Bethlehem Steel FC concludes its longest homestand of 2018 this weekend when the club welcomes FC Cincinnati on Sunday, April 15. Kick off from Goodman Stadium on the campus of Lehigh University is set for 3 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Service Electric as well as streamed on ESPN+.
Sunday’s contest is the club’s new ‘Pups on the Pitch’ promotion, where fans can bring their entire family to the contest including their favorite canines. Special tickets for every dog will be available at the ticket office at Goodman Stadium for just $1, with the proceeds going to The Sanctuary at Haafsville.
Steel FC has claimed four points in its first three home contests this season and is coming off a 1-1 draw against Charleston Battery last weekend. The club has done well at ‘The Fortress’, keeping nearly 60 percent of possession at home while leading the Eastern Conference in passes. Last weekend against the Battery, the club overcame a set piece goal from Skylar Thomas with their own goal from a corner with Cory Burke notching his 14th career goal with Steel FC.
“I would say that I’m really happy with the performance for the most part on the weekend. We played a really good Charleston team who finished third in the league last year or close enough to it,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “I thought we did enough to win the game or did more than enough to win the game; their only chances came from one mistake that led to two chances on goal. I think if we can build on that performance and recreate the possession but add a little bit of urgency to this weekend’s performance then I think we will be in excellent shape.”
Sunday’s match will be the sixth all-time meeting between Steel FC and FC Cincinnati with the visitors holding a slight 3-2 advantage. In 2017, Steel FC won the season series with a pair of clean sheets at Goodman Stadium but FC Cincinnati claimed the finale at Nippert Stadium by a 2-1 margin.
The Ohio-based squad is 2-1-0 early in the 2018 campaign, with both of their wins coming on the road. Last weekend, the club fell at home by a 1-0 margin to rival and defending USL Cup Champions Louisville City FC. All three of FC Cincinnati’s contest has seen 1-0 score lines, with Blake Smith and Emery Welshman scoring for head coach Alan Koch.
"I think you need to break down each individual on their tendencies because there is so much top end by USL standards, roster talent there, not only in their starting XI but on their bench,” Burke said. “You are looking at a Best XI candidate at almost every position so we’ll do our homework and make sure the players have all that information. In terms of talent, we’re never going to run up against too much more like them except maybe Tampa Bay.”