Bethlehem Steel FC heads back out on the road this weekend, with a chance to get back on track and get a little bit of revenge against Nashville SC on Saturday, August 10. The last time the two sides met saw the Steel fall 4-1 at La Salle University’s McCarthy Stadium, despite the Boys in Blue going into the halftime break level at 1-1. Nashville is heading to MLS next year and are looking to wrap up their USL legacy in a strong fashion, so a result on the road against this side would be huge. Kickoff from First Tennessee Park is set for 8:00 p.m. ET. Fans can catch all the action from this weekend live on ESPN+.
Form – Sometimes when you play teams like Nashville you can get lucky and catch them at exactly the right time to get a result. With the Tennessee side going 3-2-0 in their last five, including an ongoing three-match win streak, it doesn’t look like that will be the case for the Steel this time around. Each of their last three wins has been by a 2-0 score as Nashville downed Memphis 901 FC, Swope Park Rangers and Indy Eleven. Nashville SC is in form right now and looks to be difficult to handle this weekend.
Schedule – One thing that the Steel have going for them right now is that they’ll have had nine days rest by the time they take on Nashville, while their hosts from Tennessee will have played two matches in that time. With a match on August 3 and then a match upcoming on August 7, Nashville will have played a pair of extra matches since Steel FC’s last match on August 1. Nashville SC’s midweek match is at home, so they won’t be traveling, but at this point in the season even a little extra work could end up giving the Boys in Blue an advantage.
Players to watch
Daniel Ríos, ST #14 – Ríos is far and away Nashville’s leading goal man this season, with 14 of the club’s 37 tallies. The closest teammate of his to that mark is Cameron Lancaster (see below) and even he isn’t that close. The Mexican international didn’t score in the last meeting between the two sides, but he caused enough issues with his off-the-ball work to be effective.
Cameron Lancaster, ST #9 – Lancaster was USL’s leading goal scorer last season, notching 25 through 30 games. The 2018 Golden Boot winner isn’t having the same production so far in 2019 (five goals for Nashville to date), but his presence on the field alone is something to be noted. Lancaster is one of those players and, as the Steel found out in their last meeting with him, he doesn’t have to be on the field very long to get chances. The striker subbed into the match and less than 20 minutes later had scored for Nashville.
Lebo Moloto, M #10 – It’s a lot easier to score goals when someone is setting them up for you and that’s exactly what Lebo Moloto does for Nashville this season. He’s leads the team with eight assists in 2019 and is also their best chance creator with a team-high 41. He had two assists in his side’s 4-1 win over the Steel last time out and the visitors will look to shut him down in the midfield.
Derrick Jones – Ankle (Out)
The Boys in Blue hit the road to take on Nashville SC at First Tennessee Park on Saturday, August 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Fans can catch all the action live on ESPN+.