Philadelphia Union announced today that assistant coach Brendan Burke will pursue other professional opportunities and will not return to the club in 2014. Burke, the 2010 PDL Coach of the Year, departs after working on the Union’s technical staff since 2011.
“Working with the Union has been a great experience on every level and something I’ll never forget,” Burke said. “I want to thank the ownership, staff and team for making my time with the club so special. It’s been a privilege to work with the caliber of players here at the Union, but I also feel it is time to go in a different direction in my career.”
Burke joined the Philadelphia Union technical staff in 2011, where he also served as the head coach of the Union’s reserve team. In 2008, he became the head coach at Reading United A.C., the Union’s PDL developmental affiliate partner.
“Brendan has been an integral part of our organization over the past few years and he is going to be greatly missed,” Team Manager John Hackworth said. “At the same time, he is in pursuit of opportunities to advance in his career and we fully support him. Brendan’s dedication to our club will always be appreciated and on behalf of our players, technical staff and entire organization, I want to express our thanks for his service."
During his time as head coach at Reading, Burke led the club to its most successful period in the club’s history. He won the PDL 2009 Regular Season Championship, the 2008 and 2010 Eastern Conference Titles and the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Mid-Atlantic Division titles. Additionally, his tenure marked six consecutive appearances in the PDL postseason and five consecutive appearances in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament, a U.S. amateur record. Burke leaves Reading United as the club’s most successful coach, recording 71 victories for the PDL squad.
In addition to his duties as an assistant coach with the Union, Burke also played a key role in the development of players at Reading, where 23 of his former players are on MLS rosters. In total, 32 of Burke’s former players are playing soccer professionally in the U.S. or Europe.
Burke, who played collegiately for Boston College, accepted the head coaching position in Reading after playing for then the Reading Rage, where he served as captain in 2007.