Bethlehem Steel FC will look to claim its fourth regular season series against an opponent when makes its debut venture to Ottawa Fury FC for the final matchup between the two clubs. Kickoff from TD Place Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be streamed online both on YouTube and on the club’s website along with locally on Service Electric.
The matchup features two squads fighting to claim one of the top eight positions in the USL Eastern Conference playoffs, with Steel FC sitting in seventh place entering the weekend. Ottawa and four other teams sit just three points behind Steel FC for the final spot.
Steel FC enters the weekend looking to bounce back from a tough 4-0 defeat against second place Charlotte Independence. The Charlotte attack notched a pair of goals in both halves, led by Lewis Hilton’s brace. Steel FC will be without Philadelphia Union right back Aaron Jones who received a red card.
“We were certainly outplayed by a better team on the day,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “They did a really good job getting numbers around the ball, combining with each other and pulling us out of position consistently. This week is about getting back to basics in the way that we defend. On the ball, we were okay but there were a number of guys that weren’t incisive. Their goalkeeper made a couple big saves that changed the game as well. It wasn’t our day but it’s not a doomsday outcome, we certainly have a lot left in us.”
The two clubs met for the first time in early June, playing to a 1-1 draw at Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University. Seku Conneh continued his impressive scoring streak with his first half goal that pushed the Liberian international to three goals in four matches. Steel FC dominated the possession battle with over 70% but an equalizer from Michael Salazar helped the visitors escape with a point.
“They are difficult because they live for set pieces and they try to make the game about that and that is a tall order,” Burke said. “We will have to be ready to win first and second balls consistently.”
Ottawa enters this weekend’s contest owning a 4-1-4 advantage at TD Place Stadium. The USL-newcomer has picked up four points in their last two contests, including an impressive 2-0 victory over Toronto FC II last Saturday. Ottawa took 27 shots against their Canadian-rivals and saw goals from Azake Luboyera and Sito Seoane. Seoana leads Fury FC with five goals on the season.