Young Steel FC Earns Road Point At Indy Eleven
Steel FC plays youngest lineup in club history as seven players under 20 earn starts
INDIANAPOLIS (October 6, 2018) – Playing the youngest lineup in its three-year history, Bethlehem Steel FC collected another road point as it battled Indy Eleven to a 1-1 draw.
18-year-old Faris provided the Steel FC strike, collecting a pass from 17-year-old Brenden Aaronson and beating the keeper in the opening half. Starting for the first time in 2018, Philadelphia Union Academy goalkeeper Tomas Romero made one stop as he earned his third career result. The draw wraps up Steel FC’s regular season road slate and keeps the side in contention for a second-consecutive appearance in the USL Cup Playoffs. Steel FC still sits in sixth place but tied with Nashville SC on points at 47 and two points clear of the playoff line.
Starting with XI averaging just over 21 years old, Steel FC used its youthful energy early and ofter in the first half to generate multiple scoring opportunities while limiting Indy Eleven to none. The road team nearly struck first in the 16th minute as Faris and Aaronson were denied by goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams. Team captain James Chambers delivered a perfect weighted pass to Faris but the keeper came off his line to stop the Cameroonian’s try. The rebound bounced to a racing Aaronson but the midfielder’s shot was turned aside.
Steel FC was undeterred by the missed chance as the duo responded in the 39th minute. After a strong defensive stand, Aaronson strung a counter attack, passing to the wing toward Faris for the goal. The strike was the rookie’s third of the season while Aaronson picked up his fourth helper of 2018.
With the pressure of playoff positioning on the line, both sides pushed for additional goals but only Indy Eleven would get the fortunate bounce. As Steel FC pushed for an insurance goal, the home side struck on the counter as Ayoze switched the attack toward Eugene Starikov. With a defender pressed against him, the forward fired a volley that snuck into the back of the net and the tying goal. Steel FC nearly responded late in the contest as Michee Ngalina and substitute Chris Nanco combined in the 18-yard-box but was unable to score.
Bethlehem Steel FC concludes its third regular season in the United Soccer League next weekend against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. For the home finale at Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University, Steel FC has signed pink warmups for auction that will benefit the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Kick off against the Rowdies is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 1, Indy Eleven 1
Lucas Oil Stadium
Shots: 11-8 (Indy)
Shots on goal: 4-2 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 10-2 (Bethlehem)
Saves: 3-1 (Indy)
BST – 39’ Faris (Brenden Aaronson)
IND – 60’ Eugene Starikov (Ayoze)
IND – 58’ Seth Moses (Yellow Card)
BST – 74’ Anthony Fontana (Yellow Card)
BST – 87’ James Chambers (Yellow Card)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Tomas Romero; Matt Real, Ben Ofeimu, Josh Yaro, Matt Mahoney; James Chambers, Anthony Fontana; Santi Moar, Brenden Aaronson (Drew Skundrich 67’), Michee Ngalina (Omar Holness 90’); Faris (Chris Nanco 75’).
Substitutes not used: Kris Shakes, Prosper Chiluya, Brandon Aubrey, Aidan Apodaca.
INDY ELEVEN STARTING XI
Owain Fon Williams; Ayoze, Reiner Ferreira, Carlyle Mitchell (Bradford Rusin 41’), Karl Ouimette; Dylan Mares, Nico Matern, Matt Watson; Eugene Starikov (Ben Speas 70’), Seth Moses (Jack McInerney 62’), Elliot Collier.
Substitutes not used: Ben Lungaard, Brad Ring, Juan Guerra, Sooney Saad.
Officials: Ramy Touchan (Referee), Walter Heatherly (Assistant Referee), Art Arustamyan (Assistant Referee), Calin Radosav (Fourth Official).
LVHN TEAM NOTES
- Bethlehem Steel FC started a record seven players under the age of 19 tonight, topping the previous record of five which occurred earlier this season against Toronto FC II.
- Philadelphia Union Academy goalkeeper Tomas Romero made his 2018 debut in net and the eighth appearances of his USL career. The draw was Romero’s third result of his career, with his previous results coming in 2017 in a win at Ottawa and a draw against Pittsburgh.
- Bethlehem Steel FC finishes its road slate with a 6-8-3 record in 2018.
- Bethlehem Steel FC tied the single-game record with 10 corners.
- Faris’ first-half strike was his third goal of 2018 and his second-consecutive start with a goal.
- Brenden Aaronson collected his fourth assist on the goal.