Philadelphia Union’s USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel FC opened up their 2018 season on Sunday with a 4-1 win over Richmond Kickers. In the victory, seven First Team players were slotted in the Starting XI for Bethlehem Steel. We’ve broken down the performances of all seven First Team starters:
Goalkeeper John McCarthy started in net for Bethlehem, registering one save on the day in 90 minutes of action. The Philadelphia native allowed a goal that was deflected in the box, which ultimately found the back of the net. McCarthy was busy with the distribution, making 24 passes on the day.
Homegrown product Matt Real made the start at left back for the Steel on Sunday. Real was quite busy on both sides of the ball in the 90 minute span, making 44 passes, while winning four duels on the day. On the defensive side, Real had four clearances and three interception and created a couple chances, taking three shots
Mark McKenzie was the second Homegrown product on the backline and he made his presence felt in the win. McKenzie completed 47 passes with a total accuracy of 91.5. The defender would go on to win eight duals on the afternoon while making three tackles and two clearances.
The midfielder from Mississippi saw his first action of the 2018 season with Bethlehem on Sunday. Marcus Epps completed 40 passes and sent a shot on target in 84 minutes of action.
Homegrown midfielder Derrick Jones had a massive day in Bethlehem. Jones scored on his only shot attempt, after weaving through the Richmond defense. The goal in the 40th minute of play would ultimately prove to be the game-winner. Jones also made 77 passes on Sunday in the win.
Playing at the 10 for the Steel on Sunday was Adam Najem. The midfielder had a busy day in the heart of the pitch dishing out 62 passes with an accuracy of 87.1 percent. Najem also created three chances and sent a shot on target in the 4-1 win.
The first goal of the 2018 season for Bethlehem Steel was scored by Eric Ayuk in the 24th minute of the match. Ayuk scored on his only shot on target and created a pair of chances on Sunday. Ayuk was extremely proficient with his passing, recording a 90.9 accuracy percentage in the win.