“Nothing is more beautiful than a kiss under the rain.
Except, soccer in the rain; that is true beauty.”
The Steel come into today’s match in 11th place (out of 14) in the USL Eastern Conference following a draw with Rochester last weekend. At 13 points, they are within a win of rising as high as 7th in the standings.
Highly regarded mid-fielder Eric Ayuk has been chosen to join the U20 National Team in his native Cameroon. Veteran Irish mid-fielder James Chambers will sit out today’s game after an excessive accumulation of yellow cards. Big up-top man Seku Conneh has been called to join the national team for Liberia as they start qualifiers for the Africa Cup.
The New York Red Bulls II side is in town for a rematch of their 4-0 thrashing of the Steel in New York earlier in the season. Steel coach Bendan Burke has promised that the home side today will sport the energy they lacked on April 10. The Baby Bulls are currently in second place in the USL East. The Bulls will be without their hot-shot striker, Antole Abang, who is off for International play.
2016 USL Regular Season
Date: June 5, 2016
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
Location: Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium
Bethlehem Steel FC: 3-3-4 (13 points)
New York Red Bulls II: 6-1-3 (21 points)
Match Preview: HERE
Game Notes: HERE
A Look at the Steel Projected Starting XI: HERE
Brotherly Game Preview: HERE
Broadcast Info: Service Electric TV-2 or HERE online
Good tickets are still available. There will be a poster giveaway to the first 1,000 fans, and a special T-Shirt will be on sale at the merchandise table for this game!
What to Watch:
- The weather may be a factor; watch for how the organization handles the game and festivities, as well as how each team handles the adversity.
- Watch to see who starts as keeper for the Steel. MLS reserve McCarthy or USL veteran Badr
- Watch to see if the Steel can maintain energy up top–Conneh was a big part of that, and although he wasn’t finishing like we’d hoped, he provided good pressure. Can MLS reserve Fabian Herbers notch another goal for the Steel if he plays? Will Jamaican striker Corey Burke contribute?
- Watch the defensive mid-field. Bolu Akinyode and Derrick Jones have formed a nice bond and have been a strong pair there. It could be important against the powerful Bulls, and to protect the center backs somewhat. Akinyode is a physical presence in the middle, and a fun player to watch.
- On the right wing, look for fiery Walter Restrepo to try to create chances for his teammates.
- On the left, I prefer 19-year old Liberian Gabe Gissie, as I think he’s the more dynamic player. However, the Union and the Steel seem to prefer Northwester University product Cole Missimo. Look to see how that plays out throughout the match, and when and if the substitution comes.
- Listen for the PA guy. Sound familiar? It’s our buddy Joe Wowk from the Phantoms, sitting in today! Stay dry, Joe! I’m hoping for some “GOAL” calls to go our way! However, while we may not always be happy with the sound system at PPL Center, Goodman’s is years behind. Joe will overcome, though!
See you out by the pitch,