USL - Philadelphia Union II

Match report: Bethlehem Steel 0-1 NYRB II

Bethlehem Steel FC fell 1-0 to New York Red Bulls II on Sunday, marking their first home loss of the year.

Center backs Michael Daly and Auston Trusty made a defensive error in the game’s first minutes to concede the only goal of the match to New York.

Bethlehem started the match at an unusually frenetic pace, fielding a compact midfield line that fought a back-and-forth battle in the center of the pitch. However, their efforts resulted in an ineffective struggle for possession susceptible to formidable counterattacks.

Eventually, Bethlehem found their footing, creating lots of crosses and attacks from the wings, but the damage was done. Despite Bethlehem’s close chances, the Red Bulls were able to hold onto their lead thanks to their goalkeeper, Ryan Meara.

First half

From the beginning, there was a definite energy desire to set the pace of the game that saw Bethlehem once again field a side without Union loanees, but Daly and Trusty struggled to find their focus early on, perhaps due to having started less than five matches for the club.

In the third minute, Red Bulls attacker Brandon Allen received a long ball that bounced between Daly and Trusty. However, there seemed to be a miscommunication between the two. Trusty left his center position to cut in front of Allen, but the ball bounced over Trusty and gave Allen a clear angle to send it past Bethlehem goalkeeper Samir Badr.

Unfortunately, Trusty made another mistake soon after, receiving a yellow for a challenge on Allen.

Bethlehem’s compact midfield pressed the Red Bulls heavily in the center of the field. However, neither team could retain possession for long. To support the midline for possession, the Steel backline positioned themselves high up the pitch, which made Bethlehem susceptible to long balls counterattacks.

Despite the lack of attacking threat, there were sparse moments of chances from Bethlehem’s attacking midfield.

In the 12th minute, Bethlehem’s Joshua Heard sent the ball back to Derrick Jones for a long distance ground strike that Meara blocked for a corner. The following corner from James Luchini was cleared by the Red Bulls, but the clearance struck Mark McKenzie in the side of the head. Nick Bibbs came on for the injured McKenzie in the 21st minute.

The match’s early fervor gradually died down. Bethlehem worked down the wings, made crosses into the box, but the score remained the same.

In the 33rd, Heard crossed the ball to Jones on the edge of the near post. However, Red Bulls defender Aaron Long blocked it out for a Bethlehem corner. Ryan Richter then sent in a deceptive cross that curved cleanly into the middle of the box. Trusty found contact but headed it high over the crossbar.

Second half

During a halftime interview, Bethlehem Coach Brendon Burke mentioned the need for more energy and pressure in Red Bull’s half, and sure enough, Bethlehem came out and stretched the game wide, creating chances from the wings.

Bethlehem midfielder Gabriel Gissie showed a flair for pace in the 52nd minute. He dribbled the ball to the wing and shot towards goal, however, it went straight for Meara.

The Red Bulls answered with a series of counter attacks down the wings. Bibbs and Daly were carded during this series of counters.

Bethlehem’s most promising attacks were by Luchini and Fred, the latter of whom replaced Cory Burke in the 78th minute.

In the 67th, Luchini managed a ground shot that rolled past a defender, beat the goalie, but went wide past the far post.

Then, the incoming lightning storm delayed the match for one hour and 21 minutes, soaked the field and sent the supporting crowd home, depleting what had been an attendance of 3,569.

After play resumed, Badr left his line in the 79th minute to save a deadly Red Bulls shot that could have closed the match. Immediately following the save, Luchini crossed it to Heard, which Meara blocked. The ball bounced in front of Fred, but his volley glided over the crossbar. It proved to be Bethlehem’s last close chance to equalize, and they fell short in the end.

Bethlehem plays next this Friday, when they meet the Charlotte Independence at the Ramblewood Soccer Complex at 7 p.m.

Bethlehem Steel FC
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’)
Unused substitutes: C.J. Dos Santos, Joe DeZart, Lamine Conte

New York Red Bulls II
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
Unused substitutes: Rafael Diaz, Tim Schmoll, Cheikh M’Baye, Zoumana Simpara

Scoring Summary
NY — Brandon Allen (Gideon Baah) — 4’

Disciplinary Summary
BSFC — Auston Trusty — 6’
NY — Konrad Plewa — 52’
NY — Alex Muyl — 57’
BSFC — Mickey Daly — 58’
NY — Zach Carroll — 70’
NY — Ryan Meara — 90+2

3 Comments

  1. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Thanks for clarifying how McKenzie was injured. I had been looking at a different area of the field when it happened.

  2. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    gut gemacht

  3. USL Matches Just Don't Matter says:

    Interesting to note that New York Red Bulls II had no less than NINE players on an MLS contract in their starting line-up at Goodman Stadium whereas Bethlehem Steel FC had ZERO players on loan from the Philadelphia Union

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