skip navigation

Veteran forward Khori Bennett has his eyes on the prize

By Sean Doyle, 07/16/18, 12:15PM EDT


Khori Bennett has a lot of great memories from the three summers he's spent with Reading United. He knows time is almost up on his Reading career, but the veteran forward still has one big thing he'd like to check off his to-do list before he departs the club. A Premier Development League title. 

Bennett, who was originally recruited by former Reading United head coach and current Bethlehem Steel boss Brendan Burke, now finds his name amongst some of the club's biggest stars. He currently ranks in the top ten in appearances for Reading United and goals scored for the club. 

Bennett, who will play his senior year of college soccer at Radford University after transferring from Northeastern University, is keenly aware of how his impact on Reading United is similar to two of his fellow countrymen who starred for the club. A two goal performance in United's division clinching match against Ocean City saw the young forward pass Jamaican National Team star Deshorn Brown's 13 goals. Bennett now sits on 14 career goals, not far off all-time club leader Aaron Wheeler's 17 goals.

And like former All-PDL defender and Major League Soccer first round draft pick Damion Lowe, the three year veteran of the club has also had the honor of wearing the captain's armband.

Talking about the example set by Brown and Lowe, Bennett said, "Those guys have been here, they've done it. They've done what they need to do to be at the next level and to be in a class like that means a lot, it means I'm going in the right direction."

The young Jamaican star has had a number of special moments in a Reading jersey, from scoring the team's first goal of the season in 2016 and 2017 as well as registering goals in Reading's U.S. Open Cup runs in 2016 and 2018. Bennett's favorite memory was as much a personal comeback story as well as a win for the team.

"Last year, beating Ocean City 2-0 and scoring two goals. In that game, I was fresh off of an injury and had been working my way back and I got my chance to go out there and I got to show what I could do," Bennett said of his favorite night in a Reading jersey.

Like every player that steps on the pitch for Reading, Bennett has dreams of playing professional soccer. The Reading United forward got a big boost in his path to pro soccer during a recent training session with the Columbus Crew. Along with fellow Reading forward Kieran Roberts, Bennett spent a week with the Crew and picked up a few things that have helped him on the pitch with Reading. 

About his time with the Crew, Bennett said, "It's a confidence boost that an MLS team like Columbus, a very good team, they wanted me to come over there. After the extra work I've been doing with Coach McCann and Coach Keely, it's a bit of an extra boost to me."

The time in Columbus was well spent and paid immediate dividends on the pitch as Bennett scored four goals in three matches to rocket to the team lead in goals scored this season with six.

Bennett is locked in to helping Reading make a deep playoff this season. Though he was with the team in 2016, the forward was sidelined with an injury during United's run to the Eastern Conference Championship game. Last season, Bennett only saw 17 minutes of action in United's gut-wrenching first round loss on the road to Seacoast United. In his final season, Bennett is targeting the biggest prize on offer.

"I just want to go out and I want the team to go out and try to win a national championship. That's what we're here for."

Bennett scoring his first ever PDL goal in May 2016 vs. Lehigh Valley United (Photo Credit: Dave Musante)

Khori Bennet has played in 29 matches in his career at Reading, scoring 14 goals. (Photo Credit: Dave Musante)