Birmingham Legion FC is the new kid on the block so you probably don’t know much about Bethlehem Steel FC’s opening opponent. Learn more about the side below.
Who are Birmingham Legion FC?
One of seven new clubs to the USL Championship, Birmingham brings more than just a new team and bring to the league. Playing their 2019 home matches at BBVA Compass Field on UAB’s campus, their goal is to make a splash and bring the beautiful game to the Cotton State.
Their rally cry embodies their city, Hammer Down. You’ll surely hear it numerous times during the contest Saturday night and expect a large crowd for their league and home debut. Another reason for the mantra comes from former USL League Two team Birmingham Hammers who played in 2018 and are a big reason why Birmingham Legion FC happened.
Birmingham on the field
Suiting up for the black and gold is hometown forward Chandler Hoffman, who fittingly scored their club’s first preseason in Hoffman fashion. Against USL Championship competition, Birmingham were unable to find the back of the net with shutout losses to Tampa Bay Rowdies and Nashville SC by 1-0 and 3-0 margins. Against the Union, Hoffman tallied the opening strike but fell 3-1 but the match showed promise in attacking the ball. Their only preseason win came against USL League One newcomers Chattanooga Red Wolves SC with another goal coming from Hoffman.
Birmingham has had more time to develop their system and style of play, their players have had more time to gain fitness and ready themselves for the season and they have had more time to develop team chemistry. It’s hard to say what will happen on Saturday night, but two things are for sure; Birmingham will come in and feed off what should be a great atmosphere for their inaugural match in search of their first win.
Steel FC travels to BBVA Compass Field to take on Birmingham Legion FC at 7 p.m. ET on March 9 to open the club’s 2019 USL Championship season.
Players to Watch
Daigo Kobayashi – A wiley veteran with MLS experience most recently for the New England Revolution, he’ll be poised to make an impact for his new team in their league debut.
Chandler Hoffman – The club’s first signing ranks third in USL history with 59 goals scored in his career, 37 of which came over the last three seasons.
Femi Hoolinger-Janzen – Another forward bringing MLS experience to the new side.
Joe Holland – Suspended for the season opener against Steel FC after earning a red card against Steel FC in Pittsburgh during the 2018 USL Cup Playoffs.