After being drafted in the third round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, Bethlehem Steel FC announced today that the club has signed forward Aidan Apodaca (pronounced: Ah-Pu-Dah-Cah) to his first professional contract. The move is pending league and federation approval.
“It’s pure excitement because I’ve been playing this game for almost 15 years so being able to get that first contact doing what I love is amazing,” Apodaca said. “Joining Bethlehem Steel FC is the first step and given the transition from the college game into a professional environment, I think coming to Steel FC will be very beneficial. The ultimate goal is to progress through the organization toward the Philadelphia Union that drafted me.”
“I’m very excited to have Aidan joining the group this year,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “He was drafted for his prolific scoring in college and you can see some of his tools when he steps on the pitch. He has a getaway pace and intensity that he plays has been really impressive in preseason training and I expect him to push everyone on the team.”
Drafted by the Philadelphia Union last month, Apodaca comes to Steel FC after an impressive four-year performance at California Baptist University. Apodaca led all divisions of NCAA soccer with 29 goals in 2017 and was named the NCAA Division II Player of the Year. He began his collegiate career on a high note, being named the 2014 PacWest Freshman of the Year along with All-PacWest second team honors. In addition to his Player of the Year honor, the 21-year-old rewrote the school’s single-season and career record books. Appearing in 70 matches over his four years, Apodaca is the school’s all-time leader in goals (48), points (108), shots (143), hat tricks (four) and multi-goal games (11). His senior season he set the school's individual record for goals (29), points (62), shots (111), multi-goal games (eight), hat tricks (three) along with a single-game record of five goals in a match.
The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native also played in the Premier Development League, appearing in eight matches with the Southern California Seahorses. During the summer prior to his junior season, Apodaca attempted eight shots as the club finished fifth in the Southwest Division.
Apodaca and Steel FC will face off against Penn FC later today, with kickoff from YSC Sports scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The match is free and open to the public.
TRANSACTION: Bethlehem Steel FC sign forward Aidan Apodaca on February 21, 2018.
Name: Aidan Apodaca
Born: May 24, 1996
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Citizenship: United States
Previous Experience: California Baptist (2014-2017)
Acquired: Bethlehem Steel FC sign forward Aidan Apodaca on February 21, 2018.