Playing in his second season with the Bethlehem Steel FC, first as a professional, defender Matt Real collected the first assist of his career Wednesday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Playing in hot and humid conditions that required hydration breaks, the 18-year-old left back helped spark a Steel FC offense in the second half that tied the fourth-placed Rowdies and helped extend Steel FC’s unbeaten streak at four-consecutive games.
With Steel FC trailing, 1-0, after a first-half penalty kick, Real picked out Cory Burke with a perfectly threaded through pass in the opening minute of the half. Timing it perfectly with Burke’s run, the Jamaican ran onto the ball and fired it past the keeper to knot things up at a goal apiece.
Aside from the assist, Real registered a pair of tackles, clearances and also three interceptions to stymie one of the top offenses in the league.