Bethlehem Steel FC’s midfield was bolstered earlier this week with the signing of Philadelphia Union Academy product Cole Turner. The 18-year-old midfielder was already playing with the Steel this season, but now joins the team as a full-time professional. Turner also signed a pre-contract with Philadelphia Union that takes effect at the beginning of next year. This signals the club’s belief in a young man who made the difficult choice to join the Union rather than enter the Naval Academy next year.
“You’ll see good defensive instincts and fierce combativeness every time he steps onto the pitch,” said Steel Head Coach Brendan Burke. “Cole also brings a good passing range from the midfield when he has time on the ball, and also organizes our squad well in games.”
The Churchville, Maryland native has made eight starts across 11 appearances for Steel FC so far this season, while also providing his first assist for the club in the June 28 match against Hartford Athletic. Turner took an opportunity for a quick restart off a free kick to slice a ball between the Hartford defensive lines into the path of Faris for a 17th-minute goal.
Brendan Burke noted that he’d like to see more of that from the midfielder, while discussing what areas of Turner’s game still need to improve as he continues his time with the Steel in 2019. “He still has work to do in terms of speed of play on both sides of the ball. Cole also needs to focus on consistently playing forward in central areas of the field,” stated Burke.
Both Philadelphia Union and Steel FC fans will have an opportunity to see Turner in action this weekend as the Steel travel to take on Saint Louis FC on Saturday, July 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The match is set to be broadcast on ESPN+.