Philadelphia Union II / USL

Match Report: Bethlehem Steel 2-2 Louisville City

Photo courtesy USL

Bethlehem Steel earned a road point after a 2-2 draw with Louisville City. All three points were within reach, but a free kick with less than 15 minutes left leveled the scoring.

Louisville came into the game as leaders in the Eastern Conference and on a two-game win streak. Steel FC, fighting for their playoff lives, had a solid first 15 minutes, and arguably dominated the midfield during the opening stages.

The payoff came in the form of a conceded penalty. Santi Moar was taken down in the box, and Corey Burke converted the kick to give Steel FC a 1-0 lead after 21 minutes.

Louisville would put on a late surge at the end of the first half, but were unable to equalize. Steel Fc were able to go into halftime up 1-0 but showed some signs of vulnerability.

In the 53rd minute, Louisville would a penalty of their own after Luke Spencer was taken down inside the box. The defense surrounded the referee in protest, but replays showed he was indeed brought down before he was able to get a shot off. Kyle Smith stepped up and converted, but was nearly denied by Jake McGuire.

It wouldn’t take long for Steel FC to get the lead back, as Santi Moar made it 2-1 with his close-range tap in. Corey Burke forced a save from Greg Ranjitsingh, the ball fell perfectly for Moar, who made no mistakes and found the back of the net.

Just when it appeared the game was slowing down, Louisville found their equalizer.  Oscar Jiminez tied up the game with a perfectly placed free kick that McGuire just couldn’t do anything about.

Louisville, of course, pushed for the winner to send their home fans happy. They were able to get a few more testing shots on McGuire, but Stell FC were ultimately able to hold on for the draw.

It’ll be an interesting end of the season for Steel FC. A win would’ve been great, but a road point against the best team in the East could be considered a job well done. They now sit just one point below Orlando City for the final playoff spot in the East with six games left to play.

Three Points

  • For what it’s worth, BSFC played like they “belong.” Going into the conference leader is never an easy task, and for a period of time, a win was well within reach.
  • Adam Najem and Derrick Jones both impressed in midfield. While the Union slog through another average season, Najem and Jones look like they’ll have long-term roles to play with the first team sooner rather than later.
  • Playoffs are still a very real possibility. More performances like this and Steel FC might be playing for something at seasons end.



Jake McGuire; Matt Real, Auston Trusty, Hugh Roberts, Aaron Jones; James Chambers, Derrick Jones, Adam Najem (Matthew Mahoney 90’); Santi Moar (Josh Heard 89’), Chris Nanco (Yosef Samuel 86’), Cory Burke. Unused subs Tomas Romero, Charlie Reymann, Brenden Aaronson, Amoy Brown.

Louisville City 

Greg Ranjistsingh; Paco Craig, Sean Reynolds, Sean Totsch; Oscar Jimenez, Devon Williams, Paolo DelPiccolo, Kyle Smith; George Davis IV (Brian Ownby 46’), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Richard Ballard 46’), Luke Spencer (Ilija Ilic 70’). Unused subs Tim Dobrowolski, Tarek Morad, Guy Abend, Cameron Lancaster.

Scoring Summary 

BST – 21’ Cory Burke (PK)
LOU – 55’ Kyle Smith (PK)
BST – 60’ Santi Moar
LOU – 76’ Oscar Jimenez

Discipline Summary 

BST – 31’ Cory Burke (Yellow Card)
LOU – 45+1’ Paco Craig (Yellow Card)
BST – 70’ James Chambers (Yellow Card)
LOU – 86’ Oscar Jimenez (Yellow Card)
BST – 88’ Matt Real (Yellow Card)
BST – 90’ Adam Najem (Yellow Card)


  1. Why was Fontana not in the lineup? Is he taking some time off before getting officially signed.

  2. In reference Fontana not making the trip as he is not listed on the bench either – I have been told that when the Steel fly they do not take extra players in excess of the 18 – there are at least two possibilities. I am speculating entirely, I know nothing.
    One is that there was some type of test at school. Remember that Fontana is a senior at YSC Academy. While classes can be conducted remotely, some types of tests cannot.
    Another obvious possibility is injury. Again, such information is closely held by the organization so I have no idea.
    A third may be a longer-term view of squad rotation, altho’ the possibility is lesser than the first two. They don’t play for nine days, so rotation now is very unlikely.
    He played well against Louisville at Louisville last season, so I doubt it was a “coach’s choice.”
    In any case, we do not know.

    • Fontana wasn’t in the Steel lineup because he was going to be a second half NYRB game substitution—- instead of inverting a triangle and putting Haris Med at the #10 in a game that, thanks to a shitty season, means nothing in mid September.
      remind me again the name of that NYCFC 17 year old who came on for the arguably best deep lying playmaker of our generation.
      wait wait wait… remind me again where on the table NYCFC sit.

  3. Two observations:
    Substituting Brian Owby on for George Davis IV at halftime created more pressure down the Steel’s right defensive channel.
    The primary characteristic of the game at Bethlehem, for me vulnerability defensively down the center channel, was not present. I credit Coach Burke adjusting his tactical scheme to reduce that threat, and the players for carrying it out. And I credit the combination of Hugh Roberts and Auston Trusty who were noticeably better than Richie Marquez and Ken Tribbett at Goodman earlier. Also, Derrick Jones played more effectively.

  4. John P. O'Donnell Jr. says:

    Najem….he does things.

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