Bethlehem Steel FC and West Chester United combined for a single goal in Steel FC’s fourth match of the 2019 preseason last night. WCU’s 59th minute penalty was the only tally in a tightly contested match in which Steel FC Head Coach Brendan Burke focused on implementing more advanced tactics with the new season approaching.
Steel FC controlled possession during the early stages of the first half, staving off counterattacks from West Chester while creating dangerous possessions in WCU’s final third. After some precautionary substitutions to prevent injury, Union Academy goalie Kris Shakes provided a series of incredible saves to keep the match level.
A raft of substitutions brought fresh legs and new energy to the second half. West Chester continued to hold off Steel FC’s attacking pressure, evading pressure and testing the organization of Bethlehem’s defensive shape. A cutting run into the box in the 59th minute resulted in a West Chester United player going down in the box and the resulting penalty was buried to give WCU a 1-0 lead.
Union Academy goalkeeper Tomas Romero made a flurry of second-half saves to keep Steel FC within striking distance, and both Saed Diaz and Union Academy striker Shanyder Borgelin had strong shots pushed around the net. The final score went West Chester United’s way, but Burke will take positives from his team’s ability to pin an opponent back for long periods of the match.
Bethlehem Steel FC returns to action in a closed-door scrimmage against Villanova University on Saturday, February 16.
BST – None
WCU – 59’ (penalty)
Bethlehem Steel FC: Kris Shakes* (Tomas Romero* 46’) – Trialist (Nathan Harriel* 42’), Trialist (Michael Pellegrino* 33’), Ben Ofeimu (JD Wagner* 46’), Tonny Temple* (Trialist 62’) – Cole Turner*, James Chambers (Trialist 62’), Zach Zandi (Trialist 46’), Nick Blacklock* -- Faris (Saed Diaz 46'), Shanyder Borgelin*
* = Union Academy