Post-Match Quote Sheet
Bethlehem Steel FC vs. Loudoun United FC | September 18, 2019 – Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Bethlehem Steel FC
Head Coach Brendan Burke
On his team’s performance . . .
I was not pleased with the first half performance. I thought we were just a little lackadaisical. We had trouble getting pressure on the ball in almost all thirds of the field. We talked at halftime about just being more aggressive with our starting positions and I think the guys responded really well. The energy levels were great in the second half and they got their reward. The players, there were more than four or five players that played really well in the second half
On players stepping up in tonight’s match . . .
It’s always good to see Michee [Ngalina] get one, he’s always one of our most dangerous guys. Faris has a beautiful assist there to [Zach] Zandi. We’ve challenged Zandi to be more goal dangerous and he’s definitely taken that on board, he gets three or four shots off tonight and obviously a beauty for the goal. Issa Rayyan gets another one; they’re starting to pile up for him, so that’s good. It’s really positive signs to see the three players that came into the game, come in the way they did and for Axel [Picazo] to get his first, we were all happy for him. He’s really turned the corner in terms of his mentality and he’s getting a just reward now.
On James Chambers’ performance . . .
Yeah, don’t mention him because it’s not surprising. His quality is evident for anyone who’s at the game to see.
Midfielder James Chambers
On his team’s performance . . .
We talked in the huddle about starting the game right and then we started it atrociously, we really did. We started it so sloppy, terrible. We didn’t touch the ball and then [Loudoun United FC] scored a goal. I think we bounced back. They probably had a little bit more possession than us in the first half, but I thought we were carrying a bit more of a threat. We get back into the game at 1-1 and then we give another goal, its criminal. To give up a set piece like that right before half time and then I think we started the second half where we should have started the first half. Then we finish out the game and we finish strong.
On his goal . . .
I’m just in the right place at right time. I think it starts with Cole [Turner] stepping in and I’m possession defend and on the front foot. He steps in and he keeps the ball in their half for us and then he plays it to Issa [Rayyan]. Issa does well to get his cross in and then Cole and I are in the box, so it was a tap in for me, but you got to be there to miss them. It comes down to Cole who kept the play alive, probably about 25-30 seconds before that.
On his discussion with Axel Picazo before the penalty kick to finish the match . . .
There was no discussion, he’s been absolutely superb the last couple of weeks. He’s trained really well, he’s had a massive impact on the group, he’s taking his game to a new level. So as soon as he went down, I said Axel was to take it; it’s as simple as that. He made it and he deserves it after his work the last couple of weeks. He’s turned a really corner for us, he’s a special talent and I’m absolutely delighted for him.
Midfielder Axel Picazo
On his team’s performance today . . .
I think we saw a lot of hard work. Being down it’s not easy to come back. I think we started the first 20 minutes a little slow, but then we picked up and we scored so that helped us a lot. It’s going to help us going into Tampa [Bay Rowdies] with confidence.
On his thoughts on the attack and his first goal for the club . . .
I think the game was very open towards the end. A lot of isolation on the sides, so it was a very good game for me. Going into the penalty I got nervous, my first goal as a professional, so it was huge for me. I just heard [James Chambers] our captain say “Axel you take it”, so that gave me the confidence to step up and score.
On having James Chambers’ confidence . . .
It means a lot to me. Chambo is a great player, a great guy off the field and on the field, so having him have my back is great and it helps me a lot to build confidence and step up in big games like this one against Loudoun [United FC].