One of the highlights of the RailHawks inaugural season in 2007 was the play of mercurial midfielder Jonny Steele.
Steele left for the Puerto Rico Islanders over the offseason, where he was reunited with Colin Clarke, the coach who first brought the native of Northern Ireland over from England to play in North America. That move worked out pretty well for Steele. Earlier this month, Steele was named MVP of the USL:
Leading the squad was another new addition in Jonathan Steele, who
became only the second midfielder to ever earn the league’s Most
Valuable Player honor. An award that has traditionally gone to forwards
and goalkeepers, Steele joined Seattle Sounders veteran Leighton
O’Brien (2002) as the only midfielders to earn the league’s top award.
his fourth club in five years, Steele find found his stride to help
guide the Islanders to the regular season championship and the league’s
top offense while finishing as the league’s Assist Leader with 11 on
the season in 26 games. He also chipped in for two goals and finished
the year tied for 13th in points.
Although he helped lead the
expansion RailHawks to the postseason last year, Steele only recorded
one assist in 19 games for Carolina. Steele joined the RailHawks after
spending two seasons with Rochester after making his professional debut
with Syracuse in 2004.
Steele's career path is actually a little more tortured than that. Puerto Rico is his eighth team, indoor and
outdoor, since 2004.