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Reading United one win away from return to national final

Reading travels to Georgia to face South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 on Sunday night

Dave Musante

Reading United is one win away from the USL League Two final and a shot at redemption.

Unlike last year, when they hosted the the regionals, the national semifinal and the final, they’ll have to travel to Georgia to secure themselves a spot in the final.

Reading will play South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 on Sunday at 8 p.m. in one of two semifinals. Flint City Bucks will host FC Golden State Force in the other semifinal on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Atlantic Division winners advanced to the national semifinal with a 4-3 PK shootout win over GPS Portland Phoenix after a 1-1 draw on Saturday night, followed by a 1-0 win over Western Mass Pioneers on Sunday behind a Khori Bennett goal and Simon Lefebvre clean sheet. Both games were played at Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium.

Reading went unbeaten in 2018 until falling in the final in extra time to Calgary Foothills FC.

Bennett, the team’s all-time leading scorer, is one of a handful of returners from last year’s team, which includes Philadelphia Union Academy grads Kalil El Medkhar and Lamine Conte and Elizabethtown grad Gilbert Waso.

“This year, this group has a bunch of guys who want to go all the way,” Bennett said. “If we just continue to be humble and execute the plans that Coach McCann sets out for us, I believe we will achieve our goal of winning a national championship.”

Head coach Alan McCann has compiled a W-D-L record of 27-8-3 in USL League Two and U.S. Open Cup play since taking over as head coach in 2018.