Bethlehem Steel FC played its eighth match of the 2019 preseason Sunday afternoon, scrimmaging against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL Championship in the first meeting between the sides since Steel knocked Pittsburgh out of the USL Cup playoffs last season. In this match, Steel FC fell 1-0, in a physical, tiring test that featured a debut for offseason signing Steve Kingue, acquired by Steel FC earlier this year via loan.
The match started out fast with a very direct style of play from both teams and challenges on 50-50 balls being plentiful. Pittsburgh tested goalkeeper Tomás Romero early, and Steel FC’s defense held strong through most of the first half. However in the 44th minute, Pittsburgh picked up a Steel FC turnover in the midfield drove down the field to score and take a lead into halftime.
The physical intensity of the match picked up in the second half, with the Steel attempting to level and Pittsburgh trying to increase their lead. High winds continued to make things difficult for both teams in the second half, and Steel FC continued to utilize a high-intensity press but brought on fresh legs to up the energy in the second half of the match. Steel’s press caused issues and turnovers from Pittsburgh, but no end product was forthcoming and the match finished 1-0 in favor of Pittsburgh.
Bethlehem Steel FC plays next in a closed-door scrimmage against New York Red Bulls II of the USL Championship on Saturday, March 2.
BST – None
PIT – Christian Volesky 44’ (Neco Brett)
BST – James Chambers (caution) 60’
BST – Ben Ofeimu (caution) 76’
Bethlehem Steel FC: Tomás Romero* – Trialist, Trialist, Ben Ofeimu, Nathan Harriel* – Steve Kingue (Zach Zandi 61’), James Chambers ©, Trialist (Trialist 68’), Trialist – Faris (Trialist 68’), Saed Diaz (Shanyder Borgelin* 74’)