veteran players on Tuesday. Midfielders Lucas Baldin, Wes Charpie, Owen Griffith, Manolo Sanchez all return, as does goalkeeper Alex Bono, to further their growth and provide another successful year for Reading.

Bono, a junior at Syracuse, shared time in net with current USL-Pro side Rochester Rhinos goalie John McCarthy last year. In eight matches, Bono allowed only seven goals and secured three clean sheets. He has lofty goals for himself and teammates this season.

“I would like to make it to the PDL Final Four. After talking with the coaching staff and getting an idea of what they are looking for, there is no reason that the talent on our team and staff can’t translate into another season of being in the top tier of amateur soccer.”

Bono also explained what makes playing for Reading so special.

“What made me want to return to Reading was not only the competitive experience and professional training environment, but the way the ownership group and community cares about the team. They really believe in a common goal and all the players that wear a Reading jersey should do the same.”

Baldin rejoins Reading after spending 2013 with the Seattle Sounders U-23. The Brazilian native saw time in seven matches with Reading in 2012.

University of Central Florida midfielder Wes Charpie brings fire power back to a dangerous Reading attack. With Steve Neumann being drafted by the New England Revolution, Charpie’s offensive role increases. Last season, Charpie recorded two goals and an assist in ten games.

Joining Charpie in the midfield is 6′ 1″ Penn State junior Owen Griffith. Alongside Reading teammate Shane Campbell, Griffith helped Penn State to their second straight Big 10 Championship in 2013. Last year, Griffith saw time in three Reading matches.

Lastly, Manolo Sanchez’s time with Reading and the PDL provides leadership and experience to an established core. The six foot midfielder looks to build off both a strong 2013 Reading season and his fall season with the Clemson Tigers. Sanchez tallied four goals and four assists to finish third in scoring for Reading last summer.

President and General Manager Art Auchenbach is pleased with the return of a solid core that recognize the value of playing with Reading.

“By the nature of the league, it is the goal of the PDL to have consistent change in rosters and Reading United has been fortunate to see many of our alums kick off in the pro game throughout North America after a season or two in Reading.” Auchenbach continued, “We are equally fortunate that we are able to recruit and retain men who recognize the value Reading brings their soccer careers, and in turn provide us with a solid base from which to build a team each season. Alex, Wes, Lucas, Manolo and Owen, along with our Union Academy returnees will form the backbone of our 2014 squad. These players, along with Coach Castellanos’ other recent commitments will ensure another squad filled with talent and depth.”

On May 7, Reading will kick off their 2014 USL-PDL campaign on the road against Jersey Express. A week later Reading will host NPSL side, Great Binghamton Thunder FC on May 14 in US Open Cup second round play.

The game will be played at Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium, which will serve has the team’s home venue throughout 2014. The move comes after playing the 2013 season at Exeter High School.

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