Brendan Burke- Head Coach
Burke is in his fourth season as head coach of Bethlehem Steel FC, coaching the squad to a 33-34-30 regular season record during the club’s first three seasons in the modern era. He was formally introduced as head coach on Oct. 29, 2015. Burke previously spent six years with the Union before leaving the club in January 2014 for a job at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. He recently reached his 100th all-time match in charge of the club, celebrating the occasion with a win against Birmingham Legion FC on March 10, 2019 in Steel FC's first match of the 2019 USL Championship regular season.
After guiding the club to six wins in its inaugural season, Burke guided Steel FC to the Eastern Conference's biggest leap and to the postseason in 2017. After picking up 12 victories and 44 points, Burke aided the team to a historic eight-match unbeaten streak during the season and helped the club rack up six victories away from Goodman Stadium. In 2018 he managed the team to a second consecutive appearance in the USL Cup Playoffs, directing the club to its first ever appearance in the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the USL Cup Playoffs, following a 2-2 First-Round match against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds with the Steel advancing on penalty kicks. Burke’s squad earned 14 wins and 50 points in 2018.
Burke served as the assistant coach for the Philadelphia Union from 2011 through 2014 and was heavily involved in all levels of the U.S. Soccer pyramid, including serving as the head coach of the Union’s PDL affiliate Reading United from 2008 through 2013, where he maintained an exceptional record of 71-18-19. Burke also had plenty of influence with then USL-affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders, in addition to his first team duties with the Union.
In the last 11 years, 49 players from Reading United who have played under Burke signed professional contracts, including current Union defender Ray Gaddis and forward C.J. Sapong.
While at Reading United, Burke coached USMNT call-ups FC Dallas captain Matt Hedges and Toronto FC´s Alex Bono. Burke also coached the No. 4 overall 2015 SuperDraft pick Fatai Alashe from the San Jose Earthquakes and Deshorn Brown, who scored 10 goals in his rookie season with the Colorado Rapids and currently plays for Valerenga Football in the Norwegian Tippeligaen league. During Burke’s last season as coach at Reading, a record seven players were drafted into MLS: Kadeem Dacres, Tolani Ibikunle, Damion Lowe, Steve Neumann, Jimmy Ockford, Pedro Ribero and Bob Sweat.
In between his time with the Union and Bethlehem Steel FC, Burke was the associate head coach at Northeastern University. During his first season with the Huskies, the team went 8-11-1 and made it to the CAA Tournament Semifinals where they fell 1-0 to Delaware.
Stephen Hogan - Assistant Coach
Hogan is in his fourth season with Steel FC. He previously served as the head coach of the Philadelphia Union’s PDL affiliate, Reading United.
Hogan guided the PDL squad to a 22-5-1 record in two seasons with Reading United. The club went 10-3-1 and won the Mid-Atlantic Division title along with an appearance in the Eastern Conference finals. Hogan followed up with an even stronger 12-2-0 record in 2017, tying for the most wins in the 72-team league. During the season that saw the club reach the postseason for the ninth time in 10 seasons, Hogan's squad conceded an Eastern Conference-low 10 goals.
As a Reading player under Brendan Burke, he made 52 appearances, second most in club history, while playing from 2007-10. He helped lead the team to the 2009 PDL Regular Season Title and the PDL National Semifinals in 2008 and 2010.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Hogan spent two seasons as head coach at the College of Saint Rose’s men’s soccer program. While on the staff of the Albany, N.Y. based college, Hogan established the Golden Knights training program, was active in recruiting players and monitored the academic progress of his student-athletes.
Phil Wheddon - Assistant Coach
Wheddon, who formerly served as the Women’s Head Coach at Syracuse University for the past 11 years, is in his first season with Steel FC.
Having worked in Major League Soccer and the Women’s United Soccer Association, Wheddon is the only goalkeeper coach in history to have coached for both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams in a FIFA World Cup. In his career, he coached in three World Cups as well as bringing home two Olympic gold medals.
Wheddon has been instrumental in goalkeeping education throughout the country for the past decade and is a U.S. Soccer Instructor, currently instructing the U.S. Soccer Goalkeeper A License course. A highly respected and sought after coach and educator, he was involved in training some of the nation’s top goalkeepers including Tim Howard, Kasey Keller, Hope Solo and Brianna Scurry. Wheddon also serves as the director of the International Goalkeeper Coaches Conference held annually at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Kevin Coleman - Assistant Coach
Coleman is in his second season with Steel FC.
Coleman began working within the Philadelphia Union Organization in 2013, working in the Union Juniors program and as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Union Academy. During his time with the academy, Coleman has served as the Head Coach for the Academy’s U12, U13 and U14 teams. He has been the Head Coach of the Academy’s U19 team for the past two seasons.
Previously, Coleman has coached at La Salle University and Villanova University. Coleman has his United States Soccer Federation A Coaching License. During his playng career he palyed in the USL with the Virginia Beach Mariners.
Akira Umeki - Head Athletic Trainer
Umeki is in his third season with Bethlehem Steel FC. as Head Athletic Trainer. Umeki's primary responsibilities are injury prevention, treatment, therapeutic rehabilitation and conditioning of players. Prior to coming to Bethlehem Steel FC, Umeki worked with Arizona United SC (currently Phoenix Rising FC), DC United and FC Dallas as well as three Division-I collegiate soccer programs as an intern and graduate assistant athletic trainer.
A native of Iwate, Japan, Umeki completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Science from Juntendo University in 2013 and Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2015.
Jason Israel - Team Coordinator
Israel is in his third season with Bethlehem Steel FC, serving as the club’s team coordinator. Israel’s primary responsibilities involve many areas of team operations and administration.
Prior to joining Steel FC, he served as the Philadelphia Union Academy’s operations Coordinator and equipment manager within the Union Academy for a season, where he worked directly with the U12-U19 squads.
Israel’s path to professional soccer began in 2015 with MLS squad New York City FC. During his 18 months with the club, he served in numerous roles including youth program administrator, Academy administrator, NYCFC affiliate development league coordinator along with handling equipment and video.
A native of Edison, New Jersey, Israel graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in sports administration in 2012. After graduating college, Israel served as director of soccer operations for the men’s soccer program at Seton Hall for two seasons.
Andrew Vaccaro - Equipment Manager
Vaccaro is entering his fourth season with the Bethlehem Steel FC organization and his third as the club's head equipment manager.
Vaccaro started with Steel FC as the club's marketing and team operations intern during the club's inaugural season. After graduating from DeSales University with a degree in sports management, he was hired to become the club's equipment manager in January 2017.