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Ngalina, Academy players shine with Steel FC Wednesday night

The future talent of Philadelphia Union was on full display Wednesday night when Bethlehem Steel FC clashed with D.C. United's Loudoun United at Talen Energy Stadium. While the young side anchored by head coach Brenden Burke and James Chambers found themselves down twice by a goal in the opening half, Steel FC clawed back with a record-breaking four second-half goals led by up-and-coming talent that could be with the first team soon.

Michee Ngalina
Playing alongside fellow Union teammates Olivier Mbaizo and Matt Real, the 19-year-old forward led the charge with his speed and vision to notch a beautiful goal (worth hitting the play button below). While he wasn't credited with the assist on the game-tying goal in the 47th minute, the Democratic Republic of Congo native threaded a pass to Faris who tapped it off to Zach Zandi to make it 2-2. Ngalina leads the team with six goals on the year with just 18 appearances made in 2019.

Cole Turner
The future Union signee had another strong performance despite playing not in the midfield but as a center back in Burke's squad. Turner showed his intuition to make a play in Steel FC's opening goal that the captain Chambers finished off in front of goal. Not only did Turner drag the defense with him to allow Chambers open shot, but the soft feet were also on display as he flicked it to the Irishman.

Axel Picazo
The Union Academy also had a strong showing as U-19 midfielder Axel Picazo netted his first USL Championship goal from the penalty spot. Picazo earned penalty kick after a furious run into the box before being tripped up by a Loudon United defender. Picazo showed no nerves before his first goal, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Zach Zandi
Union Academy alum Zach Zandi turned in yet another impressive performance in the midfield for Bethlehem Steel FC. He tied up the match in the 47th minute at 2-2 and had an assist on Ngalina's goal. Zandi completed 84 percent of his passes and tracked back on defense with four recoveries.

Issa Rayyan
Rayyan netting the game-winner two minutes after Zandi's strike, collecting a pass from the captain in the middle of the box and blasting it back the Loudon United defense and keeper. Rayyan only needed that one shot to make a splash on the stat sheet but his impact was all over the field winning 71% of his duels, intercepting a pass and making a strong tackle.


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