Bethlehem Steel FC tied Charleston Battery 0-0 Sunday afternoon at Goodman Stadium with keeper John McCarthy earning his second shutout of the season.
“I think it's just proving myself as a starter and just being really consistent,” McCarthy said. “That's my goal to just try and be as consistent as possible and anytime you can go out in a game and start it'll help me in the long run because I am pretty young for a goalkeeper I think.”
Both teams had promising scoring chances in the first half. In the 12th minute, Derrick Jones fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that went over the crossbar. In the 36th minute, Charleston’s Ataullah Guerra sent a powerful shot at John McCarthy’s goal but it narrowly missed the target and went wide of the far post.
Just before halftime, Walter Restrepo crossed the ball to Eric Ayuk and the young midfielder made contact with the ball only for it to go wide of Odisnel Cooper’s net.
“I think we have a snapshot now of what our season should look like,” said head coach Brendan Burke. “We've played some of the top teams in the East and I am happy. I am happy with where we are at and I think our relationships are continuing to develop with these guys.”
Bethlehem Steel FC created several chances in the second half. In the 61st minute, Ryan Richter headed the ball at the goal but the Battery defense cleared it. Shortly after in the 65th minute, Restrepo played a beautiful through ball to Fabian Herbers, but Cooper saved Herbers' shot. At the final whistle, the score remained 0-0.
Steel FC defense worked hard during the game to defend against Romario Williams, whom they prevented from scoring and limited to one shot during the 90 minutes.
“I think the group of four as a whole did really well,” Burke said. “I think Auston and Anderson in particular did a good job in matching the physicality. He is very good at initiating contact and being a handful in that way and I think those guys met the challenge well. “
Steel FC now have a record of 2-2-1 in their 2016 inaugural season and are tied for fifth place on points in the Eastern Conference.
Steel FC return to action on Sunday, May 1 when they face Louisville City FC at 3 p.m. at Goodman Stadium. It will be the third of three consecutive home games and will be broadcast on Service Electric TV2. Single game and group tickets are available by visiting philadelphiaunion.com/steelfc/tickets or by calling 844-STEELFC.
Bethlehem Steel FC 0, Charleston Battery 0
CHS – O’Brian Woodbine (Yellow) 33’
CHS— Taylor Mueller (Yellow) 56’
BSFC — James Chambers (Yellow) 87'
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
John McCarthy; Ryan Richter ©, Anderson, Auston Trusty, Taylor Washington; Derrick Jones, Boluwatife Akinyode; Eric Ayuk (James Chambers 82’), Leo Fernandes (Cole Missimo 74’), Walter Restrepo; Fabian Herbers (Seku Conneh 82')
Substitutes not used: Samir Badr, Mickey Daly, Jamie Luchini, Gabe Gissie
CHARLESTON BATTERY STARTING XI
Odisnel Cooper, O’Brian Woodbine, Taylor Mueller, Shawn Ferguson ©, Quinton Griffith, Dante Marini (Emmanuel Adjetey 84'), Justin Portillo, Neveal Hacksaw, Maikel Chang, Ataullah Guerra (Ricky Garbanzo 70’), Romario Williams (Chris Tonis 67’)
Substitutes not used: Alex Tambakis, Forrest Lasso, Austin Savage
Jaiem Herrera (Center), Brandon Smith (Assistant), Dustin Killick (Assistant), Jaroslaw Werel (Fourth).