Bethlehem Steel FC announced today that the club has signed midfielder Zach Zandi (pronunciation: ZAN-dee) to a USL Championship contract. A 22-year-old midfielder from West Chester, Pa., Zandi joins Steel FC after a successful collegiate-career. The deal is pending league and federation approval.
“We are excited to welcome Zach to our club and are very pleased to have signed another Union Academy alumnus to a professional contract,” said Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner. “He is an excellent player who had a great career at Villanova University, and we’ve followed his progress closely during his time there. We look forward to getting him started with Bethlehem and fostering an opportunity for him to continue his development in a professional environment.”
Zandi joins Steel FC from Villanova University, where in four seasons he made 63 appearances (60 starts), scored 14 goals and provided 10 assists, leading the team with seven goals scored in 2018. He earned numerous honors during his time with Villanova, being named to the 2018 All-BIG EAST Second Team, 2016 BIG EAST All-Academic Team and BIG EAST Honor Roll, 2015 BIG EAST All-Freshman Team and Philadelphia Soccer Six All-Rookie Unit and was named Philadelphia Soccer Six’s 2017 Player of the Year. Zandi is also a product of the Union Academy.
“Zach is a well-rounded midfielder who came through our academy. We have kept a close eye on him through his time at Villanova and with Reading United, where he was a standout for us and trained with the Steel regularly,” said Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke. “He brings an excellent work ethic, demeanor and understanding that we hope will allow him to adjust to the professional level quickly.”
Zandi spent three seasons with Reading United AC, where he made 24 appearances, scored two goals and tallied five assists. He also made three appearances (two starts) for Reading in the 2017 and 2018 versions of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
“Zach was a vital part of Reading's success over the last three seasons, has an exceptional ability on the ball, is a very intelligent player in between the lines and consistently caused opponents problems with his decisions,” noted Steel FC Assistant Coach Stephen Hogan. “He definitely has the work rate off the ball that we need and we are very excited to see him develop.”
Hogan served as Reading United’s Head Coach from 2016-2017, managing Zandi in both seasons.
TRANSACTION: Bethlehem Steel FC acquires midfielder Zach Zandi on January 8, 2019.
Name: Zach Zandi
Kit Number: 38
Weight: 145 lb.
Born: July 18, 1996
Hometown: West Chester, Pa.
Citizenship: United States of America
Acquired: Bethlehem Steel FC acquires midfielder Zach Zandi on January 8, 2019