Bethlehem Steel FC Falls On The Road To Louisville
Marcus Epps scores first goal of 2018 as club falls 3-1 to defending USL Cup Champions
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 28, 2018) – Despite a strong start on the road at the defending USL Cup Champions, three goals in a nine-minute span proved too difficult to overcome as Bethlehem Steel FC fell to Louisville City FC 3-1.
Steel FC brought their high-pressing pressure at the Kentucky squad, earning the night’s first scoring opportunities and corners. Defender Brandon Aubrey intercepted a pass from Louisville and stepped up to find Brandon Allen to generate a counter attack. With the defenders racing to shut down the 24-year-old, the shot was saved by Louisville City’s Greg Ranjitsingh. A minute later, Mike Catalano stole a pass that ended with a chance by Adam Najem that missed the near post.
After being held without a shot in the game’s opening, Louisville needed just three to take control of the contest. Cameron Lancaster opened the scoring in the 13th minute, collecting his own blocked shot before firing it home. Four minutes later, Kyle Smith floated a pass behind the Steel FC defense that Ilija Ilic connected on via a sliding effort. Two goals weren’t enough as Lancaster notched a brace in the 22nd minute.
Steel FC battled back into the contest just before the halftime whistle with a late goal. Pushing for a goal, Catalano riffled a pass toward Marcus Epps.
With a defender pressed against his back, the 23-year-old turned to his left and fired a shot that beat the home keeper. Epp’s goal is his first of 2018 and his second all-time with Bethlehem Steel FC. Catalano was credited with an assist, giving him a team-high two in his rookie season.
The final half saw both teams using every inch of the pitch, with the squads combining for 17 shots in the final 45 minutes. After Jake McGuire made a kick save to deny a Louisville scoring chance, Steel FC substitutes Chris Nanco and Aidan Apodaca nearly struck for a second goal. Collecting a pass at the edge of the box, Nanco fired a shot that was blocked by the defense but collected by Apodaca. With the ball bouncing, the 21-year-old rookie tapped a shot that was turned away on a diving effort by Ranjitsingh.
Steel FC returns to the field next weekend with a rematch against the Richmond Kickers on Sunday, May 6. The two clubs met in the 2018 USL opener, with Steel FC erupting for a 4-1 victory in front of its home crowd. Kick off from Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 1, Louisville City FC 3
Louisville Slugger Field
Shots: 18-16 (Bethlehem)
Shots On Goal: 6-5 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 9-1 (Bethlehem)
Saves: 5-2 (Louisville)
LOU – 13’ Cameron Lancaster
LOU – 17’ Ilija Ilic (Kyle Smith)
LOU – 22’ Cameron Lancaster (Ilija Ilic)
BST – 44’ Marcus Epps (Mike Catalano)
BST – 24’ Olivier Mbaizo (Yellow Card)
LOU – 73’ Brian Ownby (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Jake McGuire; Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey, Matt Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo; Derrick Jones, Mike Catalano; Santi Moar (Michee Ngalina 67’), Adam Najem (Chris Nanco 71’), Marcus Epps; Brandon Allen (Aidan Apodaca 74’).
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, AJ Paterson, Drew Skundrich, Eric Ayuk.
LOUISVILLE CITY FC STARTING XI
Greg Ranjitsingh; Paco Craig (Magnus Rasmussen 27’), Alexis Souahy, Sean Totsch; Oscar Jimenez, Kyle Smith, Speedy Williams; George Davis IV, Ilija Ilic (Brian Ownby 59’), Cameron Lancaster (Luke Spencer 70’).
Substitutes not used: Tim Dobrowolski, Chris Hubbard, Niall McCabe.
Officials: David Barrie, Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein (Assistant), Kevin Lock (Assistant), Casie Anderson (Fourth Official).
LVHN TEAM NOTES
- Philadelphia Union midfielder and first Bethlehem Steel FC signing in the club’s modern history Derrick Jones sported the captain’s armband in the contest. Jones becomes the eighth captain in the club’s history, joining Ryan Ritcher, Maurice Edu, James Chambers, Cory Burke, Brian Carroll, Seku Conneh and John McCarthy.
- Union defender and former Steel FC signing Olivier Mbaizo made his USL debut with a start at right back. The Cameroonian went the full 90 minutes and had () tackles/interceptions.
- After signing with the club earlier in the week, midfielder Michee Ngalina made his professional, league and team debut as a second-half substitute.
- Marcus Epps scored his first goal of 2018. The goal was Epps’ second as a member of Bethlehem Steel FC, with his last strike coming last season at Orlando City B.
- On the Epps’ goal, Mike Catalano collected his second assist of 2018, taking the team lead.