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Reading United roster for 2018 includes seven Philadelphia Union Academy grads

Reading returns top three goal scorers from 2017

Lamine Conte
Dave Musante

Reading United is returning key returns and seven players who graduated from the Philadelphia Union Academy for the upcoming Premier Development League season.

Two of the team’s top three goal scorers from last year, Aaron Molloy (7 goals, 1 assist) and Khori Bennett (4 goals), are among 11 returners on the roster.

Frantz Pierrot, it is worth noting, is the younger brother of Frantzdy Pierrot, who was drafted 27th overall in the January MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids.

Molloy will be a junior this fall at Penn State and Bennett a senior at Northeastern. The Nittany Lions, who are now coached by former Union U19 head coach Jeff Cook, also have Austin Maloney and Pierre Reedy back on the squad.

Villanova midfielder Zach Zandi leads the Union Academy group on the roster, which should grow as more names are announced. Will Campell (North Carolina) and Rob Campbell (Delaware), Lamine Conte (Louisville), Mo Conde and Joseph DeZart (Wake Forest) are all returners while Josue Monge (South Florida) is part of the squad for the first time after his freshman year with the Bulls.

Lehigh University teammates Will Smith, a goalkeeper who trained with Bethlehem Steel FC last summer and played in the NPSL for West Chester United, and Mark Forrest are also on the team. Forrest was tied for third in the nation with 15 goals last season and has 33 goals in his first three years with the Mountain Hawks.

Brothers CJ Smolyn and Kevin Smolyn, who both play at Saint Francis in western Pennsylvania, are back after appearing together in a friendly against West Chester United last summer for a charity event. The Smolyns, from Holland, Pa., both played for Continental FC in the Development Academy.

International newcomers to the squad include Old Dominion goalkeeper Mertcan Akar (Cologne, Germany), Lander midfielder Thibault Chrétien (Laval, France), Old Dominion midfielder Sebastian Hauret (Paris, France), Felipe Hideki (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Coastal Carolina defender Kervin Kenton Fadel (San Jose, Costa Rica), Spring Hill College midfielder Alexander Lipinski (Krefeld, Germany), Albany defender Daniel Krutzen (Lanaken, Belgium), defender Rodrigo Pascual (Madrid, Spain), Albany forward Nico Solabarrieta (Santiago, Chile), goalkeeper Bennet Strutz (Leverkusen, Germany), Lenoir-Rhyne defender Emil Tansinda (Sale, England) and American International College midfielder Jake Durham (Bolton, England).

Reading United, the PDL affiliate of the Philadelphia Union, begins their 2018 campaign with an opening round match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup against Christos FC at home on May 9. Their league season begins three days later on the road against division rival Lehigh Valley United.

As is customary, additional names will be added to the roster as it gets closer to the season. We’ll update the spreadsheet below as additions are made.

Updates: Syracuse defender Kamal Miller has returned to the team after playing with K-W United last season; Elizabethtown forward Gilbert Waso is back and former AFC Bournemouth youth player Kieran Roberts has been added to the roster. Union Academy grads Matthew Freese and Omar Ayala have also been added. Akron forward Ezana Kahsay is another addition.

2018 Reading United Roster

Player Pos. Hometown State/Country College Class This Fall Youth Club
Player Pos. Hometown State/Country College Class This Fall Youth Club
Mertcan Akar GK Cologne Germany Old Dominion Jr. FC Viktoria Cologne
Omar Ayala MF Norristown Pennsylvania Duquesne So. Philadelphia Union Academy
Khori Bennett F Saint Andrew Jamaica Northeastern Sr.
Spencer Burkhardt MF Palmyra Pennsylvania Seton Hall Sr. PA Classics Academy
Robert Campbell D Wallingford Pennsylvania Delaware Jr. Philadelphia Union Academy
William Campbell D Wallingford Pennsylvania North Carolina R-Jr. Philadelphia Union Academy
Thibault Chrétien MF Laval France Lander So.
Mohamed Conde MF Philadelphia Pennsylvania FIU Jr. Philadelphia Union Academy
Lamine Conte D/MF Philadelphia Pennsylvania Louisville Jr. Philadelphia Union Academy
Joseph DeZart MF Jackson New Jersey Wake Forest Jr. Philadelphia Union Academy
Jake Durham MF Bolton England American International Jr.
Mark Forrest F Douglassville Pennsylvania Lehigh Sr.
Matthew Freese GK Harvard So. Philadelphia Union Academy
Sebastian Hauret MF Paris France Old Dominion Jr.
Steven Hernandez F Port Chester New York American International Jr.
Felipe Hideki F Sao Paulo Brazil
Ezana Kahsay F Asmeras Eritrea Akron Sr.
Kervin Kenton Fadel D San Jose Costa Rica Coastal Carolina Sr.
Daniel Krutzen D Lanaken Belgium Albany Sr.
Alexander Lipinski MF Krefeld Germany Spring HIll Jr.
Austin Maloney MF Harrisburg Pennsylvania Penn State Sr. PA Classics Academy
Kamal Miller D Pickering, Ontario Canada Syracuse Sr.
Aaron Molloy MF Dublin Ireland Penn State Jr.
Josue Monge MF Philadelphia Pennsylvania South Florida So. Philadelphia Union Academy
Rodrigo Pascual D Madrid Spain
Frantz Pierrot F Port-au-Prince Haiti Saint Joseph's Fr.
Pierre Reedy MF Kutztown Pennsylvania Penn State Jr. New York Red Bulls Academy
Kieran Roberts F Bournemouth England Radford Sr.
Will Smith GK Devon Pennsylvania Lehigh Jr. Lehigh Valley United
Christopher Smolyn MF Holland Pennsylvania Saint Francis PA Jr. Continental FC
Kevin Smolyn D Holland Pennsylvania Saint Francis PA So. Continental FC
Nico Solabarrieta F Santiago Chile Albany Sr. Universidad Catolica
Bennet Strutz GK Leverkusen Germany Cumberland Sr.
Emil Tansinda D Sale England Lenoir-Rhyne Sr.
Gilbert Waso F Elizabethtown Pennsylvania Elizabethtown (D3) Sr.
Zachary Zandi MF West Chester Pennsylvania Villanova Sr. Philadelphia Union Academy