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Archive for the ‘Reading United AC’ Category

With today’s announcement of an exclusive partnership with USL-2 side Harrisburg City Islanders, the Philadelphia Union has laid the ground work for a highly developed farm system. Already with a working partnership with PDL side Reading United AC, the Union have now established links to the college game (PDL) and to lower division professional soccer (USL-2). What does this mean to Union and Isles fans? What does this mean to the Philadelphia Union as a developing franchise? In short, it’s huge.

With the death of the MLS Reserve League and the chopping of rosters from 28 down to 24 before the beginning of the 2009 season, MLS teams were left with few options to get their young, developing players field time. And no matter how much you practice and train, there is a certain amount of confidence and calm that only comes with minutes on the pitch.

The Union will likely utilize the City Islanders franchise as a place to get their young talent game time, without having to sacrifce quality in their MLS starting XI. The City Islanders have done loan deals with both the Red Bulls (Danny Cepero, GK [Penn]) and D.C. United (Tiyi Shipalane, F) in the past, but have now signed to exclusively deal with the Union. This is big in terms of player movement back and forth, as well as the consistency of the system and proximity to Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia Union have brought on Reading United AC as a minor league affiliate, the team announced Monday.

Former Reading player Aaron Wheeler

“Our technical staff will work closely with the coaches at YSC and Reading United AC to ensure everyone in the program has the best insights to the game we can provide,” Philadelphia Union manager Peter Nowak said.

Reading United, known until recently as the Reading Rage, plays in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League. The team’s new name was only reported in the last few days, with the change likely made in anticipation of the partnership.

The Reading squad is currently led by former U.S. national team player and team vice president Troy Snyder and coach Brendan Burke. They play at Don Thomas Stadium, a high school site in Exeter, Pa.

The partnership with the Union is just another sign that this team will take youth development very seriously and tie in closely to the local soccer community.

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