After the Philadelphia Union announced that the United Soccer League feeder team will now be recognized as Bethlehem Steel FC, the team hosted its first home game Sunday at Lehigh’s Goodman Stadium against FC Cincinnati.
This new team has established a new name and logo, adding Bethlehem Steel’s color red to its already-known blue and gold color scheme. Along with partnering with the Bethlehem community, the Bethlehem Steel FC has partnered with the Lehigh athletic community for its home opener.
“We are really excited to be playing at Goodman Stadium,” team coordinator Brandon Comisky said. “We’re thankful for Lehigh and their athletic community for allowing us to play on their home field this weekend.”
Comisky recognizes the team is new, but he said he’s excited to see the potential it has with more experience playing together. Being able to connect with the Lehigh Valley and hosting Bethlehem Steel FC’s home opener at Lehigh’s campus benefits the relationship between the team and the Lehigh Valley community, Comisky said.
Director of Athletics Joe Sterrett said he understands the impact Lehigh Athletics has when it comes to reaching out and connecting with the community, especially outside of Lehigh.
“It’s so important for us to be a part of the community and do what we can do to be available when the community needs us to be,” Sterrett said. “I know this is a new team and being able to have them host their first home game at Goodman Stadium is definitely something we were willing to make happen.”
Sterrett said this partnership with Bethlehem Steel FC is not necessarily financially beneficial for Lehigh as other partnerships are. However, it is more focused on Lehigh’s genuine commitment of embracing and helping out with the communities.
This event is different from the previous partnerships Lehigh Athletics has had with the community. Instead of Lehigh students traveling to visit various Lehigh Valley elementary schools or volunteering within the community, this professional team is coming to Lehigh, providing a change of pace.
The team’s schedule will span six months, starting from its opener, which was March 25, until Sept. 25. Overall, the team will have 30 games, 15 of which will be at home at Goodman Stadium.
Following its opener Sunday, the team’s next home game will be April 17 at 3 p.m. against the Richmond Kickers.