Bethlehem Steel FC continued putting together the squad for next season by announcing Thursday that they have signed 2016 All-League defender Hugh Roberts. The deal is pending league and federation approval.
“It felt like a natural fit for me to continue my career here,” Roberts said. “The whole organization from the top to the players welcomed me in and made me feel like a part of the family immediately. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience to such a young club and helping them continue the process and come together so we can be successful on the field.”
“Anytime we are able to add a young player that was recognized league wide as one of the best in his position we will jump at the chance," Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. "Hugh impressed in both of our meetings with Richmond last year and we are hopeful that he will have an equally big impact on our club this year.”
Roberts, 24, joins Steel FC after playing the past three seasons in USL for Richmond Kickers, in which he has played over 6,000 minutes during that time. This past year, the 6’4” center back anchored a backline that had the third best defensive record in the Eastern Conference, allowing only 28 goals and earning 13 shutouts. The Olney, MD, native was one of just two players in USL this season to play 2,700 minutes and was named to the USL All-League Team and was a finalist for the 2016 USL Defender of the Year.
Prior to suiting up for Richmond, Roberts played at George Mason University where he scored six goals and added nine assists in 69 appearances. In his senior season, he was named to the A-10 All-Tournament Team and the All-Region Second team while leading George Mason to the A-10 Championship in 2013. Roberts also spent time in the USL Premier Development League, playing with the Baltimore Bohemians where he appeared in 13 matches and claimed All-Eastern Conference First Team honors.
TRANSACTION: Bethlehem Steel FC signed free agent defender Hugh Roberts on December 22, 2016.
Name: Hugh Roberts
Hometown: Olney, MD.
Acquired: Signed with Bethlehem Steel FC via free agency on December 22, 2016.
Previous Experience: Richmond Kickers (2014-2016)
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.