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2018 Semifinal Preview: Reading United AC vs. The Villages SC

By COLTON CORESCHI -, 07/26/18, 1:30PM EDT


Eastern and Southern Conference champions clash in Reading, PA

Eastern Conference Champion Reading United AC will host the first Premier Development League National Semifinal on Saturday, July 28, competing against Southern Conference Champion The Villages SC.

Reading United AC won its third Eastern Conference title at home last weekend, the club's first since 2010, and seeks its first PDL Championship appearance. The Villages SC pulled off a pair of upsets in its second playoff appearance, winning its first Southern Conference title.

The two sides will clash at Gurski Stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania, on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. (Watch Live)

Reading United AC

2018 Record: 12-0-2, Mid Atlantic Division Champion

Head Coach: Alan McCann

Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

2018 PDL Playoffs: After earning the right to host the Eastern Conference Championship as the No. 1 seed, Reading United AC handled business at home to secure advancement to the National Semifinals. An intense seven-goal thriller saw Reading take down the Myrtle Beach Mutiny in the Conference Semfinals, with goals from Kalil El Medkhar, Kieran Roberts and two from Khori Bennett. In the Conference Final against the New York Red Bulls U23, Bennett recorded another brace to lead Reading to a 2-1 victory and the Eastern Conference title.

Top Performers: Bolstered in the midfield by No. 1 PDL Top Prospect Aaron Molloy - who also leads the team with four assists - Reading United features four Top Prospects in total. Those include No. 7 Daniel Krutzen, No. 21 Kamal Miller and No. 38 Lamine Conte. The team's leading scorer is Khori Bennett, who had six regular-season goals and has added a league-leading four in the PDL Playoffs so far.

Team History: Reading United AC made its PDL debut in 2004. The club captured its first silverware in 2008, winning the Mid Atlantic Division title and Eastern Conference Championship, and followed that with Mid Atlantic crowns in 2009 and 2010, as well as another Eastern Conference Championship in 2010. Later the club won the Mid Atlantic Division again in 2016 and 2018, and their third Eastern Conference Championship this year. Reading has made the PDL Playoffs nine of the past 10 seasons.

The Villages SC

2018 Record: 9-2-3, 2nd in Southeast Division

Head Coach: Anderson DaSilva

Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

2018 PDL Playoffs: Entering the Southern Conference Championship as the No. 4 seeded wildcard, The Villages SC were faced with the tall task of opening in the semifinals against undefeated South Georgia Tormenta FC. A shutout in goal from Timothy McGlynn and lone goal from Felipe Antonio earned them the upset over the hosts. The Villages then faced off against the SIMA Aguilas squad that finished above them in the Southeast Division, but goals from Leonardo Paiva and Alvaro Macias Raimundo earned them a 2-1 win in extra time and advancement to the National Semifinals.

Top Performers: The Villages SC have been led in attack by Leonardo Paiva, with a team-high 11 goals with an additional three assists. The team's assist leader is Gabriel Cabral De Freitas, who picked up five in addition to five goals of his own. In goal, the duo of Paulo Pita Filho and Timothy McGlynn put up respective 0.43 and 0.73 goals-against averages. 

Team History: The Villages SC made their PDL debut in the 2016 season, winning the Southeast Division title in their inaugural campaign and making their first playoff appearance. After a lackluster 2017, the team bounced back in 2018, making their second playoff appearance and winning their first Southern Conference title.

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