USL Match report

Match report: Bethlehem Steel 0-2 NYRB II

Photo: Earl Gardner

Maurice Edu played his first league game of the year Sunday, but Bethlehem Steel still lost 2-0 to New York Red Bulls II at home.

The first place NYRB II pushed ahead on a 32nd minute penalty kick by New Jersey native and NYRB loanee Brandon Allen and secured the win after a stoppage time goal by Derrick Etienne.

New York outshot Bethlehem 10-5 as the home side struggled to create offensive chances once again.

Bethlehem’s best scoring chance likely came in the 51st minute off a free kick by Ryan Richter, but Eric Ayuk couldn’t put his ensuing header on frame.

The loss extends Steel’s winless streak to nine. They have not won since a 3-0 win over Wilmington on July 14.

Edu, who has been out all season with a stress fracture in his leg, started and played 32 minutes for Steel on loan from Philadelphia Union before exiting the match when NYRB II won a penalty. Along the way, he earned a foul that created an attacking free kick opportunity, and he was also booked for a yellow card. Edu had returned to training with the Union but had yet to see any game minutes, and that was the purpose of his appearance Sunday.

“It was to test out my injury and see how many minutes I could get under my belt,” Edu said.

The past U.S. international wasn’t the only new starter to feature for Bethlehem, as recently signed goalkeeper Matt Perella got his first start in goal. He saved three shots.

Three points
  1. Still in playoff hunt: Despite Bethlehem’s winless streak, they remain in the playoff hunt. Eight teams make the playoffs, and Bethlehem sits in 10th in the USL standings, five points off eighth place Orlando City B, with three games left to play. Orlando has four games left to play.
  2. Losing close games: Bethlehem have gone 0-6-3 during their last nine, and five of those games have been at home. However, Sunday’s match marked the first that they lost by more than a goal, and even then the second goal was surrendered while Bethlehem was desperately chasing an equalizer. Bethlehem’s -8 goal differential on the season ranks eighth in the league. They’re keeping games close, but they’re short on attacking firepower.
  3. Edu returnsEdu’s return shows there is a chance he could get some minutes for Philadelphia Union before season’s end. It may be a bit much to expect starting appearances for the Union after such a long layoff, but Philadelphia lacks depth in center midfield and could use any help there they can get.

Bethlehem Steel lineup
Matthew Perrella; Ryan Richter, Nick Bibbs, Bolu Akinyode, Taylor Washington; Derrick Jones, Maurice Edu © (Anthony Fontana, 32’), James Chambers; Gabe Gissie (Justin McMaster, 46’), Joshua Heard (Cole Missimo 71), Eric Ayuk
Substitutes not used: Josue Monge, Matt Real, Jamie Luchini, Amoy Brown

New York Red Bulls II Lineup
Rafel Diaz; Kevin O’Toole (Konrad Plewa 68’), Aaron Long, Zach Carroll, David Nasem; Dan Metzger, Tyler Adams, Vincent Bezecourt (Devon Williams 75’); Derrick Etienne, Brandon Allen (Ben Mines 90’), Florian Valot (Stefano Bonmo 71’)
Substitutes not used: Sam Ilan, Tim Schmoll, Zoumana Simpara

Scoring summary
NYRBII – 32’ Brendan Allen (PK)
NYRBII – 90’ Derrick Etienne

Discipline summary
BST: 30’ – Maurice Edu (Yellow Card)
BST: 45’ – Joshua Heard (Yellow Card)
NY: 58’ – Brandon Allen (Yellow Card)
NY: 60’ – Florian Valot (Yellow Card)

Match Stats (BST / NY)
Shots: 5 / 10
Shots On Goal: 2 / 5
Corners: 2 / 5
Saves: 2 / 3


  1. Eduuuuuuuuuuuuu! I just feel bad for him it’s gotta be tough having to put up with an injury that keeps you out the whole year. Not sure I want him back though…

  2. Despite Bethlehem’s winless streak they remain in the playoff hunt.

  3. What was the build up approach that Curtin used in the preseason again? 30-45-60-90?

  4. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    Nothing says “American Soccer Sucks” more than playing on a pitch freshly painted for gridiron football season.

  5. Went back and watched the first 30 min. I’d be surprised to see Mo back in a starting capacity this season even if we make MLS Cup.
    He spent most of the 30 walking, picking his moments to impact the match. Did track back once, but mainly sat and waited for the ball to come to him or stayed passive positioning wise.
    His dribbling skills looked really good, although he did have two terrible turnovers throughout the game.
    He was as always extremely physical and went into tackles really hard, normally initiating contact.
    It takes a long time to get back to full fitness after sitting out a year. I still hold out a little hope but my head tells me BC is going to have to get back and get us through the rest of the season at the 6.

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