Philadelphia Union weren’t the only squad in action this past weekend, as the club’s USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel FC took the pitch this past Sunday. Steel played a one-one draw against Charleston Battery at Goodman Stadium, but for the home team, the Starting XI included nine members of the First Team.
For the organization, the nine players from the First Team that started for Bethlehem Steel FC was the most in club history. The previous record was eight which occurred on three occasions in 2017.
John McCarthy earned the start in net while Mark McKenzie and Eric Ayuk patrolled the back line. The midfield consisted of Homegrown products Derrick Jones and Anthony Fontana, while Marcus Epps, Adam Najem and Fabian Herbers had their names penciled in as well. Up top, it was Jamaican international Cory Burke who made his impact felt in the match on the offensive side.
McCarthy had the honor of wearing the Captain’s armband for Bethlehem in the contest, becoming the seventh captain in Steel FC history.
Overall on the day, seven of those nine First Team players logged 90 minutes, while striker Burke recorded the game-tying goal for Bethlehem after staying hungry in the opponent’s end of the pitch and willing his way towards the keeper and ultimately finding the back of the net. Burke scored his club-leading 14th career goal which pushed him two clear of all goals-corers in Steel FC history.
For the Union, Bethlehem Steel continues to be a crucial component for the club’s vision. For members of the First Team who did not appear or gain substantial minutes, those players have the opportunity to log minutes in lively competition and continue to build off of their form that they’ve accumulated during training throughout the week.
As the Union continue their season, fans can expect to see plenty of Union players make appearances for Bethlehem as the club systematically uses their organizational pipeline to build and breed success.