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2024 Season Preview

2024 Season Preview

By Art Auchenbach, 05/18/24, 12:45PM EDT


2024 Season Preview

April showers bring May flowers as the saying goes.  Well, Reading United A.C. is seeing plenty of growth and are looking to blossom even more for the 2024 soccer season.  2024 will be the 30th season of the club’s history (but only 29th season of playing soccer due to 2020 season cancellation due to COVID).  The club has enjoyed tremendous success on the men’s side of the game, and an inaugural 2023 season for the new women’s team also brought playoff soccer back to Reading.  With the addition of a reserve squad for the WPSL women’s team, and TWO reserve teams for the men, Reading will be loaded up to compete on all fronts.  The announcement of a new team for the men competing in the USL Academy, will enhance Reading’s initiative to develop local U20 age players for college, and hopefully, future stars for the USL2 first team.

The USL2 men kick off their season Saturday May 18 against Lehigh Valley United at 7PM at Whitehall HS.  Historically Reading has made short work of the season opener, with a winning record against LVU who joined the league in 2015.  However the first game of both teams season (Reading and LVU traditionally “bookend” the season opening and closing the season against each other) has always been a tight affair with both teams still waiting on full rosters to arrive and teammates still getting to know each other.

Coach Casey Moore returns for his 4th season at the helm.  The Alvernia head coach has showed steady improvement in each of his previous three seasons, guiding the team up the MidAtlantic Division table.  After a 2023 USL2 season that saw a third place finish and only two losses (seven ties) the team will look to secure one of the top two spots to guarantee a return to playoff soccer.

The 2024 squad is highlighted by some key returnees that will form the spine of the young squad.  Ammit Bhogal, Giampaolo Nardi, Tim Timchenko, Carlo Cavalar will spearhead the central part of the field and look to feed returning top scorer Sam Hershey.  Some exciting new talent will be sure to feature and help create the dynamic, high energy “press” that is a feature of the Reading United squads.  In an effort to eliminate the mental mistakes that caused what appeared to be sure wins in 2023 to result in draws, Reading has reloaded their defensive players and will  be featuring an impressive core of goalkeepers spearheaded by reigning USL2 Goalkeeper of the Year, Jason Smith.  The coaching staff features a return of assistant coach Rich Kessler and addition of assistant coach Keith Conway (Ursinus College Assistant Coach).  Newcomer Art Auchenbach IV will start his coaching career after an impressive collegiate career running the West Virginia University club soccer team, helping the first team staff operations as well as assisting with the reserve and USL Academy teams.

Casey Moore summarized the 2024 expectations, outlining, “This year we return a strong core group of players from last year's team, we've upgraded certain positions, and we've added great depth at every position.  We are excited to carry our home unbeaten streak into this season with high expectations of fighting to win the division, securing a home playoff game, and making a strong run at the league championship.  We will attack these goals collectively with a fierce intensity and a courageous heart.  We are looking forward to an exciting season!”

The Reading United women also debut their 2024 season on the road against Hershey FC on Monday night, 7PM, at Middletown HS.  The team enters their 2024 campaign as the 9th ranked team in the WPSL Preseason East Region Power Rankings.  The 2024 WPSL league will feature 171 teams, the largest women’s soccer league in the world.  Coach Tom Gosselin will be looking to avoid a sophomore slump and make a return to playoff soccer for the 2nd year WPSL team.  The addition of Elizabethown College head coach Amy Hough to complement assistant coach Amanda Bezner gives the coaching crew added insight and experience to guide the women’s team.  The women return All Division GK Emme Wolfel, All Division Haley Gschrey, and team captain Becca Kotula.  An exciting blend of young new talent and addition of veteran players like Conrad Weiser & Division 1 Sienna College alum Grace George and Exeter HS & Long Island University alum Jane Bossler will make Reading’s squad another exciting team to watch.

Women's team head coach Tom Gosselin added offered his thoughts on the second season for the WPSL team, "The team is shaping up to be a very competitive squad for this season.  We are a great combination of returning talent and leadership from our inaugural season combined with some new faces that look to contribute immediately.  We have lofty goals and the team is prepared to work towards them as we create a cohesive unit for campaign number two!"

The home opener for the club will be Friday May 24th when the Reading United women host newcomers LVU Rush at 7PM at Alvernia University.  The men open their home campaign in a midweek matchup on May 29 against Philadelphia LoneStar at 7PM at Alvernia University.

All matches will be streamed live on Reading United’s YouTube channel.  Home matches will also feature exciting new concessions as well as our new beer partner, Sly Fox brewing.  Follow all of Reading United’s social media platforms for in game updates as well as upcoming events featuring Reading United’s teams and players.







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