As Bethlehem Steel FC moves towards its home opener this Saturday against North Carolina FC, one thing is very clear: the club will have a very young squad this year.
With only three players in last week’s victory over Birmingham over the age of 21, expect Steel FC to utilize players from the Philadelphia Union Academy even more than they’ve done so the past three years. Steel FC will certainly look to some standout talents from the Academy to get playing time this season.
Midfielder Cole Turner
Hailing from Churchville, Maryland, Cole Turner is a player that has impressed with Steel FC so far this year. Turner was on the Steel’s preseason trip to Clearwater, Florida and even played for Philadelphia Union in their scrimmage against D.C. United. He made his Steel FC debut this past weekend in the match against Birmingham Legion FC, coming on as a second-half substitute. Turner is a very versatile player that can play in many different positions. We should all be a keeping a close eye on him.
Midfielder Jack de Vries
While de Vries didn’t make the preseason trip to Clearwater, Florida with the Steel, he is definitely one to watch. At just 16, de Vries is one of the youngest players training on an already young squad. A native of Brussels, Belgium, de Vries has been able to make an impression already this season. With his debut with Steel FC as a second-half substitute in the shutout win at Birmingham Legion FC, the midfielder became just the eighth 16-year-old to play for Steel FC in its modern history. While young, he is poised to earn even more playing time as the year goes on making De Vries one to watch for as his development progresses.
Defender Nathan Harriel
Nathan Harriel is a newcomer to Philadelphia, joining the Union Academy from Oldsmar, Florida. Although he is fairly new to the organization, Harriel has already shown his worth to the Steel in preseason. He featured in almost every Steel FC preseason scrimmage this year, including the club’s matches in Clearwater, Florida. While he’ll have tough competition at the right-back position, he will look to challenge each and every day for playing time. Harriel is certainly one that could see playing time this year and we’ll be keeping an eye on him.
Bethlehem Steel FC hosts North Carolina FC this Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET at Talen Energy Stadium. The match will also be broadcast on ESPN+.