Philadelphia Union players hopped on a bus on Tuesday night to Reading, Pa. to meet fans and play in an exhibition match with Reading United AC at the Union festival. Joining them on the trip and in the match were six players currently on Steel FC’s roster including midfielder Cole Turner who signed for the team yesterday morning. Union academy products Shanyder Borgelin, Selmir Miscic, Ben Ofeimu, Issa Rayyan, and Zach Zandi – also a Reading United alumnus –played as well, with four of them making the starting lineup.
The 2019 Philadelphia Union Festival is a celebration of the unique partnership between Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union and 10-year affiliate club Reading United, the 2018 national runner-up in USL League Two. It’s a partnership that has profoundly influenced the development of a number of current and former Union and MLS players, including Ray Gaddis, Andrew Wenger, and Keegan Rosenberry. Union Head Coach Jim Curtin, Steel Head Coach Brendan Burke and Steel Assistant Coach Stephen Hogan previously spent time coaching the USL League Two side before taking up their current positions in the organization.
All six Steel players saw playing time in the match last night, with Zandi, Rayyan, Ofeimu and Turner earning starts. Philadelphia Union’s Anthony Fontana scoring the lone goal, but the Union Festival was a great success with the fans relishing the opportunity to meet the players, take photos, and get autographs.
Bethlehem Steel FC next travels to take on back-to-back USL Cup Champions Louisville City FC on Saturday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The match is set to be broadcast on ESPN+.