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Steel FC acquires Chavany Willis on loan from Jamaica

21-year-old midfielder loaned from Portmore United in Jamaica

Matt Ralph

Bethlehem Steel FC added another player to their roster on Wednesday, announcing that 21-year-old Jamaican midfielder Chavany Willis has joined the team on loan from Portmore United.

“Chavany is an exciting player that helps add experience to Steel this year,” Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner said in a news release. “His height and technical skill on the ball create dangerous options for us in the midfield and should cause problems for opposing defenses.”

The loan deal was first reported on February 1 in an article on the Jamaica Observer. Willis has been listed as an unnamed trialist since joining up with the team at the start of preseason in Clearwater, Florida.

“Chavany is a dynamic midfielder, with a really good personality, that can play multiple roles and at 21 he has a ton of upside and room to grow,” Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said in the news release. “He was emerging as a top talent at Portmore United and we are excited to be working with them to bring Chavany to USL Championship.”

He’s the third international player brought in on loan this season for the Steel. Saed Diaz,a 19-year-old striker, is on loan from Tauro FC in Panama and 19-year-old defender Steven Kingue is on loan from Nfuko Academy Sports in Cameroon.

Willis will occupy an international spot on the roster bringing the team’s total internationals to six out of the seven available. James Chambers, Steven Kingue, Saed Diaz and Michee Ngalina, who has spent the bulk of preseason with the first team but is still on the Steel roster, are the others. The total roster is now 10 players deep, two shy of the minimum 12 required by the league.

Willis has spent the past two seasons with Portmore United, making 46 appearances and scoring six goals across the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons. He was a key part of Portmore’s 2017-2018 run to the Jamaican National Premier League title.

He’s the third player to be acquired by Steel FC from Jamaica, joining Cory Burke, who was initially loaned from Rivoli United and Amoy Brown, who spent two seasons with the Steel in 2016-2017.

Jamoi Topey, a 19-year-old center back from Jamaica, has been on trial with the Steel during preseason.