A James Chambers free-kick goal, Yomi Samuele Scintu’s first Steel FC strike and Shanyder Borgelin’s first pro tally combined to propel Bethlehem Steel FC a thrilling draw at North Carolina FC last weekend. It’s another tough road test this weekend, as Steel head to Indianapolis, Indiana for a match against fourth placed Indy Eleven. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET from Lucas Oil Stadium. Fans can catch all the action live on ESPN+.
Firepower – Indy Eleven has some powerful goal scorers, including Tyler Pasher, Neveal Hackshaw and USL veteran Dane Kelly. The trio has combined for 18 of the club’s 37 goals so far this year. Kelly, especially is one to watch, having scored 79 goals over the span of a nine-year career heading into 2019. The Steel defense will have to be locked in to shut these guys down.
Mid-Week Match – The Boys in Blue have rested since the conclusion of their 3-3 draw against North Carolina last Saturday night, but Indy Eleven have a mid-week game against Ottawa Fury FC who could prove tough opponents for the Indiana side. Ottawa is sitting only four points above playoff line as of right now and will want to give Indy their best showing to open up a gap. If the Steel are lucky, the Eleven will be more worn out than usual or not fully focused on the Saturday matchup.
Players to watch
Dane Kelly, F #17 – A legend in the league, Kelly is always a player to watch. As noted above, he scored 79 goals over the span of a nine-year career heading into 2019 and added another six so far this year for an 85-goal total. He was USL’s MVP, Golden Boot Winner and All-League First Team in 2017 and his speed up top always keeps him relevant in any match.
Ayoze García, D #7 – Ayoze isn’t really a threat to score, but the Steel need to watch him for his ability to create chances and put others in on goal. He’s provided three assists and one goal for Indy Eleven in 2019. As the team’s leading chance creator, he’s made 54 opportunities on goal out of nothing and Tyler Pasher is the next closest Indy player with 34 created. Ayoze is a key piece to making the Indy attack run and it will be important for Brendan Burke’s squad to keep tabs on him.
Evan Newton, GK #1 – Newton has been a wall in goal this year for the Eleven, posting eight clean sheets, 55 saves and with a GAA of .810 to this point in the season. He’s pushed Indy to have the lowest goals-against totals in the entire league (19 GA) and his presence in goal always puts his side in a position to walk away with points.
The Boys in Blue travel to take on Indy Eleven at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, September 14, at 7:00 p.m. ET, live on ESPN+.