New York Red Bulls U-23s' perfect start to PDL 2017 was brought to an end by Reading United on Saturday, June 17 at Don Thomas Stadium.
The U-23s appeared to be heading to an eighth consecutive victory after Brian White netted his 10th goal of the season (and fifth of the week after a four-goal scoring spree against Jersey Express) in the 69th minute.
But Reading 'keeper Alexandre Bouillenec was in fine form, keeping his team in the game before and after White's go-ahead goal. And his teammates had the better of the last 10 minutes: Marco Micaletto equalized in the 83rd minute; Aaron Molloy produced the match-winner in the 89th.
The 2-1 loss puts the PDL Mid Atlantic Division title back in play. The Red Bulls had seemed to be cantering to top spot in the seven-team Division, but Reading United is currently matching RBNY U-23s' pace. The two teams have now played each other twice - home and away - with the home side winning on each occasion. For each, the road game against the other is their only loss of the season to date; both teams have won all their other league games this season.
Reading has games in hand over RBNY: it has played six matches in PDL 2017; the U-23s have played eight. If Reading wins its games in hand, it will be level in points with the Red Bulls. Ocean City Nor'easters have picked up 18 points from nine games, and are also challenging for the Division title. Only the first-placed team in the Mid Atlantic Division is guaranteed a place in the PDL playoffs, though the up to three teams from the group could claim post-season places.
RBNY U-23s next play on June 21, against Lehigh Valley United at the Red Bull Training Facility. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm, Eastern. Admission is free.