A summertime soccer tradition returns to the Greater Reading area as Reading United A.C. are set to host the second annual Philadelphia Union Festival at Exeter High School’s Don Thomas Stadium on Wednesday, May 31. The feature event at Union Festival 2017 will be an exhibition match between Reading United A.C. and Bethlehem Steel F.C..
Local fans can look forward to a meet and greet with Philadelphia Union players and staff and show off their skills at the U on Tour, a series of soccer themed games.
Philadelphia Union Festival 2017 is a celebration of the unique partnership between Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union and their local affiliates, Bethlehem Steel of the United Soccer League and Reading United of the Premier Development League.
United has been an important piece of the Philadelphia Union’s unique player development structure since 2010. The partnership has allowed Reading to become one of the PDL’s benchmark organizations. Reading has claimed two division titles and produced over 50 professional soccer players since becoming the Union’s official Premier Development League affiliate.
“We are proud of the tradition we have forged with the Philadelphia Union and Bethlehem Steel. It is wonderful that so many players, coaches, and staff who are in the Union organization have called Reading home. The Union Festival is a celebration of this partnership and we look forward to once again giving our players and fans the chance to be part of the unique bond between Philadelphia, Bethlehem, and Reading,” outlined Reading President Art Auchenbach.
Reading and Bethlehem have developed a number of key contributors for the Philadelphia Union first team, including former Reading United captain and Lancaster County native Keegan Rosenberry and Derrick Jones, a U.S. Soccer Under-20 National Team midfielder and the first ever player signed by Steel F.C.. United alums Ray Gaddis, John McCarthy and C.J. Sapong are also on the Union’s 2017 first team roster. Legendary Reading United head coach Brendan Burke returns to Don Thomas Stadium as head coach of Bethlehem Steel.
Fans will have the opportunity to watch the many up and coming prospects within the Union organization when Steel and United meet on the field for the second consecutive season. Last summer, Reading United played Steel F.C. to a 1-1 draw. Ismael Noumansana scored in the 9th minute for Reading before Freddy Gill scored the equalizer for Steel from the penalty spot in the 68th minute.
Reading United will get the ball rolling on their 22nd season on Saturday, May 13 when they host local rivals Lehigh Valley United at Don Thomas Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm with tickets available online. All United home matches throughout the 2017 PDL season will be played at Exeter Township Senior High School. Tickets for the all regular season matches are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Contact our ticket sales team at [email protected] for all your group needs.