Bethlehem Steel FC today announced the club’s preseason schedule, with five matches highlighting the club’s training ahead of Steel FC’s third season in the United Soccer League.
With official training just underway at YSC Sports in Wayne, Pa., Steel FC will host five public preseason friendlies spanning two locations. Steel FC will welcome to YSC Sports, FC Motown (Saturday, February 10 at 2 p.m. ET), Junior Lone Star FC U-23s (Saturday, February 17 at 2 p.m.) Penn FC (Wednesday, February 21 at 1:30 p.m. ET) and Syracuse University (Saturday, February 24 at 2 p.m. ET). When the calendar flips to March, Steel FC will host league and in-state rival Pittsburgh on Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m. at the Power Training Complex in Chester, Pa. All matches will be free and open to the public. Please note that times and availability may change without notice.
Formerly the Clarkstown SC Eagles, the club was rebranded FC Motown in December 2017 and competes in the National Premier Soccer League. The Morristown, N.J., club went 6-2-2 in the Keystone Conference last season, scoring 40 goals in route to an appearance in the Regional Finals. The two clubs will be meeting for the first time in February. The match will present a personal connection for Steel FC, as NPSL club helped launch the career of forward Brandon Allen.
The following week, Junior Lone Star FC will face off against Steel FC for the third consecutive season. Last year, the two clubs squared off with Steel FC emerging with a shutout victory against the club, led by Santi Moar’s first-half brace.
Four days later, Steel FC will host in-state USL rival Penn FC. Formerly Harrisburg City Islanders, the two clubs have faced off each preseason in preparation for their respective campaigns. Over the past two seasons, Penn FC owns a narrow 3-2-1 advantage against Steel FC. Last preseason, the two clubs battled to a 1-1 draw at YSC Sports, with captain James Chambers notching the goal.
February’s matches conclude against Syracuse University the following Saturday. The alma mater of Steel FC forward Chris Nanco, Syracuse was 6-8-4 in 2017 and fell via penalty kicks in the ACC Tournament. One of the youngest squads in NCAA men’s soccer last season, Syracuse returns every goal scorer from 2017.
March will see the final Keystone State squad face off against Steel FC, with the Riverhounds coming to the Power Training Complex. After missing the USL Cup Playoffs in 2017, Pittsburgh has reloaded behind new head coach Bob Lilley. Nothing separates the two clubs on the field over the past two years, with the all-time series deadlocked at 2-2-2.
All preseason matches are in preparation for the 2018 USL regular season on Sunday, March 18. Steel FC’s season begins against the Richmond Kickers at Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University, with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m.