Bethlehem Steel FC Signs Defender Ben Ofeimu
Steel FC signs 18-year-old Michigan-native Ben Ofeimu; signing is the first from Philadelphia Union’s Residency Program
CHESTER, Pa. (January 22, 2019) – Bethlehem Steel FC announced today that the club has signed defender Ben Ofeimu (pronunciation: oh-FAY-moo) to a USL Championship contract. An 18-year-old defender from West Bloomfield, Michigan, Ofeimu joins Steel FC from the Union Academy. The deal is pending league and federation approval.
“We are very excited about signing Ben to the Steel,” said Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner. “Ben has a big, physical presence on defense and is very technically skilled on the ball. His addition will strengthen the core of our backline and be a real asset to us this season. We feel that Ben has proven himself well at our Academy and look forward to continuing his professional development with the Steel.”
Ofeimu’s signing marks the first professional signing of a player that has completed the Union Academy’s Residency Program. Earlier this year Philadelphia Union traded all of the club’s 2019 Major League Soccer SuperDraft picks to FC Cincinnati, marking a significant commitment to developing youth from within the Union Academy.
“Ben has emerged over the last 12 months as a very mature and hard-working prospect,” said Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke. “He has good feet for such a big guy and he communicates very well. He will be a key figure in our 2019 season and we are so happy to be welcoming another Union Academy graduate to the Steel on a permanent basis.”
Ofeimu has previous experience with Steel FC, making 12 appearances (nine starts) and scoring one goal in 2018. He is also making the jump to Bethlehem Steel FC from the Union Academy, where he appeared in 63 matches (56 starts) and scored three goals across four seasons with the youth-arm of the Union. Ofeimu started all 25 matches in the 17-18 Academy season, scoring one of his three goals.
“Ben is a shining example of what can be achieved when you ally attitude and commitment with talent,” said Union Academy Director Tommy Wilson. “Ben and his families’ commitment to our program have now been appropriately rewarded and we wish him the best of luck as he embarks on the next step of his journey.”
Ofeimu is Steel FC’s first direct signing from the Union Academy in 2019.
TRANSACTION: Bethlehem Steel FC signs defender Ben Ofeimu on January 23, 2019.
Name: Ben Ofeimu
Kit Number: 44
Weight: 200 lb.
Born: September 30, 2000
Hometown: West Bloomfield, Mich.
Citizenship: United States of America
Acquired: Bethlehem Steel FC signs defender Ben Ofeimu on January 23, 2019.