Reading United A.C.
|Full name||Reading United American Soccer Club|
|Founded||1996 (as Reading Rage)|
|Stadium||Don Thomas Stadium, Exeter Township Senior High School
|Owner||Berks Professional Sports|
|Head Coach||David Castellanos|
|League||USL Premier Development League|
|2014||2nd, Mid Atlantic
Playoffs: Conference Playoffs
|Website||Club home page|
Reading United A.C. is an American soccer team based in Reading, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1996, the team plays in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, in the Mid-Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.
The club plays its home games at Don Thomas Stadium on the campus of Exeter Township Senior High School. The club's colors are white, charcoal black, gold, and navy blue. United also fields a team in the USL’s Super-20 League, a league for players seventeen to twenty years of age under the United Soccer Leagues umbrella.
Prior to the 2010 season, the team was known as the Reading Rage. On December 21, 2009, the Rage organization announced its agreement with Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union to become their official minor league affiliate, and re-branded as Reading United A.C. with immediate effect.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2009)|
The Reading-American Soccer Club was established in the early 1900s under the name of Germania Soccer Club by a group of German immigrant soccer players and soccer enthusiasts. On April 26, 1926 Germania merged with the Reading Liederkranz (Reading’s German-American club), and the Sport Club legally became the Sports Division of the Reading Liederkranz.
Later, under the direction of Germania and Liederkranz members Werner Kraheck and Peter Weiss, the Reading Berks Junior Soccer League was born, providing a foundation for local youth soccer clubs to flourish. The Germania teams were the precursor to the now common “premier” teams. After the Germania program ended in the late 70’s/early 1980’s, the premier teams became the Reading Berks Select program whereby each club could send several of their “top players” to participate in tournaments and training but then return them to their club teams. After several iterations, the Reading Berks Select teams became known as Reading Berks United, later RBU, and finally Berks Soccer Academy aka B.S.A. Rage.
Many people in the greater Reading area are surprised to learn that the Reading United A.C. (formerly Reading Rage) is the 2nd longest tenured minor league team in the area (behind the R-Phils). Berks Professional Sports introduced the Reading Rage minor league team 15 years ago with a squad that featured a great blend of local talent and “imported” stars. The Reading Rage would not have begun without the efforts of former Penn State All-American Archie Moylan. Archie was playing professional soccer and featured as a player and General Manager for the Philadelphia Freedom. Archie worked tirelessly to recruit an ownership team and staff. In 1996 his dream took the field. While a lot of the players, staff and even owners of the original team moved on, Archie’s dream stayed alive. The Rage teams of the 90’s did well, with Archie leading the team to the playoffs in their 2nd season, and capturing a D3 Pro League (precursor to today’s USL2) Mid-Atlantic Division Crown in 1997. Archie Moylan continued to build the Rage brand, and the team was rewarded for his management efforts by being named Franchise of the Year. In 1998 Archie further expanded his roles as he took over as head coach of the 3rd year program. The Rage teams of the 90’s featured a lot of local talent including former Wilson H.S. stars Ed Sep, Matt Wolf, Chris Arthur, and Drew Kauffman; Weiser stars Tom Auchenbach and Steve Thomas; and of course Fleetwood greats Keith Schlegel and former US Mens National Team member Troy Snyder. The team played at Fleetwood H.S. for two years prior to transitioning to Central Catholic Stadium in St. Lawrence, where they played for a number of years before moving to Albright College and finally their current home at Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium.
Tragically, Archie was diagnosed with cancer and died in 2000. In recognition of Archie’s efforts and accomplishments, the United Soccer Leagues has established The Archie Moylan Award to honor a member of the USL family who has exhibited outstanding humanitarian qualities or overcome extraordinary adversity in hopes to give back to the soccer community through their actions and deeds. Past winners include executive Marcie Laumann with the Hampton Roads Piranhas (W-League), player Todd Elkins for the Southern California Seahorses (PDL), and player, coach, and USL staff member, Stuart Bracher. Each of these individuals has exemplified the ability to not only overcome adversity but transform it into an opportunity to effectuate positive change by serving as an inspiration to others. This year’s honoree was Betsy McAdams. McAdams, sadly, died in June after a courageous battle with brain cancer. She was an original employee of the Charleston Battery since its inception in 1993 and went on to serve in a number of roles including Director of Operations and Director of Finance & Business Administration. She was named Chief Operating Officer in May 2008. USL renamed the Key Grip Award to the Betsy McAdams award because she defined the behind the scenes employee.
