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Top Five PDL Alumni: MLS Week One

By COLTON CORESCHI -, 03/05/18, 10:15AM EST


Sapong and Wenger shine for Union and Dynamo, Zardes leads Crew to victory and more

Photo by Columbus Crew SC

Premier Development League alums from around Major League Soccer shined in the league’s opening weekend, particularly those hailing from Reading United AC.

Two alums from the four-time Mid Atlantic Division champions pushed their teams to victory, as Andrew Wenger tallied a goal and an assist in the Houston Dynamo’s breakout 4-0 win against Atlanta United, while C.J. Sapong did the same in the Philadelphia Union’s 2-0 win over the New England Revolution.

A third Reading alum didn’t get on the scoresheet, but did help a teammate get there, as Ben Sweat recorded a nice assist in New York City FC’s 2-0 win against Sporting Kansas City. Finally, both Ventura County Fusion alum Gyasi Zardes and Orange County Blue Stars alum Kei Kamara scored in the Columbus Crew’s and Vancouver Whitecaps’ respective wins.

Top Five PDL Alum Performances

Gyasi Zardes, F - Columbus Crew

Started, played 90 minutes and recorded ONE GOAL in Crew’s 2-0 win vs. Toronto FC.

Zardes got the ball rolling immediately with his new club, helping lead the Crew to a surprising upset over defending MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield winners Toronto FC on Saturday. In his first regular-season match in something other than an LA Galaxy jersey, Zardes found the back of the net, continuing off of a stellar preseason performance for the Crew.

Andrew Wenger, F - Houston Dynamo

Started, played 68 minutes and recorded ONE GOAL and ONE ASSIST in the Dynamo’s 4-0 win vs. Atlanta United.

Speaking of shocking upsets, the Houston Dynamo had help from Reading United alum Andrew Wenger as they pulled off a 4-0 thrashing of Atlanta United that few saw coming. Wenger was dynamic from the start, finishing off a chance in the fifth minute to give the Dynamo an early lead that they’d only build upon, partially thanks to a later assist from Wenger.

C.J. Sapong, F - Philadelphia Union

Started, played 90 minutes and recorded ONE GOAL and ONE ASSIST in the Union’s 2-0 win vs. the New England Revolution.

Another Reading United alum that made a huge impact on opening weekend, C.J. Sapong contributed to both Union goals in a 2-0 win over the Revolution, scoring one himself and assisting another to start the season in Philadelphia on the right foot.

Kei Kamara, F - Vancouver Whitecaps

Started, played 89 minutes and recorded ONE GOAL in Whitecaps’ 2-1 win vs. the Montreal Impact.

Also making an immediate impact with his new club, Kei Kamara did what he does best and used his powerful header to score a game-winner for the Vancouver Whitecaps against the Impact. The Orange County Blue Stars alum looked dangerous lurking around the defensive line and ultimately broke through in a big way.

Ben Sweat, D - New York City FC

Started, played 90 minutes and recorded ONE ASSIST in NYCFC’s 2-0 win vs. Sporting Kansas City.

Finally, while earning the start at left back for New York City FC, Reading alum Ben Sweat also made his presence felt as NYCFC took a 2-0 win while visiting Sporting Kansas City. While pitching a shutout in defense, Sweat also earned a pretty assist to set-up newcomer Jesus Medina’s first MLS goal and seal the three points for his club.

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