Philadelphia Union II

Steel clinch playoff spot

image courtesy USL

The 2017 Bethlehem Steel FC will make the United Soccer League eastern conference playoffs courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rowdies who eliminated the Orlando City B Lion Cubs from contention Thursday evening 2-0.

Here’s why

Orlando lay 9th in the table before their match and will remain there on 42 points with their season completed, one behind both Bethlehem and Cincinnati who each have one game remaining. Cincinnati plays at Toronto Saturday night, and the Steel host St. Louis Sunday afternoon.

The Steel have more league wins, the first tie-breaker, than Cincinnati should each side win out.  If Rochester win or draw hosting New York Saturday night and the Steel beat St. Louis Sunday, Bethlehem could finish as high as 6th. Should the three results break less favorably, they could finish 7th or 8th.

Playoff roster eligibility

The following players are eligible to appear for the Steel in the post-season.

  • All 13 individuals rostered to the Steel on USL contracts are eligible, but Chris Wingate is recovering from knee surgery at home in Norway.
  • Equally available are all Academy players currently eligible to play with full professionals.
    • Tomas Romero, goalkeeper
    • Brenden Aaronson, attacking center mid
    • Michael Pellegrino, center mid
    • Issa Rayyan, flank midfielder
    • Seth Kuhn, flank midfielder
    • Nyk Sessock, right back
  • Union loanees must have played 5 games with the Steel. As of Thursday night these qualify. They are listed in order of number of appearances. Whether they would all be made available is unknown.
    • Aaron Jones, right back
    • Auston Trusty, left center back
    • Adam Najem, attacking center mid
    • Jake McGuire, goalkeeper
    • Marcus Epps, right flank mid
    • Derrick Jones, center mid
    • Giliano Wijnaldum, left back (no Steel appearancs since 6/20 v Harrisburg)
    • Josh Yaro, right center back


  1. It’s so much fun to have a team to get excited about!!

  2. Love this! Watched the Tampa-Orlando match. Glad the pressure is off for Sunday. Team has fought hard and postseason soccer is a great reward.

  3. Admittedly, I’ve only watched one full match this season but I’ve watched highlights of more than half of ’em. Screw it, I’m excited. I need something be happy about.

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