After being drafted in the third round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by the Philadelphia Union, Bethlehem Steel FC announced today that the club has signed midfielder Mike Catalano to his first professional contract. The move is pending league and federation approval.
“It’s a very special moment to get to start a professional career with a great organization and get your foot in the door is not easy but something I’m excited to have an opportunity,” Catalano said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet with it still being preseason but I know that time will come soon. To say that you go to work and get to play soccer and do what you love, that isn’t something a lot of people can say they do. I’m lucky to be playing my childhood sport as a job and I can’t wait to bring a desire to win to the fans of Steel FC.”
“We are very happy to be adding a balanced central midfield player who showed that he can also contribute goals like he did at Wisconsin,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “Mike has impressed through these first four weeks of preseason and will be a valuable member of our squad this season.”
Drafted 54th overall, Catalano comes to Steel FC from the University of Wisconsin where he aided the club in a transformation in his four seasons. Appearing in 67 matches with the Badgers, Catalano tallied 19 goals and added five assists in 6,091 minutes of collegiate soccer. In his senior season, Catalano helped Wisconsin to its first Big Ten Tournament Championship since 1995. In the NCAA Tournament, Catalano netted a two-goal performance in the Badgers Sweet 16 season finale. Catalano earned All-Big Ten accolades twice, earning second team honors his junior season where he scored four goals and added two assists and was part of the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2014.
The Roselle, Illinois native spent two seasons honing his craft in the Premier Development League, appearing with Reading United and Chicago FC United. Catalano appeared in two matches in 2015 with Reading, playing a total of 42 minutes. Last summer with Chicago, he appeared in 11 matches and scored two goals in 887 minutes.
Catalano and Steel FC continue preseason action against in-state USL rival Riverhounds SC on Sunday, March 4. Kick off from the Power Training Complex has been pushed up to 1 p.m. and the match is free and open to the public.
TRANSACTION: Bethlehem Steel FC sign midfielder Mike Catalano on March 1, 2018.
Name: Mike Catalano
Born: September 11, 1995
Hometown: Roselle, IL.
Citizenship: United States
Previous Experience: University of Wisconsin (2014-2017)
Acquired: Bethlehem Steel FC sign midfielder Mike Catalano on March 1, 2018.