Due to the loss of Archie, a string of losing years, and decreasing fan attendance, in 2004 the team transitioned from the Pro Soccer League (USL2) to the rapidly growing PDL. The pro-am PDL allowed focus on younger players and generally less overhead and costs for franchise operations. After some internal shuffling and under the stewardship of owner and general manager Jerry Wojton, the team regained in strength, with Jerry eventually landing seasoned English Club Crystal Palace’s Academy Director Derek Broadley to coach the team in 2005. Derek brought his passion for player development and quickly reignited local interest in the team and league with his attractive style of play and confidence in his coaching methodologies. While Derek’s team’s hovered around .500, he returned the Rage teams to the winning side of things, posting a 7-5-4 2007 record. One of the players Derek introduced to the Reading Rage in 2007 was a central defender from Boston College, Brendan Burke. Derek left the Reading Rage in the fall of 2007 to take over the Bermuda National team position.
In early 2008 Troy Snyder and Art Auchenbach were approached about getting more involved with the team. Troy is a local playing legend (Fleetwood HS and Penn State All-American, US Men’s National Team) and is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player to come out of Eastern PA. Art hails from a local soccer family, been involved with the Reading Rage since Derek’s introduction, and has been involved in various youth and amateur soccer organizations for the past 20 years since his graduation from Conrad Weiser H.S. Both Troy and Art have enormous local soccer “roots” and have partnered to reignite Archie’s dream and re-establish the Reading Rage PDL as the premier minor league team in the region. Having witnessed some of the confusion that is so prevalent in youth soccer circles, Troy and Art set one of the goals of the Reading Rage PDL to be the benchmark of soccer awareness, education, and training for youth players, parents, and fans of all ages and abilities. With Derek’s sudden departure, Brendan Burke stepped in as an untested first time head coach, recruited a fantastic team and like the early teams of Archie Moylan, featured an exciting blend of top local talent with some of the best collegiate talent from around the country. Brendan spearheaded a dream season in 2008, culminating in the club’s first ever Eastern Conference title. 2009 was no let down, with the team capturing its first Regular Season National Title, PDL Player of the Year, and a USL Marketing award.
As the organization prepares for their 15th season, they are looking to build on the recent successes of the team, along with several strategic local and national partnerships that will further push the team’s profile higher in the soccer circles. The Reading Rage is pleased to announce the continued support of Giorgio Foods as the team’s title sponsor. Giorgio has been the title sponsor for every year of the Reading Rage’s existence. Part of our 2010 development is the introduction of a new name and structure for the teams within the program. Berks Professional Sports will introduce two solid men’s and women’s minor league programs to the area. The already established Reading Rage men's PDL team has been rebranded as Reading United A.C. The teams under this name will be the USL PDL and Super 20 men’s teams. The Super 20 team will be used as the “reserve squad” for the PDL team. In addition to the men’s team, the organization will introduce the Reading Unity A.C. women’s teams. 2010 will feature the Super 20 women’s team, with a future USL W-League team to be introduced at a later date.
In late 2009 the team announced their partnership with the Philadelphia Union MLS team. Reading General Manager Art Auchenbach states, “We are excited for the announcement of our new strategic partnership with the Philadelphia Union, YSC Academy, and Body Zone. As we enter our 15th year of great minor league soccer, we are poised to raise the profile of soccer in our region. The rebranding of our teams to coincide with our 15th year anniversary, our goals of club neutrality, professional level instruction, and top-class level of play will allow ALL local soccer fans, players, coaches, and parents to look to our organization, and our partners, as the leaders in minor league soccer entertainment, soccer education and training for the greater Reading area.”
On January 13, 2011, Reading United saw four former players, including three from the 2010 roster, drafted at the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, Maryland. 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year C. J. Sapong was selected 10th overall by Sporting Kansas City, followed by Corey Hertzog who was selected 13th overall by New York Red Bulls. Levi Houapeu was selected in the third round by Philadelphia Union with the 41st pick overall. Former Reading Rage player, Zarek Valentin, was selected 4th overall by Chivas USA.
In 2012, three more alumni were selected in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, held in Kansas City, MO. Andrew Wenger became the United's first alumnus to be selected with the #1 overall pick by the Montreal Impact. Defender Matt Hedges was selected soon after by FC Dallas with the #11 overall pick. For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Union picked a United alum, picking Raymon Gaddis in the 2nd round of the draft. It should be noted that probable Generation Adidas signings Billy Schuler and Brian "Cobi" Span were likely first round picks, but chose to sign overseas rather than enter the MLS SuperDraft.
Four other former players were also selected during the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, including Dawyne Smith (#3 by the New England Revolution), Brian Ownby (#7 by the Houston Dynamo), Evans Frimpong (#9 by the Chicago Fire), and Christian Barreiro (#50 by the New York Red Bulls).
Just over a week after the Supplemental Draft (January 25, 2012), former keeper Jeremy Vuolo signed a professional contract with the New York Red Bulls, after spending his first professional season abroad with Finland's AC Oulu.
On December 28, 2013, Reading United announced that David Castellanos was chosen as the club's head coach for the 2014 season.
