CHESTER, Pa. (July 31, 2019) – Bethlehem Steel FC (6-11-4, 12th place in East) returns home this week following a two-match road trip and a 1-0 clean-sheet win over Louisville City FC. Brendan Burke’s squad hosts Hartford Athletic (3-15-4, 18th place in East) at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. ET, as the Steel are just two points below Saint Louis FC, Charlotte Independence and the USL Cup Playoffs line this week. It was a 3-0 shutout victory for the Steel last time the two sides met. The visitors used goals from Faris, Walter Cortés, and team captain James Chambers to knock off their hosts.
The Boys in Blue had a rough showing last Saturday as they fell 3-0 on the road to Saint Louis FC, but have shown a lot of heart following losses recently and look to rebound once again this week. Hartford has been hit by injuries, losing midfielder Philip Rasmussen to a calf injury and midfielder Danny Barrera expected to sit this one out for personal reasons. The expansion club has seen rough times in their last five matches, posting a record of 1-4-0 over that span. Hartford’s one win in that run was an upset over third-place Indy Eleven, a 2-1 win in their inaugural match at Dillon Stadium on July 13.
It’s been a little over a month since the Steel and the Athletic have met, but the hosts know that this is a different match and they can’t approach it the same way they did the 3-0 win over Hartford last time out. The Connecticut side has fielded a team all year that can surprise people. Despite having a tough go of things in their first year on the sporting side of things, they’ve picked up a win against a (most likely) playoff-bound team, put up two goals against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and defeated Saint Louis FC when the Missouri side’s defense was still one of the best in the league. Make no mistake, this is an important game for Burke and the Steel and it won’t be easy.
2019 USL Championship Regular Season
Date: August 1, 2019
Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. ET
Location: Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referees: Patrick Casey; Tyler Wyrostek
Fourth Official: Joshua Encarnacion
Bethlehem Steel FC: 6-11-4, 12th place
Hartford Athletic: 3-15-4, 18th place