Bethlehem Steel FC continues its busy slate of four-matches in 13 days with the club’s inaugural match at Atlanta United 2 on Wednesday, July 11. Kick off from Coolray Field is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast locally on Service Electric and on ESPN+.
Steel FC enters the match after its five-match unbeaten streak was snapped in the first contest of its current trip, falling to Penn FC, 3-2. Midfielder Santi Moar made history, becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in assists while forward Fabian Herbers notched a brace to push his club lead to five goals.
“The lack of energy in the center of midfield in particular in the first half killed us and it’s something that we talked about all weekend and something that we have to correct quickly,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “Luckily, we have a quick turnaround to head down to Atlanta and despite them being low in the table, we recognize they have only lost one game at home this year. It’s a very difficult task and going to demand a big response out of us.”
Wednesday night’s contest will be the third of four matches at new league opponents this season, with Steel FC winning the inaugural showdowns at Indy Eleven and North Carolina FC by 2-1 scorelines. Over the past two seasons, Steel FC is 4-0-4 against the new opponents picking up road wins against Ottawa Fury FC and Saint Louis FC in addition to Indy and North Carolina.
The USL-affiliate of Atlanta United, the club enters the midweek tilt after falling on the road to New York Red Bulls II, 6-1. While the new side sits in 15th on the Eastern Conference table, the squad has claimed nine points in six matches at Coolray Field. Jon Gallagher leads the attack for Atlanta United 2, notching five goals in 15 appearances for Scott Donnelly.
“Very similar to their first team, they are modeled in similar ways to us and Red Bulls where it’s the same system, same approach and same style of play,” Burke said. “They have some very electric individuals. They have conceded a lot and that’s something we need to exploit but they have also done well going forwarded and created a lot of chances that on any given day, as Toronto [FC II] saw earlier this year when they put five goals up. We will be very aware of the potential they have going forward.”