CHARLESTON, S.C. (October 19, 2019) – Today’s match against Charleston Battery was another for Bethlehem Steel FC in which the opposing team was fighting to secure their spot in the 2019 USL Championship Playoffs. The task at hand to spoil Charleston’s playoff hopes became even more difficult after kickoff for the match was moved up by five hours to avoid the potential impact of Tropical Storm Nestor. After holding strong in the first half and showing their fight, the Steel couldn’t hold back the Battery and fell 5-1.
The first half was a battle between the two sides, going back and forth and showing the physical nature of both sides early on. Charleston got on the board in the 23rd minute, but Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Matt Freese made four saves to keep the Steel in striking distance through the first 45. Fighting through a high-pressing battery defense, Steel FC’s midfield worked their way forward, creating chances for Union forward Michee Ngalina and Steel midfielder Shanyder Borgelin. The Battery added four goals in the second half, including a brace from former Steel defender A.J. Paterson and a penalty-kick conversion from Ataulla Guerra.
Steel FC forward Faris hit a big milestone after coming on as a substitute at halftime. The Cameroonian forward set the club’s modern-era scoring record with his 11th goal of 2019. His 78th-minute tally pushed him ahead of Seku Conneh, who scored 10 in 2017, to take the record outright. Faris has had an amazing season in 2019, despite picking up a few injuries, raising his all-time goal total to 14, just four behind James Chambers’ record of 18 career goals, and adding one assist to his stat sheet. Despite his efforts against the Battery, Charleston picks up the 5-1 win today as the Steel wrap up their 2019 campaign. Although they didn’t make the playoffs this year, Brendan Burke’s squad has still made the postseason in two out of the last three years, even with this difficult campaign focused on growing young talent.
Bethlehem Steel FC now heads in to the offseason with a continued focus on the Path to the Pros and the development of young talent.
Bethlehem Steel FC 1 – Charleston Battery 5
MUSC Health Stadium (Charleston, S.C.)
Saturday, October 19, 2019
TODAY’S MATCH INFO:
Venue: MUSC Health Stadium, Charleston, S.C.
Referee: J.J. Bilinski
Assistant Referees: Howard Ash; Nicholas Seymour
Fourth Official: James Felluca
Weather: 68 degrees and rainy
CHS – Arthur Bosua (Zeiko Lewis) 23’
CHS – Arthur Bosua (Kotaro Higashi) 67’
CHS – Ataulla Guerra (Penalty Kick) 74’
BST – Faris (Unassisted) 78’
CHS – A.J. Paterson (Angelo Kelly-Rosales) 81’
CHS – A.J. Paterson (Ataulla Guerra) 84’
BST – James Chambers (caution) 21’
CHS – Angelo Kelly-Rosales (caution) 27’
BST – Nathan Harriel (caution) 39’
BST – Walter Cortés (caution) 58’
CHS – Kotaro Higashi (caution) 70’
CHS – Taylor Mueller (caution) 90+1’
Bethlehem Steel FC: Matt Freese; Walter Cortés, Cole Turner, Ben Ofeimu, Nathan Harriel; James Chambers ©, Zach Zandi; Selmir Miscic (Chavany Willis 67’), Axel Picazo; Shanyder Borgelin (Faris 46’), Michee Ngalina
Substitutes not used: Lukas Burns; Saed Díaz, Yomi Samuele Scintu
Charleston Battery: Joe Kuzminsky; Jarad van Schaik, Kyle Nelson, Taylor Mueller ©, A.J. Paterson; Nicholas Rittmeyer (Romario Piggott 68’), Angelo Kelly-Rosales, Kotaro Higashi; Zeiko Lewis (Vincenzo Candela 75’); Ataulla Guerra, Arthur Bosua (Dante Marini 87’)
Substitutes not used: Phil Breno; Nicque Daley, Ian Svantesson, O’Brian Woodbine
Bethlehem Steel FC forward Faris became the first player since the club’s modern-era founding to have scored 11 goals in a single season, setting a new club record. The Cameroonian forward passes Seku Conneh who tallied 10 goals in the 2017 season.
Midfielder Selmir Miscic made his second professional start in today’s match against Charleston Battery. Miscic played 67 minutes, took two shots, made one tackle and left the match with a 91.3% passing accuracy.
Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Matt Freese made seven saves against the Battery. After today’s match, Freese has made a total of 28 saves in eight appearances in 2019.
Faris has now been involved in 12 tallies this season (11 goals, one assist) and notched his 14th goal all-time for the Steel. With his goal today he climbs closer to James Chambers’ all-time record of 18 total goals for Steel FC.
The Steel now head into the offseason looking to reflect on the 2019 season, continue focusing on the development of young talent and prepare for the 2020 USL Championship regular season.