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Adam Najem Pushes Bethlehem Steel FC Past New York Red Bulls II

By Bethlehem Steel FC Communications, 06/16/17, 10:00PM EDT

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Najem scores, assists as Steel FC takes down defending champions, 2-0

On the road against the defending USL champions, Adam Najem’s performance lifted Bethlehem Steel FC to a 2-0 victory against arch-rival New York Red Bulls II at the MSU Soccer Park on the campus of Montclair State University.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Adam Najem put on a spectacular performance against his former organization, scoring the first professional goal of his career while adding an assist on the club’s other goal. Playing just miles from his hometown of Clifton, NJ, Najem notched the opening goal on a curling strike from just inside the 18-yard box. Najem rounded out his night with his second assist of the season on Santi Moar’s second-half goal.

The victory pushes Steel FC’s unbeaten streak to four matches (3-0-1) and is the club’s fourth shutout of the season.

While fans funneled into the stands, Steel FC struck for the opening goal in the fifth minute. Playing against his brother David, Najem converted on the club’s patience in the final third. Chris Nanco notched his first professional assist on the goal, finding the 22-year-old at the end of the Red Bulls box. After a quick touch, Najem delivered with a left-footed strike past the diving Rafael Diaz.

Red Bulls II searched for an equalizer in the first half but Steel FC goalkeeper Jake McGuire continued his stellar play. New York’s Vincent Bezecourt tested the 22-year-old keeper in the 18th minute, firing at the edge of the six-yard-box with McGuire making the reaction save. With the first half winding down, McGuire stood strong once more, denying a Florian Valot header with a leaping save.

Steel FC tacked on its second goal in the 57th minute, as Najem sparkled again. Collecting a pass from team captain James Chambers, the midfielder chipped the Red Bull II defense. Moar rant onto the volley, chipping it over the on-coming goalkeeper for his second goal of the season.

New York attempted to rally against the two-goal deficit but was denied by McGuire and the defense. After a fingertip save by a diving McGuire in the 68th minute, Hugh Roberts prevented a two-on-one breakaway to deny a shot on net in the 77th minute. With time winding down, right back Aaron Jones pressured Red Bulls II’s leading scorer Brendan Allen inside the six-yard-box that forced the forward to fire wide.

Bethlehem Steel FC looks to extend its unbeaten run but has little time to recover as it concludes its June schedule against in-state rival Harrisburg City Islanders on Tuesday, June 20. The third and final meeting of the regular season between the two sides is set to kick off from FNB Field at 7 p.m.

MATCH RECAP
Bethlehem Steel FC 2, New York Red Bulls II 0
MSU Soccer Park
Montclair, NJ.

MATCH STATS 
Shots: 16-8 (New York)
Shots On Goal: 5-2 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 12-3 (New York)
Saves:3-2 (New York) 

SCORING SUMMARY
BST – 5’ Adam Najem (Chris Nanco)
BST – 57’ Santi Moar (Adam Najem)


DISCIPLINE SUMMARY
NY – 26’ Dan Metzger
(Yellow Card)
BST – 30’
Seku
Conneh (Yellow Card)
NY – 76’ Hassan Ndam (Yellow Card)
BST – 90+1’ Jake McGuire (Yellow Card)
BST – 90+2’ Yosef Samuel (Yellow Card)


BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Jake McGuire; Charlie Reymann, Auston Trusty, Hugh Roberts, Aaron Jones; James Chambers, Ken Tribbett, Adam Najem; Santi Moar (Anthony Fontana 72’), Chris Nanco (Yosef Samuel 77’), Seku Conneh (Cory Burke 58’).
Substitutes not used: Tomas Romero, Matt Mahoney, Josh Heard, Amoy Brown.

NEW YORK RED BULLS II STARTING XI
Rafael Diaz; Justin Bilyeu (Ethan Kutler 58’), David Abidor (Jordan Scarlett 68’), Hassan Ndam, David Najem; Arun Basuljevic, Dan Metzger, Vincent Bezecourt, Florian Valot, Junior Flemmings (Brandon Allen 72’), Douglas Martinez
Substitutes not used: Evan Louro, Tim Schmoll, Andrew Tinari, Zeiko Lewis

MATCH OFFICIALS 
Luis Arroyo, Tyler Wyrostek (Assistant), Joseph Paolini (Assistant), Dave Breckner (Fourth Official)

LVHN TEAM NOTES

  • Philadelphia Union loanee Adam Najem collected his first professional goal and second career assist in tonight’s match. Najem’s first goal came on with his tally in the fifth minute. He added onto his strong night with an assist on Santi Moar’s second-half goal.
  • Najem’s three-point performance is the second time in 2017, a Steel FC player has collected a goal and an assist in the same match. He joins Seku Conneh’s performance against Saint Louis FC last weekend.
  • On the Najem goal, forward Chris Nanco earned his first career assist. Nanco’s assist adds to his strong rookie campaign that saw the Canadian notch his first goal just five minutes into his debut at Harrisburg on April 15.
  • Santi Moar’s goal was the second of the season and the second of his professional career. The goal joins his first-half goal that he scored at Harrisburg on April 15.
  • Goalkeeper Jake McGuire recorded his fourth shutout of the season, tied for second in the USL. McGuire now has 38 saves on the season, which is only one off the league’s top spot.
  • Steel FC is now unbeaten in its last four matches, going 3-0-1 in that time. The streak is the second-longest in club history, trailing a five-game streak that took place April 17-May 15 in 2016 where the club went 2-0-3.