CHESTER, Pa. (March 24, 2019) – Bethlehem Steel FC played its third 2019 USL Championship regular-season match, hosting expansion-side Memphis 901 FC. This was the first ever meeting between the two sides. The Steel fell to the USL newcomers 1-0, after dominating most of the match at home.
Steel FC started the match by moving the ball to the outside flanks and attacking Memphis 901 FC from those positions. That movement almost paid off in the 24th minute when midfielders Anthony Fontana and Zach Zandi created a nice one-two exchange, resulting in Zandi’s long-range strike nicking the left post. Steel FC continued to pile on the pressure when, in the 41st minute, midfielder Chavany Willis dribbled through the middle of the pitch and sent another long-range effort off the left post. Memphis broke the deadlock in the 58th minute when Rashawn Dally slid his effort past Steel goalkeeper Matt Freese.
The Steel had their largest possession percentage (60.5%) in a USL Championship match since September 2, 2018 versus Penn FC (60.7%). Five players made their first appearances for the Steel this season. Philadelphia Union players Olivier Mbaizo and Mark McKenzie, along with Michee Ngalina and Faris all started their first match for Steel FC this season. Ngalina consistently challenged the Memphis defense, but was unable to equalize for the Steel. Walter Cortés made his debut for the club after being acquired from Deportivo Saprissa on February 28, 2019.
Bethlehem Steel FC hosts Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday, March 30 (7:30 p.m. ET | Talen Energy Stadium | Chester, Pa.).
Bethlehem Steel FC 0 – Memphis 901 FC 1
Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
Sunday, March 24, 2019
TODAY’S MATCH INFO:
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
Referee: Luis Arroyo
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Skinker, Tyler Wyrostek
Fourth Official: Joshua Encarnacion
Weather: 55 degrees and cloudy
MEM – Rashawn Dally 58’
BST – Anthony Fontana (caution) 28’
MEM – Ewan Grandison (caution) 79’
Bethlehem Steel FC: Matt Freese; Olivier Mbaizo, Mark McKenzie, Ben Ofeimu, Walter Cortés; James Chambers ©, Chavany Willis (Issa Rayyan 72’); Anthony Fontana, Zach Zandi (Shanyder Borgelin 85’); Michee Ngalina, Faris (Patrick Bohui 63’)
Substitutes not used: Kris Shakes; Marco Fabián, Steve Kingue, Jack de Vries
Memphis 901 FC: Jeff Caldwell; Abdi Mohamed, Marc Burch, Todd Pratzner, Wes Charpie; Dan Metzger, Ewan Grandison, Duane Muckette (Jacob Hauser-Ramsey 90’+4), Leston Paul (Triston Hodge 57’), Morgan Hackworth; Rashawn Dally (Junior Sandoval 86’)
Substitutes not used: Scott Levene; Louis Bennett II, Josh Morton
Bethlehem Steel recorded their highest possession percentage (60.5%) in a match since September 2, 2018 versus Penn FC (60.7%).
Philadelphia Union players Mark McKenzie and Olivier Mbaizo made their first Steel starts of the 2019 season tonight. McKenzie and Mbaizo combined to make 26 appearances for Steel FC during the 2018 USL Championship season.
Faris and Michee Ngalina played their first minutes for Steel FC this season. Ngalina scored the second-most goals on the team last season (seven) and Faris made a total of 15 appearances.
19 year-old right back Walter Cortés made his debut for Bethlehem Steel FC tonight. Steel FC acquired Cortés on loan from Deportivo Saprissa on February 28, 2019. Cortés has featured for Costa Rica’s Under-20 National Team, scoring one goal and two assists.
Patrick Bohui made his second-straight substitute appearance for Steel FC, following his debut appearance in the club’s last match against North Carolina FC when he became the youngest player all-time to appear for Steel FC in a match (15 years, three months, 13 days).
Steel FC play next on Saturday, March 30 when they host Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC at Talen Energy Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET | ESPN+).