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Bethlehem add Villanova midfielder Zach Zandi

Feature image courtesy Bethlehem Steel FC Communications

Bethlehem Steel FC announced Tuesday they have signed midfielder Zach Zandi to their roster.

He is a box-to-box midfielder from West Chester, PA.

In addition to his NCAA career at Villanova, Zandi played three seasons with Reading United AC in both PDL (now USL League Two) and U.S. Open Cup play. He started for PSP’s team-of-the-year last season in the PDL national championship game. In the previous two seasons, he played for Bethlehem assistant coach Steve Hogan, who doubled as Reading’s head coach in those days. Steel head coach Brendan Burke keeps a close eye on Reading even as he carries out his Steel duties and knows all about Zandi.

Zandi has practiced numerous times already with Steel FC and at a minimum will help create the practice and locker room atmospheres that Burke and Hogan want. At 22 years-old, Zandi is likely to be one of the older 2019 Steel FC players, and his prior experience with the organization and its ways of doing things will benefit teammates new to Chester and Keystone Sports & Entertainment.

“Zach was a vital part of Reading’s success over the last three seasons, has exceptional ability on the ball, is a very intelligent player in between the lines and consistently caused opponents problems with his decisions,” coach Hogan notes. “He definitely has the work rate off the ball that we need and we are very excited to see him develop.”

Burke comments, ““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. He brings an excellent work ethic, demeanor and understanding that we hope will allow him to adjust to the professional level quickly.”

Ernst Tanner’s comments emphasize Zandi’s connection to the organization as a Reading player and an Academy alumnus and suggest collegial decision-making among himself and the Bethlehem technical staff on the matter.

Zandi will wear jersey number 38 as he becomes the fifth current member of Bethlehem’s 2019 roster.

A Lehigh Valley postscript

According to a knowledgeable source, “[T]he Steel say that the club is still working on playing two matches in the Lehigh Valley this season and that progress is being made.”

Now that the Union schedule’s publication has set the stage, further work can occur.

Logic suggests the two games might come from the six direct conflicts that exist between the Bethlehem schedule announced earlier and that revealed yesterday about the Union. However, logic has no support from actual evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

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