Brendan Burke (soccer)

Brendan Burke (soccer) (born November 12, 1982 in Hopedale, Massachusetts) is an American soccer coach who currently serves as head coach of Philadelphia Union II in the USL Championship. During his playing career, he mainly played as a centre back for several teams in the Premier Development League before beginning his head coaching career at age 25 for Reading United where he was very successful. In 2011, he became the youngest assistant coach in Major League Soccer when he joined Philadelphia Union.[1]

Brendan Burke
Personal information
Full name Brendan Burke
Date of birth (1982-11-12) November 12, 1982
Place of birth Hopedale, Massachusetts, United States
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Philadelphia Union II (head coach)
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2005 Boston College Eagles
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003 Worcester Kings 10 (3)
2004–2005 Cape Cod Crusaders 11 (0)
2006 Sligo Rovers 0 (0)
2007 Reading United 13 (1)
Teams managed
2008–2013 Reading United
2011–2012 Philadelphia Union Reserves
2011–2013 Philadelphia Union (assistant)
2014–2015 Northeastern Huskies (associate)
2015– Philadelphia Union II
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Born in Hopedale, Massachusetts 1982, Burke later graduated from Saint John's High School in Shrewsbury in 2001. In his senior year, he scored 16 goals and 17 assists and was named the 2000 Central Massachusetts Player of the Year.[2] He then attended Boston College where he played sparingly until his senior year in 2005, when he played 12 games. During his college years, he first played for Worcester Kings for whom he scored his first goal in a 4-1 loss to against Brooklyn Knights on June 25, 2003.[3] in the Premier Development League. He would later play for the Cape Cod Crusaders also in the Premier Development League.

After his graduation, he had a brief stint with Sligo Rovers[1] in League of Ireland Premier Division before returning to play in the Premier Development League with Reading United in 2007. It would be his last season as a player before he embarked on his coaching career.


Reading United and Philadelphia Union Reserves

In 2008, Burke began his coaching career at age 25 for Reading United in the Premier Development League as part of his six-year reign with the team. He led the team to a 1st-place finish in the Mid Atlantic Division with an 11-3-2 regular season record. In the playoffs, his team reached the League Semi-Final before losing to Laredo Heat.[4]

In 2009, he led the team to another Mid Atlantic Division first place regular season finish with its 13-1-2 record, which was also the best regular season record in the entire league. In the playoffs, his team lost its opening round game against Cary Clarets in the Division Final.[5]

In 2010, Burke once again led his team to a Mid Atlantic first place regular season with a 10-2-4 record. In the playoffs, the team ended up placing 4th overall in the league after losing to Baton Rouge Capitals in a penalty kick tiebreaker.

In 2011, Burke kept his Reading United coaching position while joining the team's Major League Soccer affiliate, Philadelphia Union. He would be the head coach of the Philadelphia Union Reserves as well as serving as an assistant coach of the first team.[6] In his debut as the Philadelphia Union Reserves coach in 2011, the team finished 2-7-1 in last place in the Eastern Division. For his season with Reading United, the team finished 12-2-2 and came in 2nd place in the Mid-Atlantic Division while losing to Jersey Express in the Division Qualification game for the playoffs.[7]

In 2012 which was the last season of the MLS Reserve League, his Philadelphia Union Reserves finished 4-4-2 for 3rd place in the Eastern Division. He would also lead Reading United to an 11-3-2 regular season record that was good for 2nd place in the Mid Atlantic Division. In the playoffs, the team was ousted by Carolina Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Semi-Final.[8]

In his final season with Reading United in 2013, Burke led the team to a 3rd-place finish in the Mid Atlantic Division with an 8-5-1 record. In the playoffs, the team was again ousted in the Eastern Conference Semi-Final - this time by Ottawa Fury.[9]

Northeastern Huskies

In early 2014, Burke left his positions with Philadelphia Union and Reading United to pursue coaching opportunities closer to his native Massachusetts.[10] On April 14, 2014, he would take the position of Associate Head Coach of the men's soccer team at Northeastern University.[1] He would remain in that position until October 29.

Bethlehem Steel FC

2015 when he became the first head coach of Bethlehem Steel FC, the reserve team owned and operated by the Philadelphia Union that competes in the United Soccer League.[11][12] The Steel finished the first season missing out on the playoffs but gave ample playing time to young players from the academy.[13]

Ahead of the 2018 season, Burke's contract option was picked up and signed a multi-year extension to continue coaching Steel FC.[14] The 2018 season was the most successful to date with Burke's club winning its first postseason match, earning its highest seeding and setting single season records for wins (14) and goals (58).[15]

Coaching record

As of 3 December 2018
Team From To Record
Reading United
Philadelphia Union Reserves
2008 2013 108 71 18 19 065.74
Northeastern Huskies 2013 2014 20 8 11 1 040.00
Bethlehem Steel FC 2015 Present 97 32 30 35 032.99
Total 229 111 50 68 048.47


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