I've sat here & had a few hours to dwell on the unfortunate news that we've all heard come out regarding our beloved Bethlehem Steel FC not being in Bethlehem next year. And even now I'm finding it hard to believe that this is where we are. As a collective group, we're angry, shocked, numb, hurt, & disappointed. The fact that this has come to pass, in the manner in which it has, has left us all feeling dejected, and frankly, betrayed.

I sincerely want to thank the Steel Front Office Staff, led by Scott Evans, for everything you've done to work with the SG's over the past three years, and for doing everything in your power to make the club become what it was in Bethlehem. It has been very clear to us that you all have gone above & beyond what is expected to try & make this work & your efforts have not gone unnoticed. The blame for this debacle does not fall at your feet at all, rather at the feet of the Front Office of the Philadelphia Union. They never made a concerted effort to give you the appropriate support & guidance necessary to allow you to plant permanent roots here in this community. You couldn't build this brand to what we had hoped it would become. The fact that this was allowed to happen this way is absolutely disgraceful.

We understand what we are & what this team was put here for...to be a means for player development & growth for the Union. We get it, our team has absolutely no connection, other than in name, to the American Soccer powerhouse that existed in the early 1900's. We do our best to pay homage & tribute to what our namesake means to soccer in America. Regardless, this team was put in Bethlehem, and we did everything in our power to show how much we appreciated having a team to support in our own backyard each & every matchday. We brought the noise & did our best to make a lively & raucous atmosphere at Goodman Stadium for three years, and it is our sincere hope that one day, albeit unlikely, we'll be able to bring smoke & song back to Bethlehem. For now, we'll do what we've always done, support the players on the pitch & the coaching staff who lead them. We may not be able to always be there physically, but know that you are all appreciated, and we'll always have your back.

We won't say goodbye, rather we'll see you soon.


James Bahleda

East End Army President