Player of the Week

Player of the week: Khori Bennett

Photo courtesy of Reading United AC

Reading United AC won the PDL Eastern Conference championship 2-1 over New York Red Bulls U23 thanks to two goals from striker Khori Bennett. The brace was Bennett’s second of the weekend (yes, you read that right), after notching two goals in Reading’s 4-3 semifinal win over Myrtle Beach Mutiny.

Bennett not only secured Reading United’s place in the national PDL semifinals, but also became the club’s all-time leading goal scorer with 18 career goals. Not a bad week, indeed, for the Radford University senior from Jamaica.

Versus the Red Bulls U23’s, Bennett displayed a poacher’s instinct with intelligent runs to slip behind Red Bulls’ backline. On the first tally, Bennett pulled apart the defense off a corner by dragging a center back to the top of the box before slashing to the near post to finish a perfectly-weighted ball.

For the game-winning goal, some nifty combination play up Reading United’s left wing led to a long, bouncing ball falling in front of a streaking Bennett with the goalkeeper caught off his line. Bennett deftly ran straight on to the ball and effortlessly hit a first-touch header into the back of the net. New York was never able to catch up.

Bennet’s 18 career goals in just 32 matches include 12 regular season strikes, the weekend’s four post season goals, and two goals in U.S. Open Cup play.

The young striker played his first three years of soccer at Northeastern University in Boston before transferring to Radford University in Virginia to finish his college career. While Bennett’s PDL stats are prolific, his college production has been limited by injury, something he’ll likely try to remedy in his senior year. Bennett was originally recruited to join Reading United three years ago by current Bethlehem Steel manager Brendan Burke.

Like many former Reading United AC players, Bennett has real MLS prospects and has trained with both Columbus Crew SC and New York Red Bulls. With the Philadelphia Union’s known striker issues, Reading’s close ties to the senior club, and the striker’s relationship with Burke, Bennett could very well land in Bethlehem with a chance to earn a spot in MLS.

Reading United start their quest for the national PDL championship with a semifinal matchup versus Villages SC at Wilson’s Gurski Stadium in Reading, PA on July 28 at 7:00 p.m. You can purchase tickets for just $5 here.

One Comment

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Sorry, I would have gone with Ale. He had the only goal to advance the Union in the Open Cup. At this point, that’s the main competition the Union are participating in.

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