Four Philadelphia Union Academy grads under contract with Bethlehem Steel FC will be available for selection in the 18 for tomorrow’s fourth round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
The Philadelphia Union announced on Tuesday short-term loan deals for Ben Ofeimu, Issa Rayyan, Zach Zandi and Shanyder Borgelin.
MLS roster rules allow for the Union to bring players on USL contracts up to the first team for Open Cup games and friendlies, but not for league matches.
Michee Ngalina was loaned to the first team and came off the bench in the fourth round game against the Richmond Kickers last year. He has since signed a first team contract.
Head coach Jim Curtin will be missing several players away on international duty — Auston Trusty and Brenden Aaronson left Sunday for a United States U23 camp in Utah, Warren Creavalle is in pre-Gold Cup camp with Guyana — and Marco Fabian is still questionable with an ankle injury.
Curtin is also limited to just five “foreign players” in the 18 (this also explains why Steel FC captain James Chambers isn’t on the list of players being loaned).
Depending on Andre Blake’s status (he was released from Jamaica camp to play in Saturday’s match), Curtin will have only 15 or 16 first team players available for Wednesday’s match at Audi Field.
The addition of the four Steel players will enable him to fill an 18 for the game.