Bethlehem Steel FC wraps up its three-game May road swing this weekend, with a showdown against FC Cincinnati on Saturday, May 20. Kickoff from Nippert Stadium is set for 7 p.m. and can be streamed online both on YouTube on Steel FC’s website along with locally on Service Electric.
Steel FC is riding positive momentum after picking up its first road victory of the season, shutting out Toronto FC II, 1-0, at BMO Field last weekend. Cory Burke provided the match’s winning goal with a conversation from the penalty spot in the eighth minute. Defensively, Steel FC picked up its third clean sheet of the season led by the performance of goalkeeper Jake McGuire. The Philadelphia Union goalkeeper earned USL Team of the Week honors for his career-high seven saves that included a match-preserving save in the 86th minute on Shaan Hundal.
“It makes all the difference in your season,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “I feel like that was the type of game last year where we would have conceded late and then you’re walking away with one point instead of three. I was really pleased with the effort, especially on the defensive side of it. It’s something that we’ve been focusing on club wide and are now starting to produce clean sheets at each level so really happy with that.”
Steel FC will face off against a very familiar foe when it battles FC Cincinnati for the third team in the season’s first two months. Steel FC will look to repeat its previous two performances against the Ohio-based club, defeating both times at Goodman Stadium. In the season’s first match on April 9, Steel FC took advantage of an early Paul Nicholson red card to pick up its first win of the season. Seku Conneh was the offense for Steel FC and was rewarded with his first multi-goal game as a professional and was named USL Player of the Week. Three weeks later, Steel FC took on Cincinnati again with the result going the hosts way yet again. McGuire made four saves during the match as Cincinnati pushed for a goal, however, Steel FC capitalized late with a Hugh Roberts set piece headed in the 87th minute.
FC Cincinnati enters this weekend’s matchup after a midweek contest against AFC Cleveland in the second round of the US Open Cup. Cincinnati was forced to extra time, with Djiby Fall notching the game-winning goal in the 115th minute. In league play, Cincinnati is coming off a 2-0 home loss to Orlando City B.