USL Match report

Match Report: Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2-1 Bethlehem Steel

A hot Saturday night in Pittsburgh saw Bethlehem Steel fall to the Riverhounds 2-1 at Highmark Stadium.

Goals from Corey Hertzog and Kevin Kerr were too much for Bethlehem to overcome, while Philadelphia-area product Zack Steffen played a solid game on loan for Pittsburgh in goal.

The opening 10 minutes saw the Steel create a few decent chances and work most of their attacks down the left hand side. Taylor Washington constantly made overlapping runs and Josh Heard and Eric Ayuk also had a few chances.

The Steel failed to capitalize, however, as Pittsburgh came out lethargic and uninspired.

The Riverhounds could not put a decent attack together until earning a corner in the 18th minute. It was played short to Danny Earls who hit a high hanging cross that fell onto the head of Hertzog and flew into the net.

The Steel did not seem too discouraged and pulled back level within a few minutes. Corey Burke, a scorer in the reverse fixture, got a hold of a ball that rebounded off the shin Jamie Luchini and drilled a left-footed shot past Steffen from 10 yards out.

The game continued in a back and forth fashion as Pittsburgh seemed to wake up and match the Steel’s higher intensity. Bethlehem goalkeeper Samir Badr came up huge, making several key saves through the first half to keep the score level.

The second half continued the back and forth nature, and the Steel were able to create a decent opportunity in the 60th minute that saw Akinyode drill a low shot that was saved by Steffen, the former Philadelphia Union Academy player who is on loan from the Columbus Crew. The Riverhounds played out quickly after a deep ball into the attacking third from Steffen. It was played around until Earls hit a perfect diagonal into the penalty box that left Badr in a one on one but the goalkeeper came up huge with a save.

Pittsburgh came down the field again a minute later and after a switch from Earls, captain Kevin Kerr played one-twos until he was six yards from goal and fired home with his left foot. It epitomized the game for the Steel as they created chances but gave up goals against the run of play.

The weather turned wet and rainy and dampened the Steel’s efforts to equalize. They increased their intensity and carved out chances but were unable to score. Jamie Luchini had a strike that should have been a goal but it was not the Steel’s night.

Three points

Road stretch starts poorly: Bethlehem severely harmed their playoff hope by dropping three points against Pittsburgh. The western Pennsylvania team should have been easily taken care of but they took their chances while the Steel failed to take theirs. Offseason work and maybe a new goalscorer would do wonders for the Steel as they could turn their decent attacks into goals. The team’s highest scorer is right back and captain Ryan Richter but the team needs a striker that can score ten goals a season.

Beautiful stadium: Highmark Stadium sat just a railroad track from the water. Trains and boats idled by throughout the game with the bridge looming right over top. It is a setup very similar to the Union’s Talen Energy Stadium.

Badr shows class once again: Though he gave up two goals, Badr constantly proved his ability and talent with amazing reflexes in one on one situations that kept the Steel in the game. His performances have been consistently impressive and it makes a fan wonder why John McCarthy is even in contention for a starting spot. A little more help form the inexperienced central defensive pairing, and Badr will start racking up clean sheets.

Match info

Bethlehem Steel FC
Samir Badr; Auston Trusty, Anderson Conceicao, Taylor Washington (Amoy Brown 78’), Ryan Richter (C); Bolu Akinyode, James Chambers, Leo Fernandes (Gabe Gissie 87’); Eric Ayuk, Joshua Heard (Jamie Luchini 65’), Cory Burke (Justin McMaster 79’)
Substitutes not used: Nick Bibbs, Anthony Fontana

Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Zack Steffen; Willie Hunt, Ryan Adeleye (Marshall Hollingsworth 58’), Sergio Campbell, Michael Green; Danny Earls, Stephen Okai (Zach Boggs 78’), Kevin Kerr, Lebo Moloto (Cristian Martinez 46’); Corey Hertzog, Alejandro Aguilar (Nick Thompson 46’ (Rodrigo Saravia 65’)
Substitutes not used: Hunter Gilstrap, Jack Thompson.

Match Stats (BSFC / PIT)
Shots: 9 / 10
Shots On Goal: 7 / 7
Corners: 5 / 4
Saves: 6 / 5

Scoring Summary
PGH – 18’ Cory Hertzog
BST – 28’ Cory Burke
PGH – 62’ Kevin Kerr

Discipline Summary
PGH – 23’ –Danny Earls (Yellow Card)
BST – 37’ – Ryan Richter (Yellow Card)
BST – 66’ – James Chambers (Yellow Card)
PGH – 90’ – Cory Hertzog (Yellow Card)
BST – 90’ – Anderson (Yellow Card)



  1. The first team could use a striker who scores ten in a thirty game season!
    Anderson played at right center back for the first time in the season.
    Mickey Daly’s loan to Carolina has been a fine professional opportunity for him. We have heard no comment from any source I’ve seen what the Union might receive, or have received, in return for allowing the loan.
    McCarthy directs his defenders well, in my opinion. He played an important role in making the original defense gel at the beginning of the season. I cannot tell how well Samir Badr fills that same role.
    It is worth noting that for a second consecutive game, the third one over all, the Steel played without a reserve goal keeper on the bench. 3 out of 23 is 13 percent.

  2. I appreciate the nod to that stadium. It is really something. Highly recommend to anyone in the area to go see a game there if possible.

  3. +1 on the stadium. It is in the West end of Station Square, an indoor/outdoor shopping and restaurant area.
    Just avoid sitting in the top half of sections 101/102 if you don’t like having the opposing team’s supporters in your ear.

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