Bethlehem Steel FC Seeks Series Win Against Rival Red Bulls II
Steel FC concludes a busy stretch with a trip to MSU Soccer Park
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (July 17, 2018) – Playing its fourth match in 13 days, Bethlehem Steel FC looks to continue its winning ways when it makes the short trip north to battle rival New York Red Bulls II on Wednesday, July 18. Kick off from the MSU Soccer Park on the campus of Montclair State University is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast locally on Service Electric and on ESPN+.
Steel FC enters the midweek match after extending its franchise-record home unbeaten streak to eight matches with a 1-1 draw against North Carolina FC. After falling behind on a first-half goal, Drew Skundrich connected with Adam Najem for the equalizer. Steel FC nearly found a match winner in the final seconds but James Chambers shot was blocked by a defender inside the box.
“I thought we could have gotten more out of that game had it been for a little sharper finishing,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “The block that Graham Smith makes there at the end makes it a difficult result to swallow. If you had told me coming in given how light we would be and how tired we’d be after three games in seven or eight days along with the first team having to clear out from us on Saturday, I would have been happy with the result. It was important to come back home and protect our home field and we did that again but we do have to realize that these become almost must-win games now at home for the rest of the season. We have to focus on getting three points at a time and that one is not going to do it if we want to push into the playoff picture.”
Wednesday’s contest will be the eighth all-time showdown between Steel FC and Red Bulls II, with the series split in its previous seven contests. The rivalry has been one of streaks with New York winning the first three matches but Steel FC countered with its own three-game winning streak in the matchup. In their most previous matchup, Red Bulls II jumped out to a two-goal lead but Steel FC rallied back behind Chris Nanco’s two assists. Nanco connected with Matt Mahoney on a set piece for the defender’s first professional goal which was followed up on a goal by James Chambers at the far post in the final seconds of stoppage time.
The USL’s top offense, New York Red Bulls II enters the match after netting 11 goals in its last two contests. Their most recent result saw Jared Stroud score a hat-trick performance in a 5-1 home victory against the Richmond Kickers. Amando Moreno collected his team-leading eighth goal in the win, with the 22-year-old sitting just two goals back in the Golden Boot Race. New York will be without starting goalkeeper Evan Louro, who was sent off against the Kickers.