Following a hard-fought 1-0 loss against in-state rivals Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Bethlehem Steel FC comes home for a rematch against club rivals New York Red Bulls II at Talen Energy Stadium on Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are available here, with the match set to be broadcast on ESPN+.
Mentality – Last time the Steel and Red Bulls II met, it was a 4-0 win for New York at MSU Soccer Park on May 31. Even though Steel FC has picked up vital points and experience since then, a hit like that can be tough to get over for a young squad. The Boys in Blue will have to put that behind them to take away any mental advantage from the Red Bulls.
Overconfidence – On the other side of things, it would be easy for New York Red Bulls II to come into this game with too much confidence from their win over the Steel last time out. If the visitors come into Talen Energy Stadium and don’t take Steel FC seriously, then they could run into issues with Brendan Burke’s squad having shown a lot of grit and fight across their last four matches.
Players to watch
Tom Barlow, F #74 – Red Bulls II’s leading goalscorer, Barlow is one of their main points of attack and he’s been key for them in scoring eight of the club’s 33 goals so far this season. From a defensive standpoint he can be a nightmare to take care of and at 6’2” he’s also a threat on set pieces.
Jared Stroud, M #50 – Stroud is the engine that drives New York’s attack. He’s their leading assist man with five, has taken the most shots (39) and most shots-on-target (25), has created the most chances (47) and has also buried five goals for Red Bulls II, third best on the team. If you shut Stroud down then you give yourselves a decent chance of unbalancing the Red Bulls attack.
Jordan Scarlett, D #35 – A +13 goal differential at this point in the season is nothing to scoff at. With 33 goals scored and only 20 against, Red Bulls II’s defense has been putting in some work and a key piece of that is Jordan Scarlett. The 24-year old leads the team in clearances (54), interceptions (38) and blocks with nine. The Jamaican international also has put in 33 tackles, second highest on New York’s squad, and will be crucial to the visitors’ defensive efforts.
The Boys in Blue will be back in Talen Energy Stadium for their showdown against New York Red Bulls II on Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can purchase their tickets here or catch all the action on ESPN+.