Last weekend Bethlehem Steel FC rallied from a second-half deficit at Swope Parks Rangers for a thrilling 4-3 win. Trailing 3-1 in the final 30 minutes, Steel FC played beyond it’s young age with a determined, feisty effort to take three points. Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke credits the efforts from the youngest players on the squad from Philadelphia Union Academy.
“You look at the performance of Cole Turner the other day and that just speaks volumes to how the Academy is producing guys that are talked about quite a bit and some really useful, promising players that maybe haven’t been talked about so much,” said Burke. “For that kid to play two different positions for us from the start and be very good in both games is a real sign of organizational growth in my mind, because his name is not thrown around a lot. He was arguably one of our better players in that game the other day. A lot of positive signs and for us to have an average age of 20 is not something that’s been done before in terms of maintaining the competitive balance while you go so aggressively young. I’m very pleased with where we’re at right now, but we have a ton of work left to do.”
Steel FC returns to Talen Energy Stadium to face off against Charleston Battery this Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Battery are currently undefeated with two wins and two draws through four matches and sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. This won’t be an easy matchup for Steel FC and Brendan Burke’s squad will need to be focused on Saturday night.
“Charleston is doing an excellent job of getting bodies behind the ball. This is a team that we’ve never beaten, we’ve drawn with them a couple of times, but they’re a really stubborn team to play against. I think maintaining your discipline when you’re building and when you’re going at them and to kill transitions becomes the focus of the week, but also being willing to let them have the ball at times and challenge them to make the game,” Burke noted when asked for his keys to the match. “They’re pretty direct; they have an excellent target player up top who is in good form in [Ian] Svantesson, they have close to a pretty electric number 10 right now in Zeiko Lewis. When you go back through all his minutes so far this year, his energy, his feet, his vision, he’s as good as it gets right now for number 10s.”
On the injury front Burke noted that forward Saed Díaz is working back to full fitness and could be available for Steel FC this weekend. As for newest signing Shanyder Borgelin, is coming off a strong weekend against Red Bulls Academy and is “likely to be [Steel FC’s] first option off the bench up top this weekend.”
Bethlehem Steel FC will host Charleston Battery on Saturday, April 13. Kick off from Talen Energy Stadium is at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for the match are available here, with the match being televised on ESPN+.