Academy trio earns first starts with Bethlehem Steel FC

While the majority of Bethlehem Steel FC's squad was making their debuts at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday night, for a trio of Philadelphia Union Academy players it was their first starts against professional competition.

17-year-olds Nathan Harriel and Cole Turner along with 16-year-old Jack de Vries all started for the USL Championship affiliate of the Union against North Carolina FC and former interim head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team Dave Sarachan. Harriel went the full 90 minutes at right back, leading the Steel FC defense with four clearances and a blocked shot while winning nearly 70 percent of his duels.

In 76 minutes of work, the usual defensive-minded Turner was asked to be a key cog in the Steel's midfield and was successful with 20 passes in the North Carolina's half of the pitch while getting back to make a tackle. Up top, de Vries had 14 touches against the defensively sound North Carolina FC squad and was substituted in the 62nd minute for Patrick Bohui, the youngest player to appear with Steel FC.

Steel FC continues a three-game homestand this weekend against newcomers Memphis 901 FC on Sunday, March 24. Kick off from Talen Energy Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.


Download the FREE MLS App

Follow the Union's scores, updates, highlights, analysis and more.