Breaking News / Philadelphia Union II

Breaking News: Steel sign midfielder

images: Steel Communications

Bethlehem Steel FC have signed holding central midfielder Omar Holness, formerly of Real Salt Lake where he played also with their western conference USL affiliate Real Monarchs.

Holness in 2016

Holness, 6’0″ 170 pounds and 23 years old, was the fifth pick in the first round of the 2016 super draft as a Generation Adidas player. He started 6 time for Utah’s MLS team in his two seasons with the organization. They declined his option for 2018.

He played three seasons as a University of North Carolina  Tar Heel.

He is recovering from ACL surgery. The injury was suffered in late June/early July last year. Surgery was performed last July 18, so he is approximately five months into recovery and rehabilitation. Steel Head Coach Brendan Burke used the word “tempered” to describe the expected start to Holness’s 2018 season.

Like yesterday’s signing, Brandon Allen, Holness is a young veteran who is expected to provide leadership to the Academy players alongside whom he will be practicing and eventually playing.

When the USL regular season starts he will be seven months into his recovery and rehabilitation, so it is unlikely he will be ready to assume a full burden immediately.  He might understudy captain defensive center midfielder James Chambers, who is now on the senior side of 30 and could use a  backup for 2018, although coach Burke has mentioned him as an 8.

Keep in mind that fellow Kingston, Jamaica native Cory Burke began his Steel career handicapped by a non surgical knee injury, and nonetheless became an essential Steel contributor upon his return in a good portion of 2016 and all of 2017.

Earnie Stewart has again gleaned potential talent from other teams in MLS and is testing it down on the farm teaching it the Union way. Holness represents risk, but his pedigree suggests it is a risk worth taking.



  1. Andy Muenz says:

    So the Union organization now has 4 of the top 6 picks from the 2016 Superdraft.

  2. He seems like a solid pickup. Can mentor the academy kids can be called up to the main roster in a pinch.

  3. Section 114 (former) says:

    Thank God. The Union have to be Cup favorites now.

  4. A young veteran expected to provide leadership is the kiss of death for any player with aspirations. These types of players are not what you want in a developing team. You want pain in the ass players with the potential to grow.

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