USL - Bethlehem Steel FC

Inaugural Bethlehem Steel schedule announced

Bethlehem Steel FC’s inaugural 30-game USL schedule was announced on Wednesday.

The team starts its first campaign on the road against FC Montreal on Friday, March 25. The home opener at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium is on Sunday, April 3 at 3 pm against FC Cincinnati (a team that includes former Union players Austin Berry, Corben Bone, Antoine Hoppenot, and Jimmy McLaughlin).

All of Bethlehem Steel’s 30 games — 15 at home and 15 away — are against Eastern Conference opponents. The team faces Pennsylvania rivals Harrisburg City Islanders and Pittsburgh Riverhounds three times, and also play New York Red Bulls II and FC Montreal three times. They face their other Eastern Conference opponents twice.

  • Three matches against (two home): Pittsburgh Riverhounds and New York Red Bulls II.
  • Three matches against (two away): FC Montreal and Harrisburg City Islanders.
  • Two matches against (home and away): Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, FC Cincinnati, Louisville City FC, Orlando City B, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Toronto FC II, Wilmington Hammerheads FC.

The schedule announcement at the Union website notes, “The top eight teams from each conference will then progress to the playoffs where they will compete in a single-elimination bracket. The two conference champions will advance to the 2016 USL Championship.”

Here’s the full schedule. All games should be available via livestream on YouTube.

GM DATE OPPONENT TIME (ET)
1 Friday, March 25 at FC Montreal TBD
2 Sunday, April 3 FC Cincinnati 3 p.m.
3 Sunday, April 10 at New York Red Bulls II 5 p.m.
4 Sunday, April 17 Richmond Kickers TBD
5 Sunday, April 24 Charleston Battery TBD
6 Sunday May 1 Louisville City FC TBD
7 Saturday, May 7 at Orlando City B 7:30 p.m.
8 Sunday, May 15 FC Montreal TBD
9 Sunday, May 22 at Harrisburg City Islanders TBD
10 Saturday, May 28 at Rochester Rhinos TBD
11 Sunday, June 5 New York Red Bulls II TBD
12 Friday, June 10 at Charlotte Independence 7 p.m.
13 Friday, June 17 at Wilmington Hammerheads FC 7 p.m.
14 Saturday, June 25 at Richmond Kickers 7 p.m.
15 Saturday, July 2 at FC Cincinnati TBD
16 Wednesday, July 6 at Toronto FC II TBD
17 Sunday, July 10 Pittsburgh Riverhounds TBD
18 Thursday, July 14 Wilmington Hammerheads FC TBD
19 Thursday, July 21 Harrisburg City Islanders TBD
20 Sunday, July 24 Rochester Rhinos TBD
21 Sunday, July 31 Toronto FC II TBD
22 Sunday, Aug. 7 Charlotte Independence TBD
23 Saturday, Aug. 13 at Pittsburgh Riverhounds 7 p.m.
24 Sunday, Aug. 21 at FC Montreal 3 p.m.
25 Saturday, Aug. 27 at Louisville City FC 7:30 p.m.
26 Tuesday, Aug. 30 at Harrisburg City Islanders TBD
27 Sunday, Sept. 4 New York Red Bulls II TBD
28 Saturday, Sept. 10 at Charleston Battery 7:30 p.m.
29 Sunday, Sept. 18 Pittsburgh Riverhounds TBD
30 Sunday, Sept. 25 Orlando City B TBD

13 Comments

  1. Looks like 7 games that are the same day as Union games. Of course, a lot of others that are one day off from a Union game (which could be anywhere across the country). But it seems like on at least some occasions, some of the younger players could make the 18 on Saturday in Chester and then head up to Lehigh on Sunday and play there (assuming they didn’t get a lot of PT on Saturday).

  2. In case you’re wondering, Goodman Stadium doesn’t have lights, hence all the Sunday matinees. I’ll be curious to see how attendance goes since Saturday nights historically draw way better than any other time.

    • They are going to have to figure out the stadium situation quickly.

      • Or install lights. Lehigh has resisted lights for years because it’s a massive undertaking, they’d need to light all the parking areas which are spread out. The entire mountaintop campus has limited infrastructure so it’s not a simple fix. If you look at the PDF of the schedule, they have all those Sunday TBD times listed as mid-afternoon matches (3 or 4pm) and the only ones not with times are the two Thursday matches and another in July (which makes me wonder if they’ll be played elsewhere under lights). Perhaps they play a game or two at the original Beth Steel stadium (Moravian)?

      • Interesting, they took down the schedule that had the times listed on it, good thing I saved it before they did so. Here’s the lowdown of home game kickoff times according to that schedule:
        *
        April 3, 17, 24, May 1 – 3pm
        *
        May 15, June 5, July 10 – 4pm
        *
        July 14, 21, 24 – TBA
        *
        July 31, August 7 – 4pm
        *
        September 4, 18, 25 – 3pm

  3. Semi-related: Harrisburg City Islanders will be playing ten of their home games next door to Skyline at the Senators’ Metro Bank Park: http://cityislanders.com/club-news/city-islanders-relocate-to-metro-bank-park/
    But, not all of them. It looks like at least four of their home games will be at Lancaster’s Clipper Magazine Stadium, including that May 22 game against Bethlehem Steel: http://cityislanders.com/schedule/2015-schedule/ (the link says 2015 but it’s the 2016 schedule that’s listed on the page). That should be easier for Philadelphia-area people (especially from the western suburbs) to get to than Harrisburg would be.

    • I hate this move. The City Islanders touted the benefits of real restrooms, better food options, a modern stadium, corporate suites, and so on, but there’s a major problem: it’s a freakin’ baseball stadium. Soccer should NEVER be played in baseball stadiums. The seating bowl is too gradual and a far distance from the pitch, making the sightlines terrible. The configuration is all wrong and based on the diagram the City Islanders showed, to avoid the pitcher’s mound the pitch is closest to the smallest batch of seats. And to split games between Harrisburg and Lancaster is awful for fans. Sure, they’ll draw some people from Lancaster but at the cost of alienating those coming from Harrisburg or further afield? I know they wanted to stay on City Island, but Hersheypark Stadium or somewhere else would be much better. I really hope this is temporary, but I’m failing to see how they meet USL benchmarks much longer. It pains me to say that because I’ve been a ticket holder in the past, but the resources and fan base just aren’t there.

  4. So how many players does BSFC have? 7, right? Is it unusual for usl teams to have this few players come january?

    • It’s tough to say. Harrisburg used to be very late in putting their squads together because they’d wait for guys who were released by MLS squads. But now that MLS squads are fielding the USL reserve teams, I’m not sure if that trend will continue. Some of the players will come from the Union’s lower draft picks, but I bet lots of this will be sorted out with preseason and trialists. So I guess that’s a long way of saying it’s not too unusual for USL teams to have only a few announced signings right now.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        The call backs from the open tryout in November have yet to be called back as well which based on a buddy of mine who made the cut said he expects that to happen very soon.

  5. What is the over/under time in the first game that Bonesaw targets the best player on the field for BSFC?

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