8 November 2013

Jonny Steele

(Jonny Blair)
Name: Jonathan Steele
Born: 7 February 1986, Larne
Height: 6.00 ft / 1.83 m
Weight: 12.12 st / 82 kg
Position: Midfielder / Forward

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 3 Full Caps (2013-14), 13 Under-19 Caps; 3 Under-18 Caps, 7 Under-17 Caps, 13 Under-16 Schoolboy Caps (2002).
Club Honours: (with Puerto Rico Islanders) USL Commissioner's Cup Winner 2008; (with New York Red Bulls) MLS Supporters' Shield Winner 2013.

Club Career:
Teams ................. -Seasons- Signed -Fee- -League- FA Cup FL Cup Other
Wolverhampton Wanderers ........... 2002 Youth .0 (0)/0
Dallas Burn ....................... 2003 Trial .0 (0)/0
Syracuse Salty Dogs ....2004 ...... 2004 ..... (USL A-League)
Kansas City Comets .....04/05 ..... 2004 ..... (Major Indoor Soccer League)
Rochester Rhinos  ..... 2005 ...... 2005 ..... (USL First Division)
Baltimore Blast  ...... 05/06-06/07 2005 ..... (Major Indoor Soccer League)
Ballymena United  ..... 05/06 ... Aug-05 .Free. 2 (0)/1 .....  2(2)/0
Carolina RailHawks .... 2007 ...... 2007 ..... (USL First Division)
Orlando Sharks ........ 07/08 ..... 2007 ..... (Major Indoor Soccer League)
Philadelphia KiXX ..... 07/08 ..... 2007 ..... (Major Indoor Soccer League)
Puerto Rico Islanders 2008-2009.. 2008 ..... (USL First Division)
Vancouver Whitecaps ... 2010  ... Dec-09 ..... (USL First Division)
FC Tampa Bay .......... 2010-2011 Jul-10 ..... (USL First Division)
Carolina RailHawks .... 2011 .... Feb-11 .Loan 26 (-)/0 (NASL)
Syracuse Silver Knights 11/12 ... Sep-11 ..... (Major Indoor Soccer League)
Real Salt Lake ........ 2012 .... Feb-12 .Free 11(17)/2 ...... ...... 0(1)/0 (MLS)
New York Red Bulls .... 2013-2014 Feb-13 .Free 38(10)/6 ...... ...... 2(0)/0 (MLS)
Newcastle Jets ........ 14/15 ... Jul-14 ..... (A-League)
Minnesota United....... 2015 .... Jan-15 .Free .4 (1)/0 (NASL)
Ottawa Fury............ 2016 .... Jan-16 .Free 12 (-)/0 (NASL)
Miami FC............... 2016 .... Jul-16 .Free .- (-)/- (NASL)

Biography:
When New York Red Bulls' midfielder Jonny Steele was called into the Northern Ireland squad in November 2013 he became the first ever MLS-based player to receive such an honour. Indeed, no player featuring with a US club had been called-up since the days of the NASL, three decades earlier.

Formerly a Wolves Academy player, Steele initially moved to the USA for a trial with Colin Clarke's Dallas Burn in 2003. He spent close to a decade, a short spell back home with Ballymena aside, plying his trade at various levels in North American soccer before finally arriving in the top-tier MLS with Real Salt Lake in 2012. He was released by RSL after a single season and looked likely to move closer to home, training with Cliftonville and coming close to a deal with an unidentified English League Two side.

Steele remained in the USA to sign for MLS power-houses, New York Red Bulls where he played alongside former English Premier League stars, Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill. In his first season he assisted the team to Eastern Conference championship and, as the MLS team with the overall best regular season record, to the Supporters' Shield. In all he scored five goals, mostly while playing as a left-sided mifielder. Surprisingly the Red Bulls lost out to Houston Dynamo in the play-offs.

A member of the Northern Ireland Under-19 side that played in the 2005 European Championship finals as hosts, Steele also featured as the team finished as runners-up in that years' Milk Cup, scoring in a 4-2 final defeat by the USA. His form in the MLS throughout the 2013 season had seen him tipped for a call-up to the senior Northern Ireland squad, but it was only after the Red Bulls' exit from the play-offs that Michael O'Neill was willing to include him in the squad to face Turkey in a November friendly.

On his first international call-up Steele noted: "Playing for your country is an honour and it's something I've always wanted to do and if I get that opportunity, I'm going to be hungrier than I've ever been."

Having added further caps to his name during Northern Ireland's 2014 summer tour of South America, Steele was on the move again in July 2014, moving to play in Australia with Newcastle Jets.

New York Red Bulls Profile

Northern Ireland Full Cap Details:
15-11-2013 Turkey. A L 0-1 FR sub
30-05-2014 Uruguay A L 0-1 FR sub
04-06-2014 Chile.. A L 0-2 FR sub

Summary: 0(3)/0. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 3.

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