Name, colors, and badge
The primary colors of Reading United A.C. are charcoal black, gold, and navy blue. The black and gold derive from Reading's civic seal and to the colors of the Germania Liederkranz, one of the area's original soccer clubs. Navy and gold represent the traditional state colors of Pennsylvania.
The logo for Reading United A.C. includes a stylized train that alludes to the famous Reading Railroad, which was one of the first railroads in the United States. The train depiction contains a soccer ball encircled by thirteen stars, each representing one of the original Thirteen Colonies. The shamrocks are a tribute to an Irishman named Paul "Archie" Moylan, the Reading Rage's former team captain, general manager, and coach, who died of cancer in 2001. The shield's contour is formed like a keystone, a symbol used officially by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania alluding to its colonial designation as the "Keystone State."
"United" is a common soccer appellation used in the British Isles and represents its relationship to the Philadelphia Union. The initials A.C. stand for "Athletic Club", which indicates the team's goal of expanding its business to incorporate other sports and fitness programs.
As of April 30, 2014.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players
- See also: All-time Reading United roster
This list of notable former players comprises players who went on to play professional soccer after playing for the team in the Premier Development League, or those who previously played professionally before joining the team.
|Year||Division||League||Regular Season||Playoffs||Open Cup|
|1996||3||USISL Pro League||4th, Northeast||Conference Semi-Finals||Did not qualify|
|1996/97||N/A||USISL I-League||Played 1 game||Did not qualify||N/A|
|1997||3||USISL D-3 Pro League||1st, Mid Atlantic||Division Semi-Finals||Did not qualify|
|1998||3||USISL D-3 Pro League||2nd, Mid Atlantic||Division Finals||Did not qualify|
|1999||3||USL D-3 Pro League||5th, Northern||Conference Semi-Finals||Did not qualify|
|2000||3||USL D-3 Pro League||4th, Northern||Conference Semi-Finals||Did not qualify|
|2001||3||USL D-3 Pro League||4th, Northern||Conference Semi-Finals||2nd Round|
|2002||3||USL D-3 Pro League||5th, Atlantic||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2003||3||USL Pro Select League||4th, Atlantic||Did not qualify||2nd Round|
|2004||4||USL PDL||5th, Northeast||Conference Semi-Finals||Did not qualify|
|2005||4||USL PDL||6th, Northeast||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2006||4||USL PDL||3rd, Northeast||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2007||4||USL PDL||4th, Mid Atlantic||Did not qualify||Did not qualify|
|2008||4||USL PDL||1st, Mid Atlantic||National Semi-Finals||Did not qualify|
|2009||4||USL PDL||1st, Mid Atlantic||Divisional Finals||1st Round|
|2010||4||USL PDL||1st, Mid Atlantic||National Semi-Finals||1st Round|
|2011||4||USL PDL||2nd, Mid Atlantic||Conference Quarter-Finals||1st Round|
|2012||4||USL PDL||2nd, Mid Atlantic||Conference Semi-Finals||2nd Round|
|2013||4||USL PDL||3rd, Mid Atlantic||Conference Semi-Finals||3rd Round|
|2014||4||USL PDL||2nd, Mid Atlantic||Conference Playoffs||3rd Round|
- 1996 Playoff Qualifiers
- 1997 D3Pro Mid Atlantic Division Champions
- 1997 Franchise of the Year
- 2008 PDL Mid-Atlantic Division Champions
- 2008 PDL Eastern Conference Regular Season Champions
- 2008 PDL National Semifinalists
- 2009 PDL Mid-Atlantic Division Champions
- 2009 PDL Regular Season National Champions
- 2009 PDL Player of the Year – Aaron Wheeler
- 2009 USL Marketing Award
- 2010 PDL Mid-Atlantic Division Champions
- 2010 PDL Eastern Conference Champions
- 2010 PDL National Semifinalists
- 2010 PDL Defender of the Year Finalist – Matt Hedges
- 2010 PDL Coach of the Year Finalist – Brendan Burke
- 2011 PDL Rookie of the Year Finalist – Brian Holt
- 2011 PDL Communication Award
- 2013 PDL Communication Award
- Eric Puls (2001–2002)
- Derek Broadley (2005–2007)
- Brendan Burke (2008–2013)
- David Castellanos (Present)
- Stadium at Fleetwood High School; Fleetwood, Pennsylvania (2003)
- Gene L. Shirk Stadium at Albright College; Reading, Pennsylvania (2004, 2012)
- Don Thomas Stadium at Exeter Township Senior High School; Reading, Pennsylvania (2005–2011, 2013)
- Stadium at Oley Valley High School; Oley Valley, Pennsylvania 2 games (2011, 2013)
Attendance stats are calculated by averaging each team's self-reported home attendances from the historical match archive at http://www.uslsoccer.com/history/index_E.html.
- 2005: 349
- 2006: 275
- 2007: 241
- 2008: 233
- 2009: 345
- 2010: 278
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