Led by a contingent of two-goal performances, Bethlehem Steel FC picked up its first win of the 2018 preseason by defeating Junior Lone Star FC U-23’s, 11-1, at YSC Sports.
Facing off against the Junior Lone Star FC organization for the third-consecutive preseason, Steel FC remained unbeaten in the series while showcasing strong defensive pressure to limit its opponent to only five shots.
“I think the defense played really well despite the game not having as much structure as we wanted but I think our guys did a good job of being professional and keeping ,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “The finishing was good and honestly we could have been sharper in front of goal at times. We now turn our attention to the test against Penn FC on Wednesday.”
The match featured robust performances from all three levels of Steel FC Saturday afternoon. The jumped out to a four-goal advantage in the first half, with Brandon Allen opening the stat sheet with his first goal as a member the club. Allen slotted home a pass from Chris Nanco in the 11th minute of play. Midfielder Santi Moar produced another stellar performance against Junior Lone Star, netting a brace for the second-consecutive year. The 24-year-old scored in the 52nd minute and quickly followed up with a penalty kick conversion six minutes later for the brace.
Steel FC’s squad featured six members of the Philadelphia Union Academy playing with the USL-side. Leading the way were midfielders Issa Rayyan, Brenden Aaronson and Tonny Temple, with the trio combining for five goals and two assists.
Jamaican international and trialist Gregory Messam Jr., also produced a steady showing, netting a brace in his first preseason match with the club. Playing in the second group of players, Messam needed only six minutes for his pair of goals, beating his defender twice inside the box. Joining Messaam Jr.’s on the scoreline from the group of trialists were Joe Gallardo, who scored in the 27th minute and Mickey George, assist on Messam Jr.’s first goal.
The preseason slate turns over to one of its busiest, with Steel FC hosting USL-rival Penn FC on Wednesday, February 21, followed by Syracuse University for matches next week. Wednesday’s kick off from YSC Sports is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Bethlehem Steel FC 11, Junior Lone Star FC U-23 1
Shots: 26-5 (Bethlehem)
Shots On Goal: 17-1 (Bethlehem)
Corners: 6-0 (Bethlehem)
BST – 11’ Brandon Allen (Chris Nanco)
BST – 18’ Brenden Aaronson (Matthew Mahoney)
BST – 27’ Joe Gallardo
BST – 40’ Issa Rayyan (James Chambers, Aidan Apodaca)
BST – 50’ Brenden Aaronson (Brandon Allen)
BST – 52’ Santi Moar
BST – 58’ Santi Moar (PK)
JLS – 68’ Abdul Mansaray (PK)
BST – 73’ Gregory Messam Jr. (Mickey George)
BST – 79’ Gregory Messam Jr. (Issa Rayyan)
BST – 83’ Tonny Temple
BST – 86’ Issa Rayyan (Tonny Temple)
BETHLEHEM STEEL FC STARTING XI
Group 1 (Started and played first 25 minutes of first half, started and played first 20 minutes of second half)
Tomas Romero; Seth Kuhn, Brandon Aubrey, Matt Danilack, Matthew Mahoney; James Chambers (played full first half), Mike Catalano, Brenden Aaronson; Santi Moar, Chris Nanco, Brandon Allen.
Group 2 (Played final 20 minutes of first half, played first 25 minutes of second half)
Tomas Romero (Lukas Burns 65’); Mickey George, Brandon Aubrey, Matt Danilack, Clay Dimick; Colin Stripling (played full second half), Greggory Messam Jr., Joe Gallardo; Issa Rayyan, Tonny Temple, Aidan Apodaca.