Bethlehem Steel FC kicked off the season in front of 3,655 home fans Sunday at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium. For local players Ryan Richter and John McCarthy, the game added extra excitement as their friends and families cheered them on from the crowd.
“It was awesome,” Richter, Steel FC's captain said. “I had about 30 people from Southampton out here to watch me. That is part of the reason why I signed to play here. You can’t beat playing at home in front of your family and friends.”
Richter, 26, was born in Southampton, Pa. and attended William Tennent High School where started for three seasons. After graduating, the right back attended La Salle University where he continued to play soccer at the Division I level from 2007 until 2010.
Also playing in front of friends and family, McCarthy enjoyed the atmosphere at Goodman Stadium.
“The East End was awesome,” McCarthy said. “You can hear them down at the far end, you can hear them when you are next to them, and that is all you can ask for.”
McCarthy, 23, was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the area playing for North Catholic High School. Like Richter, McCarthy attended La Salle University where he started all four years. While with the explorers, McCarthy was a three-time All-Atlantic 10 performer, an NSCAA Scholar All-American and was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list heading into his senior year.
“If we get that sort of support going forward I think we’re going to be in great shape,” head coach Brendan Burke said. “We’ll get the results that goes with a nice attendance like that next time.”
Bethlehem Steel FC will play at home again on April 17 against Richmond Kickers. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 1-844-STEELFC.