Reading United News Release - www.readingunitedac.com
Monday, December 21, 2009
READING, PA -- Even before Philadelphia Union begins its inaugural Major League Soccer season in 2010, they’re already making their mark in the Greater Reading area. Today the MLS expansion club named Reading United AC (formerly Reading Rage) as their exclusive minor league affiliate in this region.
“As we enter our 15th year of minor league soccer here in Reading, we’re taking our game and our serious commitment to soccer in the region to another level,” reflected Reading United AC General Manager Art Auchenbach. “We are excited about our affiliation with Philadelphia Union on a multitude of levels. Of course, fielding a first rate club on the field remains our top priority. Our mission is to help train young players, while setting the standard for a local, club neutral program. And that is consistent with what Philadelphia Union is already doing.”
The precedent has already been established in Reading, which has proven itself to be a very good minor league sports market. For years, the Reading Phillies have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the two-time defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies. It is in the spirit of that relationship that Philadelphia Union and Reading United AC have joined forces now.
“We are pleased things came together so seamlessly, with the leadership of Reading United AC,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “Our goals and aspirations, from the grass roots on up through our first team are very complementary. There’s a commonality of purpose, to do things right, on the pitch and off. We look forward to a long and successful partnership to help grow the game at all levels here in Berks County.”
Collectively, this means a new era of growth and development for soccer throughout the area. One goal will be to groom young talent in Reading to prepare them to advance to Philadelphia Union and MLS.
“The first immediate benefit of this partnership with Philadelphia Union is it will enable Reading United AC to enhance recruiting efforts for the 2010 PDL season,” added Auchenbach. “The quality and depth of our roster is sure to get better and better.”
Additionally, Body Zone and Reading United AC have partnered to create a physical hub for soccer here in the Greater Reading area. Reading United AC will base their operations out of the Body Zone, further enhancing the opportunities for their players and programs.
“By combining forces, we will be able to provide something that no other entity in this area can match and the possibilities are endless”, said Body Zone’s Ted Kolva. By offering camps, clinics, and other programs, aspiring soccer players will have the opportunity to learn from some of the top soccer players in this region.”
“These two organizations are looking to reconnect with players of all abilities and are committed to rejuvenating soccer in Berks County on a grass roots level”, said Auchenbach. “We are excited about our new strategic partnerships with Philadelphia Union and Body Zone and are poised to raise the profile of soccer in our region.”