Philadelphia Union II / Report

Match report: Bethlehem Steel 0-1 Charlotte Independence

Photo Courtesy USL

After putting up three goals in their last game, Bethlehem Steel FC failed to score and lost 1-0 to Charlotte Independence. A first half goal from Enzo Martinez was the difference, as tired legs may have been an issue for BSFC.

The game started out well enough for Steel FC, considering they played on Sunday and now went up against one of the most dangerous teams in the USL on the road. They pressed high up the pitch and even seemed to catch the Independence off guard a bit.

The first real chance came in the 9th minute when a Seku Conneh header was blocked by a defender. The ball pinballed around the box for a bit, but Steel FC were unable to force it into the back of the net. Just minutes later, Santi Moar had his shot saved as well.

The early missed chances would come back to bite Steel FC, as Charlotte’s Enzo Martinez was able to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute.

Charlotte had been on the front foot in the few minutes preceding the goal and made Steel FC pay for not properly clearing a corner kick. 16-year-old goalkeeper Tomas Romero had looked comfortable up to that point but simply got beat by a pinpoint shot to his far post.

The second half was a back and forth affair, with both teams threatening but neither scoring. Both Anthony Fontana and James Chambers had chances to level the scoring, but they were denied by Cody Mizell.

Romero also stepped up big twice in the second half to keep Steel FC in the game. Once on a three-on-one breakaway after Steel FC were caught with numbers forward from a corner. Then another in stoppage time.

Ultimately it wasn’t meant to be for Steel FC, who will look to get back on track this Sunday against Louisville City.

Three points

On the road against the top team in the eastern conference, I was pleased to see BSFC come out with the energy they did. The opening stages of the game definitely favored them, they also had the majority of chances early on.

Tomas Romero looked very composed in goal for a 16 years old. He’s one to keep an eye on as the season continues to progress.


Bethlehem Steel FC: Tomas Romero; Charlie Reymann, Auston Trusty, Hugh Roberts, Aaron Jones; James Chambers, Derrick Jones, Anthony Fontana (Brenden Aaronson 87’); Santi Moar, Yosef Samuel (Chris Nanco 60’), Seku Conneh (Josh Heard 71’). Unused subs: Kristopher Shakes, Matthew Mahoney, Nykolas Sessock.

Charlotte Independence: Cody Mizell; Donald Smith, Henry Kalungi, Dennis Castillo, Bilal Duckett (Luke Waechter 75’); Callum Ross (Yann Ekra 69’), David Estrada (Joel Johnson 64’), Alex Martinez, Jun Marques Davidson; Jorge Herrera, Enzo Martinez. Unused subs: Kainoa Likewise, Jaime Siaj, Lewis Hilton, Austin Yearwood.

Scoring Summary: 

CLT – 32’ Enzo Martinez

Misconduct Summary: 

BST – 15’ James Chambers Yellow Card
CLT – 54’ Callum Ross Yellow Card
CLT – 74’ Donald Smith Yellow Card


  1. Old Soccer Coach says:

    After studying the lineup, it is clear that a younger game-day roster made the trip, and that opportunities were given to some who have not started recently.
    Coming into the game, Charlotte had just lost for the first time since making a 14th-to-1st run up the table.
    That our kids slugged it out toe-to-toe with the conference leaders — add to the full game stats the observation from the ESPN 3 color woman that the Steel had a second half possession advantage 60:40 — at their place is something of which we can be proud even though they did not win.
    The Steel are the third-youngest team in the east,she said, after TFC2 and NYRB2. Charlotte is a side of savvy veteran starters.
    Last point. The Steel youngsters produced a much better game than did a side dominated by Union loanees eighteen days ago in Bethlehem. Last night, our guys did not look outclassed and vulnerable. Not so earlier.

  2. Matt McClain says:

    Tomas Romero was stellar. The save he made on the late breakaway – around the 78th minute I think – was great. Came well off his line to make a perfect save. Good stuff Joseph

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