On Thursday, Bethlehem Steel FC, the USL side of the Philadelphia Union, introduced Brendan Burke as the first head coach in the team history.
“When Jim [Curtin] called me about this opportunity, there was zero hesitation on my part.” Burke said in his introduction press conference.
Burke was a member of the technical staff for Philadelphia from 2011 to until he left in January 2014 to seek other opportunities. In 2014, Burke joined Northeastern University as an associate head coach.
"Brendan is a familiar face here at Philadelphia Union. He has coached at every level of this club" said YSC Academy founder and owner Richie Graham.
Burke has played a role in player development before for the Union as he served as head coach for PDL’s Reading United A.C., who is the minor league affiliate of Philadelphia since 2009. At his time at Redding, the side went an impressive 65-11-18.
In his time at Redding, he coached “50 players that would currently playing professional soccer”, said Graham.
“I couldn’t be happier to have Brendan on board.” Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin said, as sat alongside Burke and Graham.
In the press conference, Burke told the press that USL team will train at PPL Park.
“I think the interaction with the two coaching staffs and the ability to communicate on a daily, real time basis is going to lead to a much more cohesive staff from top to bottom” Burke said of Bethlehem Steel training at PPL Park as well as the future rapport between the first-team and his future coaching staff.
Burke went onto further explain how he will spread his hours over the three parts of this club (the first team, Bethlehem Steel FC and the Youth Academy), which will hopefully lend itself to further integration of the entire club’s moving parts.
Burke went on to say that “I feel this is a really exciting time for Philadelphia Union and for soccer in the US in general.”
Bethlehem Steel FC unveiled their colors, jersey and their new name on Tuesday October 26th. They will begin play in 2016 at their new home, Goodman Stadium, on Lehigh University’s campus.
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