STEEL: Brendan Burke previews this weekend's match against Ottawa, praises Romero for last performance in goal


Joining media on a weekly conference call ahead of his side’s matchup with Ottawa Fury FC this Sunday, Bethlehem Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke spoke about the message he’s had for the squad ahead of the home match and what he expects to be better this weekend.

Burke made an important distinction in terms to emphasize that while he likes the amount of work his side put in, he still feels there is another level of maturity he needs to see from the younger players.

“One of the first things that we talked about was energy, or lack thereof. I tried to help the group understand that I don’t mean that there was a lack of effort, but I do think there’s a very big difference between energy and effort,” said Burke. “Energy is easy for everyone to see when they see it, whereas effort is a required minimum at this level. Just being willing to run around isn’t good enough anymore. Things have to be done with a clear mind and a clear purpose at the highest speed that you can do it. I don’t think that was accomplished in a number of different positions last weekend, so that has to come through against Ottawa [Fury FC].”

Romero Standing Tall

Philadelphia Union Academy goalkeeper Tomás Romero played a crucial role in Steel FC’s 1-1 draw against Atlanta United 2 last Sunday. The New Jersey native made five saves in the match for a save percentage of 83.3%, including clearing out a missed penalty that came back into play off the post. Romero has now appeared for the Steel in three separate seasons and has given the coaching staff plenty of opportunities to monitor and judge his development with the club.

“A huge performance from Tomás in our last game and he was named to the bench for [USL Championship]’s Team of the Week, which is just phenomenal,” Burke said of Romero. “I saw a lot of progression, just in his explosiveness, now at this level. He’s able to make saves that certainly two years ago he probably wasn’t able to make. I think his confidence has grown and it was a really great performance from him. There are still things that we can improve on, but at 18 and to have all the experience that he has now through our team has just been great to watch. He’s definitely a solid part of the group now.”

Romero could very well get another chance to impress soon, so if you’re looking for the next wave of talent make sure to pop on out to Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday, May 19 when Bethlehem Steel FC hosts Ottawa Fury FC at 6:00 p.m. ET. Tickets are available here with the match set to be broadcast on ESPN+.


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