Cory Burke has been one of the best success stories at Bethlehem Steel since joining the Union’s minor league team in 2016. On Thursday, the Union rewarded him by bringing him up to MLS.
It’s a well-deserved promotion for the Jamaican striker. He scored 13 goals over 45 games in the USL, including nine in 2017.
Burke also has 13 caps for his national team, and two goals. He was on the Reggae Boyz’ squad at this past summer’s Gold Cup, and got a few call-ups for early-round World Cup qualifiers.
Now it’s time to see if he can get it done at the MLS level.
“We are pleased to sign Cory to our First Team and reward his excellent performance with Bethlehem Steel,” Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said in a statement. “Cory’s success is a testament to the importance of Bethlehem in developing players within our organization. … We anticipate a successful transition to the Union, and we are looking forward to see Cory take the next step in his career.”
Burke will likely be the No. 3 striker on the Union’s depth chart, behind C.J. Sapong and Jay Simpson. His arrival is another sign that Charlie Davies won’t be back after the Union declined his contract option for the 2018 season.
Davies struggled with health issues during his year and a half in Philadelphia, earning just 106 minutes of playing time across 11 games. If Burke stays healthy, he’ll likely get on the field more than that.