Bethlehem Steel FC are going into the 2019 USL Championship season with a big, fast, and physically imposing strike force.
On Friday, Steel FC announced the loan signing of Saed Diaz
from Tauro FC of the Panamanian first division. Diaz can play as a lone striker, but he can also pair with Faris to create a formidable partnership that wear down opposing defenses and initiate a suffocating defensive press.
What attracted Steel FC and the whole Union organization to Diaz most, though, was his relentlessness. "In the two games I saw, he was always involved, always wanted to be involved, always helping," Steel FC assistant coach Stephen Hogan said.
"He's a powerful runner with and without the ball," Hogan continued. "Aggressive in 1v1 duels, offensively and defensively, which actually goes into a little bit of a weakness as well, because he can be a bit reckless when he's pressing people. We can build on that, we can time his movements to go after someone."
· MORE: Highlights of Saed Diaz
For Hogan and head coach Brendan Burke, Diaz is a player with the raw skills and desire that suggest a strong platform for development. Over the past few seasons, the Steel FC coaching staff has been extremely successful bringing in rough diamonds and smoothing off the edges to create MLS-level players. Cory Burke is the headliner, but Auston Trusty, Olivier Mbaizo, and Brenden Aaronson have all followed a similar path. Anthony Fontana and Matt Real also gained important experiences working with Burke and his crew last year, and Michee Ngalina was a breakout star in USL.
Now both Diaz and the Steel FC coaching staff will try to grow a player with a high ceiling into a future Union contributor.
"When he picks the ball up, he's a very powerful runner," Hogan noted. "He will push players off and still keep the ball nice and tight when he's running with it."
After scoring four goals in the recent U-20s qualifying tournament for Panama, Diaz will be heading to the U-20 World Cup in 2019. But while he's with Steel FC he will work on his touch in tight spaces, which Hogan noted is an area he believes the coaching staff can help the young attacker take to the next level.
Steel FC will continue to fill out their roster in the coming weeks as they prepare for their first season playing in Talen Energy Stadium.