Philadelphia Union II

Match Report: Bethlehem Steel FC 1-0 FC Cincinnati

Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Steel FC

For the second time in four weeks FC Cincinnati visited Bethlehem Steel FC, and for the second time the Steel won. This time the score was 1-0.

The Steel earned a corner kick in the 87th minute, and defensive center midfielder James Chambers went short to center midfielder Adam Najem. Najem faked back to Chambers and delivered a long cross from the left to the six. Hugh Roberts rose to meet it, and his header kissed the side netting inside the far post past Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt for the win.

Ohio’s Lions played very well, striking a post, a bar, and an upper ninety intersection late in the second half. They were on the front foot all game, outshooting the Steel 21 to 9.

But the Bethlehem defense, led by center backs Roberts and Auston Trusty and helped by goalkeeper Jake McGuire’s two well-rounded steel friends, Mr. Post and Mr. Bar, preserved the clean sheet.

Cincy controlled the center of the midfield with center mid Corben Bone having a strong effect on the game. In the first half, they emphasized pressuring Chambers. At halftime, they made an adjustment to emphasize pressing Adam Najem as well.

The Steel backline and defensive center mid made few attempts to build play on the ground. Cincinnati was jumping passing lanes aggressively all game. Long diagonal balls to the opposite channel, or down the center for striker Seku Conneh and attacking center mid Cory Burke were the Steel’s primary method of advance. When the ball was on the ground, it was played into the flank channels where it tended to stay.

Full marks to the Steel for absorbing real pressure and keeping the clean sheet.

The Lions’ head coach Alan Koch is clearly rotating his central midfielders. Aodhan Quinn subbing on for Daryl Fordyce marked the beginning of intense Cincinnati pressure on the Steel goal. Quinn, Bone and Kenney Walker on the pitch together regularly would be formidable indeed.

Beating the same team twice in a season is difficult at any level. The Steel deserve congratulations for having done so at the pro level against a highly-regarded opponent.

Three points

Coming back in shape: James Chambers returned from his tragic family responsibilities in Ireland in top physical condition. He played the full ninety minutes without fatigue seriously affecting his play. PSP knows he passed his fitness test on his first day back to training with flying colors. Head coach Brandon Burke’s confidence was such that he used Chambers’s positional sub, Chris Wingate, as a substitute for someone else. By the way, Wingate’s appearance was his professional debut.

Man of the Match: Hugh Roberts not only scored the winner, but he was constantly making the small unnoticed plays that averted major threats. Once in the first half everybody noticed. With Roberts leading and Trusty cleaning up, the defense smothered a dangerous potential breakaway right down the middle from Hildebrandt to striker Andrew Wiedeman. The play was made in the penalty box, and cleanly so.  He also completed over 90% of his passes,

West Coast travel: The Union left for greater Los Angeles last Wednesday. Coach Burke had two full days of practice with the group that played yesterday’s game. The coordinated fashion in which they deliberately absorbed pressure is reflected in the fact.


BSFC: Jake McGuire*; Aaron Jones*, Hugh Roberts, Auston Trusty*, Gili Wijnaldum*; James Chambers , Adam Najem*; Santi Moar, Cory Burke, Marcus Epps* (Chris Wingate 78’); Seku Conneh (Josh Heard 90th+2’) Unused Substitutes: Jahmali Waite; Matt Mahoney, Matt Real, Yosef Samuel, Justin McMaster**. *Union Loanee, **Academy player

FCC: Mitch Hildebrandt; Matt Bahner, Austin Berry , Harrison Delbridge, Tyler Polak; Kenney Walker (Andy Craven 71’), Corben Bone; Kadeem Dacres (Victor Mansaray 83’) , Daryl Fordyce (Aodhan Quinn 67’), Jimmy McGlaughlin; Andrew Wiedeman Unused Substitutes: Dallas Joye; Pat McMahon, Paul Nicholson, Omar Cummings

Scoring Summary

86:12       BSFC       Hugh Roberts (from Adam Najem)

Disciplinary Summary

41:53       BSFC       Seku Conneh       YC       delay
58:25       BSFC       Gili Wijnaldum   YC       foul
60:51       FCC         Kenney Walker    YC       foul
79:10       BSFC       Santi Moar           YC       foul
83:56       FCC         Tyler Polak           YC       foul
90 + 3      FCC         Andy Craven        RC       violent conduct


  1. Epps looks good

  2. WeAreSteel 2K17 says:

    Chambers made a big difference. Glad to have him back.

  3. Wijnaldum baiting Craven into a red card was the highlight of my weekend

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