Reading United: Match Reports

Madison leads Reading United in 5-2 USOC win over Greater Binghamton FC Thunder

Photo: Courtesy of Reading United

On an action-packed Wednesday night filled with soccer action, Reading United played host to NPSL side Greater Binghamton FC Thunder in third round US Open Cup play at Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium.

A strong second-half highlighted by Darius Madison’s swift dribbling moves and three assists powered Reading past the Thunder, 5-2.

First half

Reading threatened from the opening whistle. In the ninth minute, Madison’s diving header just missed finding the back of the net as it hit the right post. Moments later the game’s first goal would come when Madison beat his defender on the left flank and found space to send a cross into the box. Oumar Ballo received the ball and sent it through traffic and Thunder goalkeeper Jason Stenta’s five-hole.

Leading 1-0 less than 20 minutes in, Reading continued to pressure, looking to increase their lead. Instead, Binghamton would find a 35th minute equalizer after a midfield turnover resulted  Jonny Sinclair’s cross to  set up Alex Varkatzas up perfectly for the game-tying goal.

Undaunted, the hosts continued to pressure the visitor’s defense and Madison almost found the net in the 41st minute. Moments later Madison made no mistake to emphatically put Reading up 2-1 right before the half-time whistle. The goalscoring sequence began when Lucas Baldin turned his defender on the attack and sent a precise pass to a streaking Madison who found the right side netting.

Second half

Reading was now forty-five minutes away from advancing to the US Open Cup third round for the second consecutive year. Binghamton and head referee Darth Newman did not make it easy at first.

Five minutes into the second-half controversy occurred when a Binghamton entry into the penalty box and earned a 51st minute penalty kick after Reading’s Robby Sagel took down an opponent. From the press box, it looked to be a clean defensive play. Referee Newman decided otherwise from a distance and pointed to the spot without confirming the call with the near sideline assistant referee who was much closer to the play in question.

Bozidar Jelovic stepped up and shot left past a diving Alex Bono who went right. The 2-2 scoreline would not last for long.

Ten minutes later Reading head coach David Castellanos sent his first sub into the match, with Ignacio Maganto making an immediate impact after coming in for Graham Smith. Madison found more space on the left flank again and charged towards the box with favorable numbers. Taking on two opponents, Madison passed over to an open Maganto whose strike gave Reading a lead they would not relinquish, and bringing the home fans back to life.

From there, the game was all Reading. Six minutes after Maganto’s strike, Quincy Thomas doubled Reading’s lead when Binghamton failed to clear the ball out of danger following a corner kick that pinballed around the box. Thomas secured the ball at the top of the 18 yard box and sent it screaming into the top netting.

As the game winded down, and with Reading continuing to control the game’s pace and possession, Madison began to put on a show for the 236 fans in attendance. Dribbling around his defender, and losing his shoe in the process, the Union Academy product latched onto the ball just before it went out of bounds, drawing Stenta off his line to leave the net wide open. Madison then delivered to Nick Surkamp, who made it 5-2 with a blast into the open net.

“I basically squared the guy up, faked right, and he stepped on my cleat and it came off, ” Madison, who finished the night with a goal and three assists, said of the play. “I passed it towards the penalty mark and Surkamp was there to finish it.”

“I think it is just a great start to my summer,” the South Philadelphia native added. “I’m looking to improve every game.”

The win was head coach David Castellanos first in the US Open Cup and also his first win as Reading manager.

“It’s a special moment for the coaching staff and the players to get that first win,” Castellanos said. “US Open Cup games are like NCAA Tournament games. It is one and done. I was very, very pleased with the result.”

Reading now will face USL-PRO side Rochester Rhinos in the third round of the US Open Cup on May 28 in Rochester, NY.


  1. it’s nice to see madison doing well. does anyone know what year he is in in college? i could certainly see him becoming a homegrown player

    • Phil Naegely says:

      As Sean said below, Madison will be a junior art UVA. He has said when asked about signing a HG deal with Union, that he would. Clearly showed his talents last night.

  2. Sean Doyle says:

    Madison will be a junior at UVA. He was electric last night and did well to stretch Binghamton’s defense. If he brings that same level of intensity to all of our games, he’s going to have a big, big summer.

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