Bethlehem Steel FC played its first match of the 2019 preseason on Saturday, falling 1-0 to DC United of Major League Soccer in Clearwater, FL. After a hard-fought first half, a United trialist scored in the 57th minute, and that turned out to be the only goal of the match.
Steel FC played well, demonstrating the compact, intense style of play that Sporting Director Ernst Tanner helped Union and Steel FC coaching staffs implement throughout the organization. D.C. United struggled to move the ball through midfield against Steel FC’s high-energy system, and Wayne Rooney was held to only two shots before making an early exit. Steel FC’s defense caught the Englishman offside on one shot and the second was successfully cleared from the box.
Brendan Burke’s Steel FC side was dynamic and quick in transition, playing deep long balls and forcing D.C. to run and stretch their shape. Although the final score did not go Steel FC’s way, the overall match provided a strong foundation for Burke and his staff to build on as the preseason moves forward.
21 of the 23 players currently with Steel FC for preseason training took part in the match, with Philadelphia Union homegrown goalkeeper Matt Freese starting the match in goal.
Bethlehem Steel FC scrimmages next against Chargers Soccer Club on Tuesday, February 5, at 7:00 p.m. ET.
BST – None
DC – Trialist 57’
Bethlehem Steel FC: Matt Freese* (Tomas Romero** 46’) – Trialist (Tyger Evans** 46’), Sekou Soumah** (JD Wagner** 46’), Cole Turner** (Michael Pellegrino** 61’), Nathan Harriel** (Tonny Temple** 61’) – Danny Flores** (Nick Blacklock** 61’), Trialist (James Chambers 46’), Zach Zandi (Trialist 61’), Selmir Miscic (Axel Picazo** 61’) -- Faris (Patrick Bohui** 61'), Shanyder Borgelin** (Saed Diaz 46')
* = Philadelphia Union
** = Union Academy