A string of saves from the home side’s goalkeeper and a couple of balls that bounced harmlessly off the home team’s extremely wet goal cage conspired to keep the most prolific attack in the United Soccer League‘s Eastern Conference off the scoresheet as punchless Bethlehem Steel FC held visiting Louisville City FC to a 0-0 draw on a rather cold and rainy day at Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium.
Once again the brand new reserve side of the Philadelphia Union featured no fewer than seven players with an existing Major League Soccer contract in its starting line-up and, once again, not only was fledgling Bethlehem Steel FC incapable of inserting the little spherical object into the back of the opposition’s big net, BSFC head coach Brendan Burke‘s charges were quite simply unable to even generate more than five genuine attempts at goal over the course of an entire contest for a second consecutive weekend on home ground.
Bethlehem Steel FC have now ‘boasted’ seven MLS players on loan from the Philadelphia Union in their Startelf on four different occasions in the allegedly third tier United Soccer League so far this season but the results on the field have been nothing short of decidedly unflattering — the dismal record of one goal scored in 360 minutes of soccer speaks loud and clear for itself.
From the standpoint of a neutral soccer observer, Bethlehem Steel FC can consider themselves very fortunate to have gotten something from this game. Viewing matters from the prism of player development, it must be noted that BSFC goalkeeper John McCarthy gave what was easily his best performance of this 2016 USL season in the face of an in-form Louisville City FC offense that had racked up a baker’s dozen goals in its first half dozen games going into Sunday’s contest. As is well known, Philadelphia Union first choice Andre Blake will be leaving sometime towards the end of May to join the Jamaica national team as it prepares to play in the 2016 Copa America Centenario tournament and so the La Salle University product will certainly be looking to make his case for some MLS playing time in Blake’s absence by putting his proverbial best foot forward at the USL level.
Bethlehem Steel FC’s story might have had a much happier ending if only defensive midfielder Derrick Jones, the highly touted 19-year-old from Ghana who is the first graduate of Philadelphia Union Academy to sign a professional contract with any team in any league, had been able to direct his header from six yards away on target instead of narrowly missing over the crossbar. It was Jones, himself, who had created the chance in the first place by intercepting a Louisville City FC pass in the offensive third before finding Walter Restrepo out on the right flank nearly two minutes into stoppage time. But a dramatic winner was just not only the cards for BSFC.
Bethlehem Steel FC 0:0 Louisville City FC
Goodman Stadium – Saucon Valley, Pennsylvania
May 1st, 2016
Attendance : 2018
Bethlehem Steel FC : McCarthy – Washington, Anderson (Daly 78), Trusty, Richter – Akinyode (Chambers 77), Jones – Ayuk (Missimo 72), Fernandes (Luchini 88), Restrepo – Herbers (Conneh 61)
unused subs : Badr – Gissie
Louisville City FC : Ranjitsingh – Newnam, Morad, Reynolds, Smith – Quinn, DelPiccolo – Dacres (Kaye 46), McCabe, Lubahn (Davis 74) – Hoffman (Lancaster 68)
Bethlehem Steel FC vs Louisville City FC
Attempts At Goal chart
4th min ….. BSFC – Ayuk shot blocked
4th min ….. BSFC – Restrepo shot deflected by defender
18th min … BSFC – Ayuk shot saved
19th min … LOU – Dacres shot deflected by defender
23rd min … LOU – McCabe shot saved
27th min … LOU – McCabe shot wide
31st min …. LOU – Morad header saved
34th min … LOU – Lubahn shot saved
35th min … LOU – Hoffman header wide
39th min … LOU – Dacres shot wide
43rd min … LOU – Quinn shot wide
45th min … LOU – McCabe shot saved
50th min … LOU – McCabe shot saved
55th min … LOU – Lubahn shot off post
76th min … LOU – Kaye header off post
84th min … LOU – Quinn shot blocked by defender
86th min … LOU – Kaye header saved
89th min … LOU – Newnam shot deflected by defender
90th min … BSFC – Luchini shot saved
inj time ….. BSFC – Luchini shot blocked
inj time ….. BSFC – Jones header over
inj time ….. LOU – Lancaster shot over