A look at Bethlehem Steel FC’s Eastern Conference Semifinal Opponent
For the second consecutive postseason, Bethlehem Steel FC will make an appearance at Louisville Slugger Stadium for a showdown with Louisville City FC.
They Are the Champions
When Steel FC made its USL Cup Playoff debut last season, it fell to the eventual champions in Louisville. LouCity’s attempt at a defending its crown began with a strong 4-1 win over rival Indy Eleven but it’s 2018 season was quite different from its championship winning season a year ago. Despite two extra matches added to its schedule, the champions still lost just six matches while winning a team-record 19. Gone from last season is head coach James O’Connor who departed midseason for Orlando City FC. While it took some time to adjust to its new manager, Louisville enters the weekend having won it’s last seven matches by a 21-4 margin.
Saturday’s match will be the first time that Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke faces off against a former boss. Former Philadelphia Union head coach John Hackworth took the reigns of the defending champions in August and during his time in Philadelphia, he added Burke to his MLS staff.
“I texted with him a little bit [Monday] and we said that neither one of us are looking forward to the coaching against one another part but looking forward to sitting down and saying hello when we get down there,” Burke said. “I learned so much from and have a great respect for what he’s doing there already at Louisville.”
Locked in Lancaster
When you take a glance at LouCity one name you see repeatedly is forward Cameron Lancaster. The USL’s Golden Boot Winner, Lancaster rewrote the league’s record book in 2018 with 25 regular-season goals. The 25-year-old accounts for nearly 35 percent of the club’s offense (74 total goals) and scored his 26th last weekend against Indy.