Bethlehem Steel FC took another step in its 2017 plans today with the announcement that they have reached an agreement with Rivoli United to purchase Cory Burke pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Burke came to Steel FC on loan from the Red Stripe Premier League squad in February and will be added to the club’s full-time roster upon the opening of the transfer window. Per club policy, the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are excited to make Cory’s move permanent after he showed an ability to consistently impact games in a positive way this year,” Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “Cory is doing very well with his time in the Jamaican National Team and hopefully establishing himself as someone that they can rely on as well. Now that he knows the league and has some time to adjust, we are expecting a big year for Cory in 2017.”
During Steel FC’s inaugural season, Burke appeared in 20 matches and earned 14 starts. During his over 1,200 minutes of action, Burke was second on the team in scoring with four goals while adding a pair of assists. A constant offensive threat, Burke attempted the second-most shots last season (42) and placed a team-high 16 shots on target.
Along with seeing time with Steel FC, Burke earned call-ups with the Jamaican National Team for the team’s 2018 World Cup Qualifiers and recently for the Caribbean Cup. Last month Burke notched his first national team goal for his country while drawing a penalty kick to help lead the squad to a 4-2 extra time victory over Guyana. Burke followed up the performance by scoring the winning goal against Suriname to help the Reggae Boyz earn a berth in the 2017 Gold Cup.
Prior to joining Steel FC, Burke had scored 12 of his team’s 19 goals and was the second-leading scorer in the Red Stripe Premier League. Overall, Burke scored 23 times in his last two seasons for the club, good enough for third-most in the league since the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
Steel FC now has eight players signed to return in 2017. Burke joins Bolu Akinyode, Amoy Brown, James Chambers, Seku Conneh, Josh Heard, Matthew Perrella and Yosef Samuel from the 2016 team.
TRANSACTION: Bethlehem Steel FC reaches an agreement to purchase forward Cory Burke from Rivoli United on November 14, 2016.
Name: Cory Burke
Born: Kingston, Jamaica
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
Acquired: Acquired on loan from Rivoli United on Feb. 17, 2016 before agreement reached for purchase on Nov. 14, 2016.
Previous Experience: Rivoli United (2013-16)
ABOUT BETHLEHEM STEEL FC
Bethlehem Steel FC joined the United Soccer League officially on Oct. 27, 2015. Based in Bethlehem, Pa. in the Lehigh Valley, it is the official USL affiliate of Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. Also owned and operated by Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, the team started their inaugural season on March 25, 2016, at FC Montreal and played the home opener at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium on April 3, 2016. For more information about Bethlehem Steel FC, visit www.bethlehemsteelfc.com.