Reading United, the Union's USL Premier Development League affiliate, has posted its roster for the upcoming season. I thought I'd pass it along, as Reading has built up a nice reputation in recent years for developing college-age talent.
Some of Reading's top alumni in the soccer world include Kansas City forward C.J. Sapong, Vancouver forward Corey Hertzog and former Montreal defender Zarek Valentin (currently on loan in Norway).
Because NCAA athletes can join PDL teams without losing eligibility, many of the east coast's top college players have come to Reading to keep fit during the summer.
There's also a direct opportunity for the Union to scout prospects, as Reading head coach Brendan Burke is one of John Hackworth's assistants.
This year, the team will play its games at Don Thomas Stadium at Exeter High School in. The season begins on May 11. Other games this year include a U.S. Open Cup first round home game on May 14 and a friendly against the Union on June 7.
Here's the 2013 Reading squad. You'll see a fair number of familiar names, including local college and high school products. I've italicized a few players who I think are particularly worth watching.
Alex Bono, Syracuse
John McCarthy, La Salle
Ciaran Nugent, Lehigh
Shane Campbell, Penn State (Philadelphia Union academy product)
Wes Charpie, South Florida (Past training experience with Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers)
Jonny Dolezal, Penn
Damion Lowe, Hartford (Jamaica Under-20 national team pool)
William McConnell, Indiana (Has played for Philadelphia Union's reserve team)
Jimmy Ockford, Louisville (Pennsbury native, transferred from Mount St. Mary's)
Keegan Rosenberry, Georgetown (Philadelphia Union academy product, has played for the MLS reserve team)
Patrick Slogic, Cornell (Colorado Rapids academy product)
Ben Sweat, South Florida (Top college defender with high MLS SuperDraft potential)
Fatai Alashe, Michigan State
Kadeem Dacres, Maryland-Baltimore County (U.S. Under-18 national team pool)
Dante Marini, Northeastern
Steve Neumann, Georgetown (New Hope native, early favorite for NCAA MAC Hermann Player of the Year, very high MLS SuperDraft potential)
Aleksi Pahkasalo, Lindsey Wilson College (Finland national team pool)
Roberto Pimentel, Tusculum
Jason Plumhoff, La Salle
Marcus Salandy Defour, Virginia (U.S. Under-18 national team, D.C. United academy product)
Manolo Sanchez, Clemson (transferred from Louisville)
Melvon Snoh, Georgetown (Philadelphia Union academy)
Jordan Vale, UCLA (New Zealand under-20 national team pool, may be at FIFA World Championships later this year)
Brad Vanino, St. Bonaventure
Jamie Vasquez, Millersville
Stephen Baker, Penn
Bryce Follensbee, Tulsa
Darius Madison, Virginia (Philadelphia Union academy product)
Larry Ndjock, Loyola Md. (Dual U.S./German nationality, past training experience with FC St. Pauli)
Mario Pinto Neto, Lincoln Memorial (In case you were wondering: not the same as Lincoln University in Chester County)
Trialists (positions not named)
Luis Farfan, Mount San Jacinto Community College (Michael and Gabriel Farfan's brother)
Kyle Martyn, Alvernia (Played with Reading United's youth team)
Jordan Sutherland, Durham College (Canada)