BETHLEHEM, Pa. (June 22, 2019) – Bethlehem Steel FC returned to the Lehigh Valley for the first time in 2019 but fell 2-1 to John McCarthy and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The night was highlighted by captain James Chambers’ 100th all-time appearance and record-breaking 16th goal for Steel FC. Previously, Chambers and Philadelphia Union striker Cory Burke shared the all-time scoring record for the club.
The magic moment for Chambers came a few seconds into second-half stoppage time after midfielder Zach Zandi was brought down in the box. There was no hesitation from the Steel players as all eyes turned to captain James Chambers, who stepped to the spot and slotted the ball home.
The first half did not go as well as the second half for the hosts. The Rowdies’ first goal came off a set piece in the 13th minute with Juan Tejada finishing. Their second goal was put home after the initial shot rebounded off the post and fell to the feet of striker Sebastián Guenzatti. Union goalkeeper Matt Freese did well to hold off a strong Rowdies attack following the early goals.
The return of Union defender Mark Mckenzie to the Steel FC back line for the first time since the FIFA U-20 World Cup seemed a better fit in the second half as the Rowdies couldn't get much going offensively. The Steel gained new life after the goal as they continued to push forward and get balls into the box. In the end, it was just a little too late and the Steel could not even the scoreline.
Brendan Burke’s team returns to action on Friday, June 28, when they travel to take on Hartford Athletic at Rentschler Field. (7:30 p.m. ET | Rentschler Field | East Hartford, Conn. | ESPN+).
Bethlehem Steel FC 1 – Tampa Bay Rowdies 2
Goodman Stadium (Bethlehem, Pa.)
Saturday, June 22, 2019
TODAY’S MATCH INFO:
Venue: Goodman Stadium (Bethlehem, Pa.)
Referee: David Barrie
Assistant Referees: Zeno Gyuho Cho, Tyler Wyrostek
Fourth Official: Andrew Eitel
Weather: 77 degrees and sunny
TBR - Juan Tejada (Zach Steinberger) 13’
TBR - Sebastian Guenzatti (Unassisted) 34’
BST - James Chambers (Penalty Kick) 90+1’
BST - James Chambers (caution) 29’
BST - Cole Turner (caution) 50’
BST - Shanyder Borgelin (caution) 54’
BST - Anthony Fontana (caution) 57’
Bethlehem Steel FC: Matt Freese; Matt Real, Mark McKenzie, Ben Ofeimu, Nathan Harriel; James Chambers ©, Cole Turner (Chavany Willis 55’), Anthony Fontana (Steve Kingue 73), Issa Rayyan; Shanyder Borgelin (Axel Picazo 55’), Zach Zandi
Substitutes not used: Brady McSwain; Walter Cortés
Tampa Bay Rowdies: John McCarthy; Tarek Morad, Papé Diakité, Caleb Richards; David Najem, Yann Ekra, Zach Steinberger (Leon Taylor 90+1’), Jordan Doherty; Sebastián Guenzatti ©, Malik Johnson (Shawn Barry 65’), Juan Tejada (Kwadwo Poku 83’)
Substitutes not used: Chris Konopka; Leo Fernandes, Brandon Allen, Antoine Hoppenot
James Chambers scored his 16th career goal for the Steel, which breaks the club’s all-time scoring record previously held by Cory Burke (15).
James Chambers also made his 100th all-time appearance for Bethlehem Steel FC. He was a member of the team’s inaugural season and continues to grow his record for most appearances all-time.
Philadelphia Union Academy midfielder Cole Turner made his return to the starting lineup, bringing an emphasis on passing while completing 95% of his passes.
James Chambers made his presence felt in his 100th match with Steel FC as he lead the team in nearly all stats including shots (3), shots on target (2), total touches (80) and total passes (72).
Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie returned to the Steel after a stint with the United States U-20 Men’s National Team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
Bethlehem Steel FC next travels to take on Hartford Athletic next Friday, June 28 at Rentschler Field. (7:30 p.m. ET | Rentschler Field | East Hartford, Conn. | ESPN+).