Philadelphia Union II / USL Match report

Match Report: Bethlehem Steel FC 3- 1 Toronto FC II

Photo courtesy of Philly Sports Network

Bethlehem Steel FC scored three goals against Toronto FC II Sunday to win 3-1 at Lehigh University, moving them into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

A very chippy match almost got away from Bethlehem late in the second half as Toronto II increased their pressure. Steel FC remained the better team all match but at times it seemed they might have lost their composure amidst a lot of after-the-whistle trash talk and some hard fouls.

A total of 8 yellow cards were issued including a red card shown to Toronto II’s Julian Dunn in the 80th minute. The red proved to be the final momentum shift of the match which propelled Bethlehem to victory.


Jamaican international Cory Burke scored the first goal for Steel FC in the 58th minute.  Burke blasted a one-time volley past Toronto II goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzo from a perfect cross into the box from rookie Chris Nanco.

Fast forward to around the 65th minute and the tide began to shift in Toronto’s favor. They switched from a defensive approach to a high pressure system. It proved effective in the 71st minute when the speedy Jordan McCrary got the better of Steel FC defender Matt Real. Real fouled McCrary inside the box which forced the referee to call for a PK. Mitchell Taintor stepped up and converted the opportunity briefly tying the match up at 1-1.

More worry built for Steel FC in the 76th minute when midfielder Derrick Jones received a yellow card for a late challenge. Bethlehem head coach Brendan Burke wisely decided to bring on the normal match captain James Chambers in the 78th minute. Only two minutes after Chambers entered the match, he powered home a PK awarded to Steel FC after Burke utilized his speed and quickness to get in behind Toronto’s back-line. A second goal and a second yellow and subsequent red card for Toronto II’s Julian Dunn were the result of Burke’s peskiness.

A rookie to rookie connection tallied home a late insurance goal for Steel FC when Santi Moar linked up with a sprinting Nanco in the 92nd minute. And that was all she wrote for Toronto II.

Central midfielder Adam Najem proved to be very effective the entire evening, serving as the maestro for Steel FC, dropping perfect passes and using great vision moving forward. Bethlehem also enjoyed some great distribution out of the back as well from Matt Real and Derrick Jones among others.

Three Points

  • Forward Cory Burke rocked the captain’s armband with pride and played with a lot of energy as he continually bothered Toronto’s defensive system which featured a three man back-line.
  • Rookie sensation Chris Nanco has been producing as of late scoring yet again and delivering a beautiful ball on the Corey Burke goal.
  • Matt Real played a very lively match – at times maybe too lively – as he and Toronto II’s Jordan McCrary exchanged post-whistle shoves and words all match long.


Bethlehem Steel FC: Jake McGuire, Matthew Real, Auston Trusty, Hugh Roberts, Aaron Jones, Derrick Jones (James Chambers 78′), Ken Tribbett, Chris Nanco, Adam Najem (Yosef Samuel 87′), Marcus Epps (Santi Moar), Cory Burke. Unused subs: Tomas Romero, Charlie Reyman, Matt Mahoney, Seku Conneh

Toronto FC II: Angelo Cavalluzo, Julian Dunn, Mitchell Taintor, Robert Boskovic, Jordan McCrary (Dante Campbell 90′), Brian James, Liam Fraser, Ryan Telfer, Aikim Andrews (Srbely 70′), Malik Johnson (Ricardo John 85′), Shaan Hundal. Unused Subs: Sidney Paris, Brandon Aubrey, Brandon Onkony, Ben Spencer.

Discipline Summary

BTH: Matthew Real 28′ yellow

TOR: Jordan McCrary 28′ yellow

TOR: Julian Dunn 50′ yellow

BTH: Cory Burke 55′ yellow

BTH: Ken Tribbett 57′ yellow

TOR: Brian James 67′ yellow

BTH: Derrick Jones 77′ yellow

TOR: Julian Dunn 80′ second yellow, red card


  1. Thanks for the summary. Sounds like Nanco has been solid lately.
    How has Trusty looked?

    • Matt McClain says:

      Trusty has been improving – his distribution was solid tonight. Trusty and McRoberts are becoming a solid duo at the center back spots. Every so often Trusty will roam up the wing attempting link up passes and long balls

    • Trusty is solid and skilled but not quite there yet. He’s doesn’t have Elliots ability to really ping a long one, but for the most part he’s probably on a similar level to Yaro from a technical ability.

      He had an easier night tonight. TFC2 didn’t have a ton of ideas. Last week he struggled a bit with the physicality of a classic 9 and had some issues when the Fury overloaded the central channel.

      He’s gonna be a player but you can still tell he just turned 19.

  2. I’ve noticed Real’s got a bit of a hot head streak. He’s gotten into it a few other times this season.

  3. Old Soccer,Coach says:

    For me, a detail worth mentioning to fans focused on the Union is that at one point Derrick Jones delivered a back-heel that nutmeged his Toronto defender. It did not produce a goal. But the self-confidence to risk the cheeky creativity is encouraging.
    And we should recognize the wisdom of coach Burke in not risking both his YC -accumulation-vulnerable strikers at the same time. Both Cory Burke and Seku Conneh were on four yellow cards going into the game. Burke cannot play against the Independence in Charlotte Wednesday, but Conneh can. And Burke is guaranteed to return against Louisville next weekend at Goodman. Hopefully Conneh with avoid a yellow in NC Wednesday, but the coach’s decision side-steps the possibility of having to play without both of them against the team from the city on the falls of the Ohio River.

    • Matt McClain says:

      I should’ve mentioned the link up play from both Najem and D. Jones. They both play with a lot of confidence. The back heel was a beautiful passage of play.

      As for Matt Real I enjoy seeing the passion from him.

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