Bethlehem Steel FC today announced that the contract of head coach Brendan Burke has been extended. Burke, who previously had the option year of his original contract picked up for the 2018 season, agreed with the club on a multi-year extension beyond his current agreement.
The announcement comes following Burke’s successful second year as Steel FC Head Coach, where he led the club to its first-ever USL Cup Playoff appearance in 2017, in his second year as the club’s coach.
“When you look the progression and accomplishments of Bethlehem Steel FC over the past two seasons, Brendan has played a vital role in helping develop key pieces to our organization’s future,” Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said. “In the USL, players are gaining valuable experience within our system, aiding in the transition to the first team, with Derrick Jones, Auston Trusty and Cory Burke serving as great examples. Steel FC’s success is a testament to the importance of Burke and his staff and he has earned this extension through his hard work.”
Last season at the helm of the Philadelphia Union’s USL affiliate, Burke navigated 31 different starting lineups and 42 players overall to guide the club to a 12-12-8 record. 2017 saw Steel FC go unbeaten in eight-consecutive matches during the summer including three-straight road wins. Steel FC’s season came to end in USL Cup Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to eventual champions Louisville City FC.
“I’m excited to continue in this role with the organization. I’ve had a great experience working Earnie, Jim and Chris and with everyone at the academy,” Burke said. “I look forward to building on the early success of the player development program here with Stephen and the rest of the Steel staff over the next few years. My family and I are thrilled to continue to call Philadelphia home.”
Burke has played a vital role in the Union organization for nearly the last decade. Prior to joining Steel FC, Burke served as the assistant coach for the Philadelphia Union from 2011 through 2014 and was heavily involved in all levels of the U.S. Soccer pyramid, including serving as the head coach of the Union’s PDL affiliate Reading United from 2008 through 2013, where he maintained an exceptional record of 71-18-19. Burke also had plenty of influence with then USL-affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders, in addition to his first-team duties with the Union. Along with helping Steel FC prepare for its upcoming USL season, Burke is currently working toward earning his U.S. Soccer Senior A License.