CHESTER, Pa. – Bethlehem Steel FC announced on Thursday that the club has re-signed midfielder James Chambers to a USL Championship contract, pending league and federation approval.
A 31-year-old midfielder from Dublin, Ireland, Chambers returns to Steel FC for his fourth season with the club after helping lead Bethlehem to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2018. He will be added to the team’s active roster following receipt of his P1 Visa.
“We are excited to welcome James back to Bethlehem this season,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner. “He is a relentless, strong and versatile player with the capacity to lead by example when his teammates need him most. The leadership and energy that James brings to the club are instrumental to Steel FC and we look forward to having him as a role model on and off the field once again.”
With Chambers returning to Steel FC, he remains the only player to be with the club since its modern-era founding in 2016. While serving as team captain, Chambers has led the club to the USL Cup Playoffs in each of the past two seasons and scored late in extra time before converting in a penalty shootout to help Bethlehem earn its first ever postseason victory over Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC last October. In all, Chambers has made 84 appearances (79 starts) for Steel FC, playing a total of 7,050 minutes, scoring 13 goals and providing six assists. The captain is the club’s modern-era leader in appearances, starts and minutes-played.
“James is a very important piece of our project and re-signing him was our top priority this off-season,” said Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke. “His leadership qualities, competitive drive and skill set make him invaluable to us.”
On the international stage, Chambers has earned a cap at every youth level for the Republic of Ireland. He made his U-23 debut against England in 2010 and made three appearances for Ireland’s U-21s at the 2007 Madeira tournament in Portugal. Chambers has also made appearances for the Republic of Ireland’s U-19s, U-18s, U-17s, U-16s and U-15s.