The push for the Premier Development League postseason begins this evening when third place Reading United welcome the Mid-Atlantic Division leaders, the Jersey Express, to Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium. United will be hosting their annual Help Kick Hunger event, with fans attending the match encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the stadium for donation.
In their first meeting of the season, the Express welcomed United to their home field as the two clubs kicked off the 2014 Premier Development League season. The home side grabbed the lead just before halftime as Christopher Karcz scored the opener. Reading stormed their way back into the match with second half goals from Nick Surkamp and Max Touloute. United held the lead for just two minutes as Karcz leveled the match off a corner kick. The sides split the points as the match ended 2-2.
Reading United are in the midst of four matches in ten days. The busy schedule has been unkind to United as they’ve managed to pick up just five points of a possible twelve from the last four contests. Reading’s dip in form can be partially attributed to the team’s failure to finish their scoring chances. United have averaged almost 11 shots per game over the last four matches, but have only converted that into one goal per game over the same period.
Defensively, Reading can boast the division’s best defensive record. The United defensive corps, led by goalkeeper Alex Bono and center back Rob Sagel, has been a bright spot for Reading. Through the first eight matches of 2014, Reading has conceded just seven goals, the fewest goals allowed in the Mid-Atlantic Division.
In their last match, United traveled to Brooklyn, New York to meet F.A. Euro where the sides battled to a thrilling 2-2 draw. United fell behind early in the first half before Nick Surkamp leveled the match just before halftime. The home side regained the lead in the second half, scoring directly from a corner kick. Things looked especially bleak for Reading as Sagel was shown a red card for an off the ball incident. In the dying seconds of the match, Darius Madison scored the equalizer off an assist from Jack Webber. The forward’s team leading sixth goal of the season allowed Reading to escape with a hard earned point.
Through the first half of the 2014 PDL season, the Jersey Express have been the class of the Mid-Atlantic Division. The Express are unbeaten through their first nine matches of the season and have scored an Eastern Conference leading 24 goals. Sunday’s match against Reading will be Jersey’s second match in 24 hours. Last night, the division leaders walloped the Ocean City Nor’easters, 4-1.
On the road, the Express have been weak at the back, allowing eight goals in just four away fixtures. Conversely, United have made Gurski Stadium into a fortress, allowing just two goals through four matches and posting three shutout victories. Karcz, Ansgar Otto and Noah Sadaoui lead the Express with four goals apiece. The Express attack is has been very balanced as twelve different Jersey players have found the back of the net this season.
Reading United will be back in action at Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium on Saturday, July 5th as United continue their push for the playoffs against the visiting Northern Virginia Royals. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm. Tickets are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Reading United offer 2014 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact our ticket sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your group needs.