It was Fan Appreciation Night at Wilson High School Gurski Stadium. Reading United turned on the flair in their final regular season home match in front of the hometown faithful and scored a comprehensive 3-0 victory over visiting New Jersey LUSO Parma. The victory secured the club’s seventh consecutive appearance in the Premier Development League’s playoffs. An outburst of three goals in twelve minutes staked United to a commanding lead entering halftime. Reading continued to dictate the tempo of the match en route to recording their ninth victory of the 2014 season.
From the opening whistle, United seized control of the match maintaining possession and mounting continuous pressure on the defense of the Mid-Atlantic Division’s last place side. Reading had a handful of chances to open the scoring inside the first twenty minutes of the contest, but poor finishing kept the sides level.
United finally found the game’s opening goal in the 30th minute when midfielder Quincy Thomas played a precise 25 yard through ball that put forward Brett Campbell in alone on New Jersey goalkeeper Rafael Krauze. Campbell made no mistake, calmly slotting the ball into the back of the net to stake United to a 1-0 lead. The goal was Campbell’s third of the season, continuing his excellent late season form.
New Jersey barely had the ball out of the back of their net before United grabbed their second goal of the night. In the 32nd minute, Tim Lazorko found space down the left flank and played a touch pass to the feet of Andrew Morales. The midfielder swiveled and struck his shot on target to double Reading’s advantage.
Firmly in control of the match, United continued their unrelenting attack with LUSO Parma conceding possession and territory for large chunks of the first half. Manolo Sanchez headed home a well lofted cross from Graham Smith to make it 3-0 in the 42nd minute. The midfielder from Clemson has been a key player in United’s playoff push and the goal was his third of the season.
“The key was to get a goal early on so we could relax and breath a little bit. We got a goal in the first 30 minutes, then the second one and from then on, it was smooth sailing,” Reading Head Coach David Castellanos said when discussing his squad’s first half intensity.
With a commanding lead, Castellanos rang the changes at halftime, choosing to give some important minutes to several of the squad’s newest players. Matt Martinez, Will Campbell, and Reading United veteran Tyler Witmer all entered the match at the start of the second half. The Drexel duo of Joaquin del Rosario and Guido Pena also came on for Reading in a second half that was thouroughly dominated by the home side.
United’s second half performance was so commanding, goalkeeper Alex Bono was rarely tested as he recorded his fifth shut out of the 2014 PDL season. Reading’s defensive form at home has been impressive, having allowed just three goals in seven contests at Gurski Stadium.
In addition to keeping Reading’s string of postseason appearances intact, the 3-0 victory earned United the right to host the opening round of the PDL playoffs. Coach Castellanos was reflective after the win saying, “I’m so happy. Everything came together and the boys had a tremendous season. It was the whole organization that worked hard and got through. I’m really proud of the boys, the coaching staff and the management for helping us get to this point.”
Reading United will host Connecticut’s CFC Azul in the opening round of the 2014 Premier Development League playoffs at Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium on Tuesday, July 22nd at 7:30pm. CFC Azul finished the season in second place in the PDL’s Northeastern Division. All fans wearing Reading United apparel will get free admission to the playoff match. Tickets for the playoff match are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Contact our ticket sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your group needs.
Alex Bono, Tim Lazorko (Tyler Witmer 46′), Jack Webber, Jordan Wilson (Matt Martinez 46′), Colton Storm (Will Campbell 46′), Quincy Thomas, Graham Smith (Nico Delgado 61′), Manolo Sanchez (Guido Pena 57′), Andrew Morales (Joaquin del Rosario 57′), Guillermo Delgado, Brett Campbell
Reading – Brett Campbell (Quincy Thomas) – 30th Minute
Reading – Andrew Morales (Tim Lazorko) – 32nd Minute
Reading – Manolo Sanchez (Graham Smith) – 42nd Minute