Bethlehem Steel FC fell 1-0 to New York Red Bulls II Sunday night in front of 3,569 fans. Although weather conditions caused disruptions in the game schedule, Steel FC fought until the end but was unable to defeat the NYRB II side.
“It was chopped up by the weather delay I think at the exact time where Red Bull needed for it to be chopped up,” head coach Brendan Burke said. “We met after the break with a good amount of energy and just hit the bar and missed where we should’ve scored, and then we had ten minutes left. I honestly think we probably should’ve won that game.”
New York Red Bulls II took an early lead after Brandon Allen found the back of the net in the fourth minute. Gideon Baah played a long ball to Allen who sent a powerful shot into the back of Samir Badr’s net.
Steel FC kept pushing throughout the half and outshot the New York side 2-1. Derrick Jones had a good chance on goal in the 13th minute sending the ball hard and low to the left hand corner from the top of the 18. NYRB II keeper Ryan Meara made a diving save to send the ball out of bounds for a corner.
In the second half, Steel FC came out strong and was building momentum when Mother Nature forced the game to be delayed in the 71st minute. After a one hour and 21 minute delay due to lightening, both teams returned to the pitch to battle the last 20 minutes of the match.
“It couldn’t have been a better time for the thunder delay on their side because we were flying; we had a goal, we felt it coming,” Steel FC midfielder Josh Heard said. “You can’t do anything about it, obviously, but it came at a tough time for us. It kind of killed our momentum.”
Steel FC pressed hard during the remainder of the game and looked to deny the New York side of three points on the road for the first time this season.
In the 79th minute, Samir Badr made a vital save to keep the goal differential at one. In the 80th minute, Fred, who replaced Cory Burke in the 78th minute to make his third appearance of the season, came painfully close to scoring when his shot took a deflection off of the Red Bull defense and hit the cross bar.
Badr came up strong in the last ten minutes to deny NYRB II’s chances on goal, but the home was unable to find an equalizer. The 1-0 final result against NYRB II concluded Steel FC’s four game unbeaten streak at home. Prior to today’s match, Steel FC had not lost at home since the home opener against FC Cincinnati on April 3.
Mark McKenzie made his first start for Steel FC becoming the third academy player to earn a starting spot for Steel FC. Auston Trusty and Matt Real from the Philadelphia Union Academy have also started for Steel FC.
“I’m really happy that Mark had his first start today, that’s huge for us for development purposes, that’s first and foremost,” Burke said. “It hurts not to get the result, but to get him his debut is an important step for the club, so I’m happy for Mark on that end.”
Heard also made his first start for Steel FC after three previous appearances with Steel FC.
“I just want to show that I can get out there and play any minute that I can to prove myself,” Heard said. “I want to do it. It was a great opportunity and I’m glad I did what I did with it.”
Steel FC return to Goodman Stadium on Sunday, July 10 to face Pittsburgh River Hounds at 4 p.m. Single game and group tickets are available by visiting bethlehemsteelfc.com or by calling 844-STEELFC.
The team will now play five games on the road with the next matchup against Charlotte Independence on Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 0, New York Red Bulls II 1
Shots: 8-6 (Steel FC)
Corners: 5-4 (Steel FC)
Fouls: 14-20 (NYRB II)
NY — Brandon Allen (Gideon Baah) 4’
BSFC — Auston Trusty (Yellow) 6’
NY — Konrad Plewa (Yellow) 52’
NY — Alex Muyl (Yellow) 57’
BSFC — Mickey Daly (Yellow) 58’
NY — Zach Carroll (Yellow) 70’
NY — Ryan Meara (Yellow) 90+2
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Samir Badr; Ryan Richter (C), Mickey Daly, Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie (Nick Bibbs 21’); Bolu Akinyode, Derrick Jones; Jamie Luchini, Gabe Gissie (Raheem Taylor-Parkes 54’), Josh Heard; Cory Burke (Fred 78’)
Substitutes not used: C.J. Dos Santos, Joe DeZart, Lamine Conte
NEW YORK RED BULLS II STARTING XI
Ryan Meara; Justin Bilyeu, Gideon Baah, Aaron Long, Konrad Plewa (Zach Carroll 60’); Dan Metzger, Sean Davis, Derrick Etienne, Jr. (Devon Williams 90’), Alex Muyl; Junior Flemmings (Noah Powder 87’), Brandon Allen
Substitutes not used: Rafael Diaz, Tim Schmoll, Cheikh M’Baye, Zoumana Simpara
Jon Freemon (Center), Tyler Wyrostek (Assistant), Jaroslaw Werel (Assistant), Mark Treilman (Fourth)
· Mark McKenzie made his first start for Steel FC becoming the third academy player to earn a starting spot for Steel FC. Auston Trusty and Matt Real from the Philadelphia Union Academy have also started for Steel FC.
· Cory Bruke made his first start for Steel FC after appearing in three games for Steel FC (5/15 vs. FC Montreal, 5/22 vs. City Islanders, 5/28 vs. Rochester Rhinos).
· Josh Heard made his first start for Steel FC while defender Nick Bibbs made his second appearance after debuting last weekend against Rochester Rhinos.
· Samir Badr made his second start for Steel FC after making his debut against Rochester Rhinos
· Bethlehem Steel FC now have a record of 3-4-4 in their inaugural 2016 season and a 2-2-2 record at home.