Sporting the longest unbeaten streak in the United Soccer League, Bethlehem Steel FC looks to cap off its three-match homestand with another result when the club hosts in-state rival Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, July 15. Kickoff from Goodman Stadium is set for 5 p.m. and can be streamed online both on YouTube and on the club’s website along with locally on Service Electric.
Steel FC extended its unbeaten streak on Sunday, completing a season sweep of the New York Red Bulls II, 2-0. Steel FC took down the defending USL Champions with goals from Chris Nanco and Philadelphia Union midfielder Fabian Herbers. After seeing a shot ring off the post a minute earlier, Adam Najem and Nanco sparked a counter attack for the opening goal in the 17th minute. Herbers tacked on the insurance goal later in the first half, scoring after a great run by Santi Moar inside the Red Bulls’ box.
“Happy with it and it’s the second in a couple weeks and that is really a hard thing to do especially against a good team. I think the whole group is pleased with the overall performance in the first half and the grit in the second half to keep the game choppy and not allow them to get into a rhythm. We didn’t collapse on ourselves and allow them any sort of meaningful possession in our half of the field, bar one or two instances.”
Saturday’s contest will be the first of three regular season meetings between the two Keystone State clubs. Steel FC and the Riverhounds split their three matchups last season, with Steel FC holding a slim 4-3 margin in goals scored. Steel FC was unbeaten against Pittsburgh at Goodman Stadium in 2016, downing the visitors 2-0 in July before drawing 1-1 late in the season.
Steel FC sits in fifth place (26pts in 16 matches) in the Eastern Conference table and could leap into fourth over the Tampa Bay Rowdies with a win on Saturday. After a strong start to the season, Pittsburgh finds itself outside the playoff spots but within striking distance with 20 points in 17 contests.
Pittsburgh sports former Steel FC left back Taylor Washington on their roster, with the former Union defender slated to start against his former squad on Saturday. Overall, the club is 1-2-2 in its last five contests including a scoreless draw last week at Orlando City B.