Players from UC Santa Barbara, Penn State, NC State, and UNC Charlotte join Reading for USL League Two season
READING, PA (May 1, 2019) – Reading United will add five new players, all from Division 1 schools, for the upcoming 2019 season. Will Baynham, Deniz Dogan, Brandon Hackenberg, Gabriel Machado, and Preston Popp will be joining the team this summer in Reading, pending league approval.
Baynham is a new transfer to UC Santa Barbara for the 2019 season, after previously playing JUCO at Yavapai College. During the 2017 season, the Australian forward lit up the JUCO circuit, finishing eighth in the nation in goals (25) and fifth in both assists and points (17 and 25, respectively). The Aussie spent last summer with FC Golden State Force, part of their PDL Southwest Division Championship winning squad.
“Will is a striker that can provide big goals in big games,” stated Reading head coach Alan McCann. “Having come through the junior college route, this summer will look to set him up before his move into NCAA DI.”
Dogan will be switching out his blue and silver for blue and gold this summer. The German midfielder accumulated two goals and four assists over the course of the 2018 season to help the Monarchs make it to the 2018 C-USA Tournament Finals. Prior to joining the Monarchs, Dogan earned ASUN Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors at Stetson after leading the team with eight goals.
“Deniz is a technically gifted midfielder and continues our tradition of having standout players from Germany in the team,” added McCann. “His experience along with playing ability will be a big addition for us.”
Hackenberg will be joining United’s backline as he has just finished up his sophomore season at Penn State. During the 2018 season, he appeared in 17 matches and made 15 starts. Hackenberg was a key contributor to the defense as he recorded six clean sheets including three against Big Ten opponents.
“Brandon is another talented defender coming into that defensive unit in which we expect a lot of,” McCann continued. “We’re looking for him to come in and continue to develop up a level or two to really push for that next level after college.”
Machado will be a new addition to Reading after he recently finished up his junior year at NC State. With the Wolfpack, he led the team with six goals, three of which were match winners. Previous to NC State, Machado played at Monroe College where he earned NJCAA Division I Region XV Men's Soccer Player of the Year after netting 16 goals and distributing 12 assists.
McCann had glowing remarks about Machado, stating, “Gabriel has been a standout in the ACC in midfield and will be very interesting for clubs at the next level. This summer will be about getting him in the best place possible to go into his senior year firing on all cylinders.”
Popp, the freshman forward, will be joining Reading United this summer. During the 2018 season with his college, he was named to the Conference USA All-Tournament team and All-Freshman team. Popp also played an essential role in helping his team earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Canadian forward was prolific at the USSDA level prior to college, finishing third in the nation in scoring with 25 goals in 28 games in 2017.
“Preston is a young, talented striker who has a bright future,” McCann finished. “We expect him to rise to the challenge of being tested daily.”
Reading United will begin their 24th season with a U.S. Open Cup First Round match where they will play NPSL-side Philadelphia Lone Star on May 8th at 7:00pm at Alvernia University. United’s first USL League Two home match will be on May 25th ad they take on F.A. Euro at Wilson High School. Season tickets are on sale at readingunitedac.com/tickets.