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Former Bethlehem Steel head coach returning to USL Championship next season

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Brendan Burke has been named head coach of the Colorado Switchbacks

Pat Jacoby

Brendan Burke will be back on the sidelines in the USL Championship next season.

The former Bethlehem Steel FC and Reading United head coach, who was a first team assistant from 2011-2013, has been named head coach of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

“I’m excited to join the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC community and appreciate the opportunity that the Ragain Family and Dean Weidner have provided to build on the foundation of the club and drive the team to the next level,” Burke said in a news release.

The Switchbacks plan to open Weidner Field, a new downtown stadium in 2021.

”We look forward to welcoming all of our fans to Weidner Field, I’ve seen many venues around the country and this is truly a stunning new stadium that will be a recognizable landmark for the USL,” Burke said. “This is an exciting time for my whole family and the start of a new era for Switchbacks FC and professional soccer in the Olympic City.”

The Massachusetts native served as the head coach of the Bethlehem Steel from 2016-2019. Prior to that he was the head coach of Reading United from 2008 to 2013 and played for Reading United in 2007. He completed his United States Soccer Federation “A” coaching license in 2018.

“Brendan Burke is one of the top young coaches in the United States,” Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin said in a news release. “He has worked at every level of the professional game, and his ability to identify, develop, and win with young talent is the best that I’ve ever worked with. Brendan is a builder, and I have no doubt that along with his staff, he will build Switchbacks FC into an elite club in USL.”

During Burke’s time as head coach of the Steel, six players progressed from his squad to join the Philadelphia Union in MLS. Burke was moved to a position as a scout within the Union organization prior to the start of the 2020 season and Sven Gartung was hired to coach the newly renamed Union II. Gartung was fired in August and replaced by interim head coach Marlon LeBlanc.