Reading United hop back on the bus and head to Long Island looking to extend their unbeaten start to the 2018 Premier Development League season when they face the Rough Riders in a crucial Mid-Atlantic Division clash on Saturday night at Hofstra Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, New York.
United (5-0-0) and the Rough Riders (5-1-0) sit atop the Mid-Atlantic Division with 15 points apiece, with Reading holding a crucial game in-hand over their hosts.
Coming off their first loss of the season, a 2-0 set back on the road against the Ocean City Nor'easters, the Rough Riders rebounded with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Lehigh Valley United. Long Island midfielder Charlie Ledula currently leads the team with five goals across all competitions this season.
Reading United head into their showdown with Long Island on the back of a 2-0 road win over F.A. Euro on Wednesday evening. Forward Nico Solabarriera bagged two goals in his United debut. Goalkeeper Ben Lundt and the Reading United defense preserved the win with their fourth clean sheet of the season.
Reading currently sport the best defensive record in the PDL Eastern Conference, having allowed just one goal through the first five games of the season. It's been a total team effort to keep opponents off the scoreboard, says Head Coach Alan McCann. "We haven't had the same back four and keeper together for more than one game. It's a credit to the players that have been in there. Their high standards and hunger to succeed has helped them a lot."
This is the first meeting between the long time rivals since the 2015 season when future Major League Soccer first round draft pick Colton Storm tallied two goals to lead Reading to a dramatic 3-2 win over the Rough Riders. Long Island, the PDL affiliate of New York City FC, have played in the PDL's Northeast Division in each of the past two seasons