Tomorrow, the Philadelphia Union will travel to Reading, Pa. to play their annual friendly against Reading United AC. This friendly has taken place every year since 2010 and will be played in Exeter High School’s Don Thomas Stadium.
The annual friendly with Reading started happening the first year the Union were in the MLS, and also consequently the first year that Reading was signed as the club’s player development affiliate.
The Union are home to four former Reading United players, with C.J. Sapong, Andrew Wenger, Ray Gaddis and John McCarthy all suiting up for Reading in the past. McCarthy played as recently as 2013, leading Reading on what was seen as a dream run in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, ultimately losing to New York Red Bulls in the Third Round.
Reading have gotten off to a hot start this year, winning three of their first five league games before dropping their most recent game 2-1 against D.C. United U-23. Prior to their game against D.C., Reading had yet to let up a goal all season. In this year's Open Cup, Reading defeated Maryland Bays 1-0 in the First Round with Brett Campbell scoring the gamewinner. They lost in the Second Round to Harrisburg City Islanders, 3-0.
Former Philadelphia Union Academy and current Georgetown University player Brett Campbell has been lighting up the scoreboard so far in the early season, scoring five goals for the team.
Goalkeeper Kyle Morton has also had a good start to the season, keeping a shutout in three of the four games he has played. Morton, who plays for James Madison University, started all 22 games for JMU, allowing 26 goals while posting nine shutouts.
Another player to look out for is Darius Madison, another former Union Academy player. Madison is heading into his senior season at the University of Virginia after being a star on the team his first three seasons and helping to lead them to win the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship. He was named to the All-Tournament team after scoring the lone goal in their semi-final win over UMBC. Madison, a Philadelphia native, has started in 52 out of the 59 games that he has played in his college career.
This is the last game for the Union before they play the Rochester Rhinos on June 16 in the Fourth Round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Union made it all the way to the finals last year, eventually losing 3-1 against the Seattle Sounders.
History vs. Philadelphia Union