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Reading is Actually a Pretty Solid PDL Team

The Red Bulls face off against Reading United tonight in a third round Open Cup match. It should be an easy one for the Red Bulls, but that doesn't mean Reading are slouches.

Jim McIsaac

All kidding aside, while tonight's game should see the Red Bulls easily dispatch Reading United, the Pennsylvania side is one of the Premier Development League's better teams.

Since 2008, Reading has posted some PDL victories, winning the Mid-Atlantic Division in 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Eastern Conference in 2010 and the Eastern Conference regular season title in 2008. They were national semifinalists in 2008 and won the whole thing in 2009. In the game preview, Ryan Meara said they were the team he and his Jersey Express teammates were always gunning for.

They've produced a number of Red Bulls, too. Corey Hertzog, who's now with the Vancouver Whitecaps, played for the side, as did Jeremy Vuolo, who could never really break into the first team last year and moved on to the NASL San Antonio Scorpions, and last year's draft pick Ian Christianson.

On this year's squad, a number of their players are on the Top Drawer Soccer Top 100 ratings and four of their players are from the Philadelphia Union's academy team, including more of Christianson's former teammates, though these ones are from Georgetown.

That doesn't mean the Red Bulls aren't solid favorites -- they still are, even trotting out a reserve team -- but Reading aren't just your typical PDL team, either.