Bethlehem Steel FC Earns Shutout of Rival Red Bulls II
Michee Ngalina scores first professional goal, and Cory Burke adds two assists in first clean sheet performance of 2018
BETHLEHEM, PA. (May 16, 2018) – Bethlehem Steel FC turned in a complete performance as the club picked up its first shutout of the year with a 3-0 over rivals New York Red Bulls II in a midweek tilt at Goodman Stadium.
18-year-old winger Michee Ngalina struck for his first professional goal in the first half, collecting a pass from Philadelphia Union midfielder Adam Najem. With the goal, Ngalina became the youngest scorer in Steel FC’s history. The second half saw former Steel FC forward Cory Burke collected two assists, finding Fabian Herbers and Adam Najem for insurance goals in the second half. Union goalkeeper John McCarthy made two saves while the defense added three blocks to pick up the clean sheet and snap New York’s seven-game unbeaten streak.
“It means a lot to us and it’s our first shutout of the year and it came at a really good time against a rival,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “We knew we were going to get their best effort, they made the game difficult and ugly. They did a fantastic job in pressing and chopping up the game and neither team could connect a pass. It was one of those games where you have to win your duels, show some real grit and play forward fast off the weak side and I thought we did a great job of that.”
Steel FC came out on the front foot in the rainy conditions, as Cory Burke first a shot off the woodwork 46 seconds into the contest. The rival Red Bulls II were energized by the fortunate play, forcing a pair of saved by McCarthy included a diving effort in the eighth minute.
After absorbing New York’s high-intensity press, Steel FC made a subtle gameplan change that set up the winning goal in the first half. With the Steel FC defense pushing the ball into the New York box, Herbers collected a headed clearance and laid it off to Najem in the center of the pitch. The 23-year-old quickly found a wide open Ngalina on the left side of the box in which the Kinshasa, D.R. Congo, native delivered into the back of the net with a right-footed curler.
The second half continued the high-pressure by both sides which Steel FC capitalized upon. After a turnover in the defensive third, Cory Burke pushed the ball upfield and fought off a defender to the center stripe. With the defense in retreat, the Jamaican international threaded a pass to Herbers who took two touches before firing from 20 yards out and inside the far post.
Steel FC concluded the scoring in stoppage time off yet another quick play from Burke. After forcing a deflection out of play, Burke quickly led Najem into the box with a throw-in. Najem shielded off his defender to turn toward goal before taking a left-footed touch into the near post.
Steel FC looks to conclude its busy May stretch this weekend when it travels for an inaugural matchup against Indy Eleven. Kickoff from Lucas Oil Stadium is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 3, New York Red Bulls II 0
Shots: 12-9 (Bethlehem)
Shots On Goal: 4-3 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 8-3 (New York)
Saves: 2-1 (Bethlehem)
BST – 37’ Michee Ngalina (Adam Najem)
BST – 63’ Fabian Herbers (Cory Burke)
NY – 90+4’ Adam Najem (Cory Burke)
BST – 21’ Brandon Aubrey (Yellow Card)
BST – 41’ Fabian Herbers (Yellow Card)
NY – 62’ Andrew Tinari (Yellow Card)
BST – 87’ Matthew Mahoney (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
John McCarthy; Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey, Matthew Mahoney, Olivier Mbaizo; Derrick Jones, Adam Najem; Michee Ngalina (Santi Moar 79’), Anthony Fontana (Mike Catalano 89’), Fabian Herbers (Tonny Temple 83’); Cory Burke.
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, Drew Skundrich, Chris Nanco, Aidan Apodaca.
NEW YORK RED BULLS II STARTING XI
Ryan Meara; Ethan Kutler, Jordan Scarlett, Hassan Ndam, Connor Lade (Niko De Vero 45’); Carlos Lema, Andrew Tinari, Jose Aguinaga (Steven Echevarria 72’); Amando Moreno (Brian White 45’), Stefano Bonomo, Ben Mines.
Substitutes not used: Scott Levene, Kevin Politz, Lucas Stauffer, Tommy Barlow.
Officials: Jaroslaw Werel, Gjovalin Bori (Assistant), Kevin Lock (Assistant), Melvin Holmes II (Fourth Official).
LVHN TEAM NOTES
- With his first-half goal, Michee Ngalina scored his first professional goal of his career. Ngalina also becomes the youngest player in Steel FC history to find the match of the net at just 18 years, 40 days old. Union defender and former Steel FC signing Matt Real was the previous record holder.
- On Ngalina’s winning goal, Adam Najem collected his second assist of the year. The assist is Najem’s 10th with Steel FC, becoming the first player to reach double figures in the category.
- Fabian Herbers’ second-half goal was his first of 2018. Herbers’ last goal came ironically enough against the same squad, scoring against New York Red Bulls II on July 9, 2017.
- That match was also the last shutout in Steel FC history prior to today’s contest. Overall, Steel FC has collected 14 clean sheets in its history.
- The shutout today was John McCarthy’s seventh in net for Steel FC
- Cory Burke was credited with assists on both Herbers’ and Najem’s goals, making it the first two-assist contest in Burke’s career. Burke’s two-assist match is the second occurrence in club history, with Adam Najem adding two assists at Toronto FC II in 2017.
- Adam Najem’s goal was his third as a member of Steel FC and his first since Sept. 24, 2017, against Pittsburgh. In three matches against New York, the former Red Bull Academy product has scored two goals and three assists.