Bethlehem Steel FC hosts North Carolina FC in the club’s home opener this Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET. As the club prepares for North Carolina FC, here are five reasons you should be excited for Steel FC action coming to Chester.
- Off to a hot start
Only 90 minutes into the 2019 USL Championship season and Steel FC is already off to a hot start! The Steel squad dropped two goals on Birmingham Legion FC and brought a shutout and all three points back to Philly. Steel FC midfielder Zach Zandi and Union forward Kacper Przybylko both scored in the match and threatened to bury a few more.
- Issa and Ben
Steel FC is focusing heavily on youth this year and showcasing the young talent coming through from the academy is a big part of Brendan Burke’s strategy. A crucial part of that youth movement is the Path to the Pros, and two new signings have recently taken the next step along that path. Issa Rayyan and Ben Ofeimu join the Steel this season on their first professional contracts, though they both already have Steel matches under their belt. Ofeimu joined the squad directly from the Philadelphia Union Academy, while Rayyan spent a season tearing up the ACC – and earning conference Freshman of the Year honors along the way – at Duke University in 2018.
- Building upon a strong foundation
Steel FC has had great success over the past few years, including advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the USL Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history last season. At the center of all that success have been two steadfast presences, the leadership of Brendan Burke and his staff, and James Chambers. On the sidelines and on the pitch, the coaches and the captain consistently provide the necessary experience and guidance for a young team to develop into contenders.
- Union Academy players
Speaking of youth and the Union Academy, Steel FC looks to continue giving academy players the chance to prove themselves at the professional level. Goalkeeper Tomás Romero is expected to be a mainstay in the squad after standing out against Indy 11 in a crucial road match late last season. Meanwhile, Cole Turner, Shanyder Borgelin and Jack de Vries all made their Steel FC debuts in the match against Birmingham Legion FC. The Union are a club that believes they can develop some of the best talent in America, and some of that talent will take center stage with Steel in 2019.
- Free tickets for Union STMs
With Steel FC playing in Talen Energy Stadium in 2019, Philadelphia Union Season Ticket Members will be receiving free general-admission tickets to Bethlehem Steel FC home matches. If that wasn’t enough incentive to make it out to a match, how about this: Parking is also free!