Apr 17, 2012, 6:26 PM EDT
After four seasons in the second division, Reading has clinched their return to the Premier League. Their 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday left the Royal’s eight points clear of third-place West Ham United.
Fans reacted with mild elation:
That’s Mikele Leigertwood, the man who scored the goal that sent Reading up. His 81st minute strike from close range, coupled with West Ham’s 1-1 draw at Bristol City, clinched a top-two finish, earning the Roylas the right to fight for their lives in 2012-13.
The last time Reading was in the Premier Leargue, Marcus Hanhemann was on the team. So was Bobby Convey, as were Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Nicky Shorey, Dave Kitson and Stephen Hunt, all of whom have since moved on. The players who have keyed this year’s run: Adam La Fondre (11 goals), Jimmy Kebe (10 assists), Alex Pearce (who’s played ever minute in defense), and Adam Federici (goalkeeper behind the league’s best defense).
In their 141-year history, Reading’s spent two seasons in the top flight, remarkably finishing eighth in 2006-07, the season after earning promotion. They fell to 18th in 2007-08, relegated with what now seems a remarkable 41 points.
Now, they sit on 88 after get two matches to bask in their success. They’re three up on Southampton, who can clinch their place in next year’s Premier League with a win on Saturday at Middlesbrough. West Ham United, who have way too much talent to be facing another year in the Championship, look set for the four-team playoff that will decide the third promoted club.
Other likely playoff clubs: Birmingham City, Blackpool, Cardiff City.
But that’s then, this is now, a now that belongs to Reading.
Mar 9, 2014, 5:35 PM EDT
That’s a photo from an actual Serie A match between Lazio and Atalanta. Wow.
Mar 9, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT
Wilmer Cabrera gets a win in his debut as boss of Chivas USA.
Mar 9, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT
This Johannsson kid is easily the best Icelandic-Alabaman we’ve seen in a long time.
Mar 9, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT
Meyler capped off a long run with a left-footed finish to score the second of Hull’s three goals in a shutout win over Sunderland on Sunday.
Mar 9, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT
It’s a horrifying story, and one that is sure to have severe repercussions throughout Ghana’s soccer structure.
Mar 9, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
With Pique picking up his fourth yellow against Real Valladolid, he could sit next league match to ensure his availability against Real Madrid.
Mar 9, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT
At least one of Wigan, Hull City or Sheffield United will make the FA Cup final as the quarterfinals are complete and the semifinal draw is out.
Mar 9, 2014, 1:37 PM EDT
In the midst of a 4-match winless skid in the Bundesliga – 5 if you include the Champions League drubbing by PSG – Bayer Leverkusen now lose a key midfield component.
Mar 9, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT
An offshore Swiss bank account has betrayed the 62-year-old as he faces 10 years in prison.
Mar 9, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT
Jozy Altidore was left out of the Sunderland squad today thanks to a knock he picked up in training, but this season as a whole has been a train wreck.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:26 AM EDT
According to the player’s agent and brother, an English club – and possibly multiple – made a large offer for the defender, but he is happy at Real Madrid.
Mar 9, 2014, 8:53 AM EDT
Because there’s still hope for humanity, a player convinces the referee he wasn’t taken down in the box and that a penalty shouldn’t be awarded
Mar 9, 2014, 7:34 AM EDT
Two goals from players in their Major League Soccer debuts crack our first Top 5 list.
Mar 9, 2014, 7:02 AM EDT
Will Bruin, Federico Higuaín, and Kenny Miller each scored two goals as a cagey start transformed into fireworks.
Gastón Fernández pays immediate dividends for Portland, but don’t overlook a strong night from Philadelphia
Mar 9, 2014, 6:10 AM EDT
“La Gata’s” late heroics can’t overshadow a strong start for the new-look Union.
Mar 9, 2014, 5:25 AM EDT
MLS’s best forward had a very non-best night on Saturday, with his inability to convert a late penalty kick costing his team in Carson.
Mar 9, 2014, 4:02 AM EDT
The former Canadian international drew a late penalty in the Galaxy’s loss to RSL.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:18 AM EDT
Holding serve was enough in game one under their new coach, with Dallas’s big three threat delivering against the Impact.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
They finished last year at opposite ends of the East. On Saturday, D.C. and New York both stumbled in their 2014 openers.
Mar 8, 2014, 9:34 PM EDT
After a downturn in 2013, Houston’s main attacking threat has already bagged two.
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